Dress Envy

My husband just returned from his grandmother’s funeral (again…like my brother’s divorce, not really the way to open a post on a wedding blog, but you’ll see the point in a moment). In addition to some casserole dishes and other stuff the family divided up, he brought home a stack of pictures.

Some of the pix were of his parents back when they were young and in love; he and his brother when they were little; each and every picture of our kids we’d ever sent her (the dear lady saved every one, even Christmas cards). Sifting through them, I paused as I came upon some pictures from our wedding. Not the professional ones, but the candid shots someone captured during the day.

I looked awful.

Maybe it’s because I spend so much of my time these days looking at pictures of models in bridal gowns, and our own gorgeous brides…but I was actually kind of stunned at how horrible I looked on My Day. The hair…well, we’ve gone there before. But my dress and accessories also stood out in the photos as just being…well, not good.

Here’s the story on my gown: We hosted an outdoor affair back in 1996. I wanted a halter gown. Those of you too young to remember can just watch a VH1 special sometime…we were winding down the era of big, poofy and ill-fitting. I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I asked my aunt, a tailor / seamstress if she would make it for me. She agreed.

I loved the design. I loved the fabric. But, just as my mother is prone to do, my aunt did things her way and just made decisions for me. The garment didn’t fit like a hand-crafted-just-for-me dress should have, and it shows in those pictures. (I’m not posting them. No amount of begging will make me.)

So it was with a bit of envy that I gazed upon the gowns in this Forbes.com story this morning. Beautiful. Timeless. And oh-so-affordable! You have so many choices at your fingertips today, ladies…Finding the perfect gown, be it tea length or grecian, doesn’t require a trip to New York, or even dedicating a significant amount of your budget to it.

Whatever you choose, please just promise to heed my advice: Take your time, and don’t let anyone else in on the decision. (I think that’s where I went wrong…my mom and aunt began just making decisions for me, when I think I would’ve looked 110% better on that day back in 1996 had I just kept my cards close and made my purchases and decisions quietly.)

Your mother’s probably not going to immediately like the thought of you wearing the Chloe & Reese above-the-knee dress featured here. (If she’s anything like mine, at the mere suggestion you’ll be battered with 20 reasons why you shouldn’t.) But if that’s you, and it’s the dress you love, it makes you look breathtaking and you feel special wearing it, then by all means – make it yours.

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