You might have missed this news because it was slipped in-between some eyebrow-raising photographs, but I bought my wedding dress on Friday. I bought it that day instead of waiting in order to secure the floor sample and the shop’s August promotion of store-paid sales tax, because if I was going to buy the dress that was not inexpensive, I wanted to inch as far toward the direction of inexpensive as I possibly could.
But I admit on the drive home from Ohio I was plagued with doubts. Not just about spending more, but about making a selection. I knew, having just tried on dozens of dresses and having seen hundreds, that my dress was something special. But was it special enough?
I wear dresses like other people wear blue jeans. This actually increased the amount of pressure I felt about finding a magical, life-altering, perfect-in-every-way dress to wear to my wedding. I felt like because I hear “I love your dress” so often (I just spent like five minutes trying to revise the beginning of this sentence to inject some modesty and couldn’t work it, so try not to hate me because my dresses are beautiful), for my wedding dress, the one dress in the life of a blue jeans type that everyone says “I love you” to, I needed to, as Dowdy Friend so memorably rapped in Teen Witch, “top that.”
But I got over it. Part of that is because my wedding dress is pretty awesome, and will be unique after the extensive (and probably painfully expensive) alterations we have planned. But it is also because I realized that my wedding dress is not the last awesome dress I’m going to wear in my life.
I’m going to go to other people’s weddings. Life willing, I’m going to be a philanthropist and patron of the arts (you know, if all my money doesn’t go to buying my own mental health care for the rest of my life) and go to fancy fundraisers. I’m going to find roof access to my friends’ apartment buildings and put on dresses for random photo shoots, because that is one of the things we do for fun.
When I turn 35, I desperately want to throw a huge inaugural ball themed birthday party, because my birthday was the date of George Washington’s first inauguration. I haven’t decided yet it if we’ll wear period attire. But either way, I will have an awesome dress.
My wedding dress is a dress. It is not the dress.