I was recently at my mother’s house and started to think about any old items that I may have stored there over the years. Amongst the old prom dresses, college text books and teddy bears, I remembered my wedding dress was under the bed forever sealed in one of those super air-tight preservation boxes.
I pulled it out and opened the lid and there was my dress and head piece, impenetrably locked up tight, looking brand new. A shoe box holding my flat wedding shoes, my garter, and my handkerchief still stained with the make-up I wore that day. I just looked at it and the memories came flooding back. I remembered:
My mother’s tears as she sat in the bridal shop looking at me standing there in that dress and saying that was the one.
My bridesmaids and I laughing over my red glasses and how they would clash with that dress, but I wore them anyway.
The little Italian seamstress who refused to make the large bow on my butt smaller because she said it “hid what it needed to hide”. (she patted my butt as well)
The limo drivers who carried me into the church because Hurricane Hugo and the rains came so hard and the water was so deep they did not want my dress to drag through the parking lot.
Those same rains causing that limo to go the wrong way down a one-way street as we fell off the seat, my dress and I hitting the wet floor.
Dancing that first dance with it bustled up and going to the bathroom with two bridesmaids holding up that train.
Trying to get out of that dress on my wedding night with all those buttons down the back and the surprising weight of that gown after so many hours of wearing it.
I remember putting that dress on that September afternoon. I remember the bow and the buttons going down the back. I can still see the creamy ivory color and the smell the scent of freshly steamed silk. When I got to the altar, Chip was waiting there patiently. My dad lifted the veil, gave me a kiss and took my hand to give to Chip. My soon to be husband looked at me and said, “You look beautiful.” It was that dress.
I will never forget those things. In my opinion, it is not just a dress….it is a spark that lights up one of life’s best memories.
Now that Amelia is a young woman in her early twenties, we have chatted about my wedding dress and how I would love it if she wore it. I would have worn my mother’s dress, but she is a good six inches shorter than I am. So that was not going to happen.
Amelia does not want to wear my dress. I was hurt at first but then I thought of all these memories. If Amelia wants to make her own memories in her own dress, I totally get that now. I think most mothers want their daughters to wear their dresses. But it is not about you, it is about them, and the memories they want to make with their dress. So, Amelia, one day you will find the right guy and you will get married and when you put that dress on after you have tried on 700 of them, you will know that is the dress.