Behind the Scenes Bride: A Dress By Any Other Name
When I was little, my most favorite toy in the world was my Wedding Day Barbie. Every day after school, all of my dolls and stuffed animals would congregate outside of my Barbie Dream House for yet another wedding, and they would always start out the same way. Barbie would wake up and put on her dress and would cry because she was so happy that she had found “the one.” Even now, years later, I always expected the day I found my wedding dress to play out just like Barbie’s.
For a few weeks before various bridal appointments, I prepared myself for all of the emotion and stresses that would obviously come with trying to decide on a wedding dress. I looked through magazines and online galleries deciding on a silhouette that would best work for m and having narrowed down to a few styles and designers that I loved, I booked my appointments.
When the day finally came for me to try on dresses, I was actually a little nervous. I hadn’t been eating well since EJ had left for Dubai, I had dark circles under my eyes from working so much the week prior and I was overcome with emotion. The last time I had been to a bridal salon, my sister had found her dream dress with both of our grandmothers in attendance. Today, I was trying to find a dress my dear Joma would never see me in. I was heartbroken, but I still wanted to have a good day.
I had invited my mom, my matron of honor Elle, and EJ’s mom and grandmother. We started out at Garnish Boutique where I kept switching between two gowns- a blush, one-shoulder ball gown from Romona and a simple, crepe design from Pronovias. After going back and forth for a little while, I was assured that I would know when I found my dress the moment I put it on, so we left empty handed.
For our second appointment, we headed down the road a little bit to Francesca’s Bridal Salon. After trying on a few more dresses, there was a moment when I finally looked at myself in a wedding dress and completely lost it. For a few moments, I wondered if I had finally found “the one,” but finally realized that the emotion from the day had just been so overwhelming. So, again, we left empty handed.
For my third and final appointment that day, my mom and I headed to Betsy Robinson’s for a Watters Trunk Show. Again, I tried on a few gorgeous dresses, but ultimately never found the one I had been looking for.
On the car ride home, I was upset that I hadn’t had that bridal moment everyone talks about. I had tried on a handful of absolutely exquisite dresses. What was wrong with me that I hadn’t picked one? I was just so disappointed.
A few days later, I found myself sitting at work and dreaming about one of the dresses I had tried on that previous weekend. I just couldn’t get it out my mind. It was NOTHING like the dress I had always imagined myself in on my wedding day, but it seemed perfect for both me and for EJ. So, after work one afternoon, I ventured back to Garnish Boutique, BY MYSELF, and tried on the dress one more time.
It was in that moment, alone and quiet, that I had finally realized that this was my dress. There were no tears, no jumping up and down and no hugs. It was simply a moment of pure realization that I would marry my best friend in this dress. That was my bridal moment.
Meredith Alcala | Photographs by J&K Photography