I was out for dinner with a group of girlfriends last week. Of the six of us, four are married and two are engaged and getting married in March (including yours truly).
So, as the conversation often does these days, talk turned to weddings – specifically dresses.
Through the process, I haven’t been particularly sentimental about my dress. The things that have always mattered to me are photos, food and music – in that order. Everything else is either gravy, or something I’ve told myself is required to make the other things as perfect as possible. And since (in my mind) beautiful wedding photos include a beautiful bride in a beautiful wedding dress, the dress is not unimportant.
But I’m still not sentimental about it. It’s an outfit for one day – but what then? I always figured that as soon as my wedding dress is back from the cleaners, it’s ebay all the way. Or consignment. Or charity. Or anything but a big bag in the back of the closet or a box under the bed.
A big chunk of our dinner conversation that night though, was sharing stories of trying on our mom’s wedding dresses. We all did it. We all couldn’t believe people wore things so awful (our moms got married in the 70’s). We all couldn’t believe our moms were so tiny, because these dresses were a bit big when we were 12, almost perfect in our teen years, and we wouldn’t have a hope in hell of fitting into them now (which is probably for the best, considering the aforementioned fugly factor).
All of the ladies I was out with that night (with the exception of the other betrothed, obviously) have kept their dresses. The dresses aren’t the puffy princessy traditional tafetta monstrosities that pepper the bridal runways and magazines. And I don’t think of any of the women as particularly traditional, mushy or sentimental (and I don’t think they really think of themselves that way about most things) – but they all agreed that they have really strong affections toward their dresses and wouldn’t dream of getting rid of them. The other bride-to-be at the table agreed with that point of view, already thinking about where to store her dress post-ceremony.
In fact, if I really think about it, I have friends who have bought wedding gowns for weddings that didn’t even happen, and are still sentimentally attached to and have the dresses (and wear them every once in a while for kicks).
Try as I might though, I can’t really bring myself to feel like I’ll miss my dress if it goes.
My biggest pull for keeping it now is the thought that I could be robbing my future potential, hypothetical daughter of having the same conversation with her friends about trying on her mom’s wedding dress.
So what about all y’all? Did you ever try on your mom’s wedding dress? If you’re married, did you have a firm vision of what you wanted to do with your dress afterward? Did you do it? Are you not yet married (or even thinking about it) and still have visions of the perfect nuptial frock and its fate? Do you know what your wife did with her dress? Do you hold any superstitions around getting rid of a wedding dress? Whaddya think?