My friend Evan made fun of me the other day, wondering if it was going to be all puppies and weddings, all the time around here from now on. This, naturally, made me feel like I should write more about puppies and weddings, just to piss him off. (I’m mature like that.)
Fortunately, I found my wedding dress this past weekend, giving me plenty of opportunity to add some more crinoline and cap sleeves to the mix around here. Phew, right?
We’ll start out with an embarrassing confession: I’m totally one of those girls who has been dreaming of her wedding dress since the third grade. But I always added my own fun Rachel (read: cynical, depressing, pessimistic) twist to it. I would flip through bridal magazines, folding down page corners and dreaming of dresses, all the while convinced that by the time my turn to get married actually arrived, we’d all be wearing spacesuits. (Seriously.) Just my luck that tulle would be out and oxygen-filled helmets would be in by the time I finally nabbed a husband, right?
As a result, I felt especially lucky in August to discover that a- I had found my life partner and b- wearing a dress was still a socially acceptable way to celebrate one’s marriage.
I decided I was going to make the most of the situation and immediately launched a massive wedding dress search, just in case full skirts suddenly went out of style in the 20 months (like, could we wait any longer?) before our wedding. I combed designer’s websites and blogs. I DVR’ed Say Yes to the Dress. And, a few months ago, I made appointments for a wedding dress shopping President’s Day weekend extravaganza, carefully plotting my route across Manhattan with seven stops along the way.
So off we went on Saturday, first to a designer’s showroom, with tall ceiling and fabulous lighting and enough space for a runway show (because, duh, that’s where they have them.) We did Vera. We did Amsale. We did a boutique in a little West Village townhouse filled with vintage-inspired dresses and Anthropologie-esque accessories. (Yes, I know they have their own wedding line now. No, I don’t want to talk about it.)
I sorted through racks of samples in a cramped, over-heated second-floor room until my arms hurt and I was forced to surrender, bested by dozens of gowns with the right price but the wrong style. I inadvertently showed many, many bridal consultants my boobs. I got some dirty looks at Kleinfeld’s, where I screamed out in the middle of the main room, “Randy, I found my dress!” only to have the very gay and very orange fashion director come over to give me a hug. (Guess he didn’t get my half-mocking tone?) And then I went to Saks, where, for the third and final time, I found the same dress – my dress – as well as the place where I wanted to purchase it.
Yes, I love it. Yes, it’s very pretty. Yes, it has tulle – but not too much, I promise.
Finding my dress was pretty cool, of course, but the weekend was magical in a way I hadn’t expected, and it had very little to do with all the organza and lace. It had more to do with the bottle of prosecco we split at the Carlyle and the brunch we giggled over at Sarabeth’s and the company of the girls who helped me shop for my prom dresses and my dresses for my brothers’ bar mitzvahs, and in the case of one companion who dates back to my middle school art class, my very own bat mitzvah dress, thirteen years ago.
I was lucky enough to have my mom and my future mother-in-law there to ooh and aah as well, and to have my mother’s best friend tear up at a little shop in Connecticut back in October and to have my cousin critique mermaid versus sheath at a designer’s store in the East Village over a long weekend and to have all of my college friends give feedback on my favorite Christos gowns in November, with a late lunch at Bloomies right afterwards. Yeah, I probably did more dress shopping than I had to. But with company that lovely, I bet you would too.
(On a more-practical-more-honest-less-rose-colored-glasses note, I should admit that I also wanted to spread the pain of my dress shopping addiction around, so that no one person was forced to watch me try on the same flower-embellished cap-sleeved gown more than a few times. I know your limits, people.)
But now my wedding dress shopping extravagaza- which was really more like six months than one weekend – has come and gone, and I’m here, feeling a little funny. Because while I’m still super excited about that guy I’m about to be betrothed too, I think the best part of wedding planning so far has been seeing all my friends, now spread state to state and coast to coast, all of us always busy and driven and focused, come together for an afternoon here or a weekend there. It makes me think we should do this all the time – with less tulle, maybe; but the same girls.
Fingers crossed for New York.