One of the most fun parts of being a bride-to-be is dress fittings.
I’m a little different. I didn’t want to walk into a shop and try on a ton of dresses. I know what’s fashionable right now, and frankly none of it appeals to me. What I wanted–miles and miles of ivory lace–would cost an arm, a leg, and my firstborn. My dress budget was $300. For that amount, I could purchase the bodice of a brand new dress that I didn’t like.
My mother got her lace and organza dress for $300, but that was thirty years of inflation ago.
I remember being a little girl and staring at pictures of my mother in her wedding dress. I remember specifically that there was a black and white picture of her in a frame on the table next to my grandmother’s armchair. When I wasn’t in my grandmother’s lap being read to, I was on the floor at her feet, holding the picture of my mother and hoping I could be half as pretty when I grew up.
Mother offered me her dress when a hundred internet searches did not yield a dress I liked.
I’ve always adored that dress, but I’ve adored it on my lovely mother. I’ll admit to being skeptical about trying it on. My mother looked absolutely majestic in those full organza sleeves and full, ruffled skirt and high lace neckline. There was no way I could fill it or do it justice.
Yet up went the zipper without a catch. The bodice fit like a glove. I loved how it felt. I loved how the skirt moved. I loved the subtlety of the beading (almost all dresses these days are covered in sequins–someone explain that to me). I adored the lace.
My mother is letting one of my dear friends alter the dress to fit my tastes more specifically. She practically thrust the scissors into her hands and said “Make it look like my daughter.”
Out came the netting. Gone are the ruffles. The sleeves and the neck are a work in progress. My friend brought it for a fitting.
Now, I’ve been watching what I eat. I’m not in any great need to lose weight, but I’m a bride, for heaven’s sake. I’m trying to coax my skin to clarity and make sure that the dress’s perfect fit remains a perfect fit. I am not one to starve myself, but I’m all about being cautious and keeping up with my running and yoga.
I tried on the dress.
It’s loose, dash it.
A lot of brides are fighting off the pounds days before the wedding. They crash diet, living off of cottage cheese and pretzel sticks for weeks on end. They deliberately buy a dress two sizes too small just to give them proper motivation to drop those last few pounds they’ve been meaning to shed. I’ve heard the story over and over again. I always thought I’d be one of them, but hey, I like food too much.
And yet the dress is loose.
So my official assignment from the seamstress, my bridesmaids, and both of my mothers is to eat more ice cream and do fewer planks.
I can live with that.