I had a horrible wedding.
No, that’s not quite true. I personally had a horrible time at my own wedding. The wedding and reception were actually quite lovely. People in our families and our friends and even old co-workers are still, almost eight years later, talking about what a great party it was. The food was magnificent, the dancing amazing, the atmosphere not to be beaten. To be fair, I enjoyed all of these things too, as did the Husband. It was one helluva party. Unfortunately, he and I had just gone through a couple of horrendous things that I’m not going to dish about right now (because we’ve all gotten past it) that made it hard to fully embrace the joy of the day. I think I can give you an accurate idea of just how bad it was by telling you that I spent over an hour, sitting in my mother’s dining room, with my new husband and my family, sobbing hysterically over some of the day’s events before deciding to call it a day and move on from there.
Thinking of my wedding generally makes me sad. Thinking of my wedding dress, however, makes me anything but. I think I would live in that thing if I could still fit into it. I know, I know, it’s a bit cliche to say that the outfit I felt best in was my wedding gown, but since the dress itself was anything but cliche, I’m good with that.
I was not the girl who spent hour upon hour dreaming of her wedding when she was little. I knew that, aside from the dress, mom and dad would be taking care of everything, and I was happy about that. My mom has planned seven weddings in her day and all of them were amazing. That being said, I had my dress picked out about three months into dating the Husband. I came across a webpage for a woman, Yosa, who designed and made period costumes and gowns. From the moment I saw “The Duchess” on her page, Silks and Velvets, I knew that is was my dress, and never even tried anything else on (much to the chagrin of my mom who was petrified that it wouldn’t arrive on time because I ordered it online).
Silver. The first thing you need to know about my wedding dress is that it was silver. And I don’t mean it was a white dress with a soft, silvery sheen. I mean the thing was full-on shiny silver brocade with a large rose pattern all over it. Gorgeous.
I looked amazing in this dress. My chest in particular looked amazing in it. It had a deep, square neckline, trimmed in delicate white lace, and I’m not gonna lie, the girls looked fine. The bodice (it was a two piece “dress”) was corseted and boned and laced up the back with silver ribbon. Most importantly, it was made to fit me, not some random size 14 woman, so fit me it did. Everything was up and out and where it belonged, which is always a good thing.
Oh, and did I mention it was based on dresses from the 17th century? Yeah. There was a panel of white leaf brocade (different patter from the roses) in the center of the skirt. The sleeves were fitted to the elbow and then fanned out into amazing bells, and the whole thing was trimmed in white Venice lace. I even had a chapel length cape that buttoned onto the shoulders and had an exaggerated hood.
To top it all off, my sister and I made what we call the Bridget Cathedral veil (you know, because Star Jones was all into her veil being longer than Princess Diana’s?), which was, I think, about 33′ long and had a cross at the end of it made of satin and crystals, including my husband’s and my initials. On my head, I wore, what else? A tiara, covered in pearls and rhinestones. I basically looked like I had stepped right out of a French king’s court and into my local church. The overall impression I made on the people in the pews has been described as “stunning”.
My husband, waiting for me at the altar, has told more than one person I looked like a queen that day. Truth be told, that’s how I felt when I first entered the church, like a queen (a very sad one, but a queen nonetheless). Of all the terrible things that happened that day, the one thing I will always think of happily is my dress. I’ve never been the kind of person to lament trendy decisions in fashion or music (hello, have you met my favorite band, Hanson?). I see them as choices that were right for the times when I made them, even if I would never choose them now. When it comes to my wedding dress though, I know in my heart, no matter when I got married, it would always have been that dress.
PS- My apologies for the terrible pictures. From one computer to the next I’m missing about 3 years worth of digital photos 😦
Shared on Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop.
3/24/12: As my mother has informed that she believe the more appropriate term for one’s chest is “the girls” and not “the boys”, I’ve updated the post accordingly. 🙂