Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The One That Got Away


One of my closest friends just found her wedding dress at Kleinfeld. As soon as she slipped on her gown, she knew it was The One. It was a real live Say Yes to the Dress moment. When she emerged from her designated area to peer at herself in the store's big, central mirror, shoppers around her made comments. Tears were shed. It was a fairytale wedding dress shopping experience, and I was so thrilled for my friend when she recounted her story to me.

I, on the other hand, did not have a traditional fairytale wedding dress shopping experience; it was more of a dysfunctional fairytale situation. Don't get me wrong--I was accompanied by loving women and even a couple of uncomfortable men. These patient people, especially my mom, joined me on many visits to many stores. I recounted my experience here and here. What I didn't discuss was how I finally settled on My Dress, and how I have lingering feelings for The One That Got Away...


After traipsing around Manhattan visiting way too many dress shops, my mom suggested we check out Exquisite Bride in New Jersey. She had passed the store and thought it'd be to my liking. She was correct. I felt at ease while browsing the selection at Exquisite Bride. It wasn't crowded, like many Manhattan shops I'd visited. I didn't feel rushed or pressured. Plus, I was in high spirits. I had just lunched with my dad before meeting up with my mom. The two are divorced so they rarely cross paths on purpose. But on this particular day, the three of us ended up chatting in Exquisite Bride before my dad excused himself and my mom and I perused gowns. Everyone had gotten along. No cops had been called :) I felt good; it was a modern fairytale scenario for me.

I ended up trying on this Vera Wang dress and falling in love. Yet, I still wasn't sure it was The One. There were a couple of other gowns on my mind, but I went for it. I don't know if I was just exhausted from seeing so many gowns prior, and therefore ready to pull the trigger, or if it really was meant to be. But I finally said yes to a dress.

Even now when I see photos of my wedding day, and remember how it felt to be in my (heavy, long) gown, I'm not sure I chose The One. I felt truly beautiful and I have no regrets, but looking back, my gorgeous Vera Wang wasn't necessarily "me." I usually opt for non-girly pieces and an overall understated style. This dress was a whole lotta dress. It had a lengthy train that dragged behind me, just like a fairytale princess--not exactly my style. But then again, maybe it was just right to have that super bridey experience on the one day it's acceptable to go all out and be the ultimate center of attention.

When I was deleting photos off my phone recently I came across a picture of one of the first dresses I tried on at Saks: a Monique Lhuillier lace number called the Arielle. I loved that dress, and I felt comfortable in it. However, I remember being concerned that perhaps the lace bustier resembled an undergarment. But looking back, I love the look. And while I have no regrets, maybe it was The One That Got Away.

A


My Gown





vs.

The One That Got Away


Photos of my gown by Carlie Statsky

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