I didn't know if a 5am arrival would ensure that I would find my dream wedding dress at the Running of the Brides; but I wasn't crazy enough to start my vigil at 4pm on Thursday - which is apparently what it took to be the first person in line. The doors opened at 8am on Friday: that's SIXTEEN hours (which I believe translates to more like 48 hours in Bridezilla time) of waiting!
Most of the brides-to-be were there with four of five family members and friends, with many of these "teams" outfitted in bright-colored matching shirts. I was planning to other battle the brides alone, but I ended up dragging along one friend, Janet, who I had gotten to know over the last four years of visiting Taer. The only thing Janet and I had matching that morning was our desire for coffee.
When the doors opened everyone did literally RUN inside to scoop up all the dresses they could. Janet and I were only able to grab four dresses before all the racks were completely bare. Many poor girls behind me forlornly cried, “I didn’t get any!”
I took my plunder and situated myself next to a mirror before I stripped down to my boy shorts and camisole, right there in the middle of the store. Scavengers hovered nearby, hunting down the unwanted dresses. But we were no dummies; we didn’t just give ours away. We bartered: “What do you have to trade?”
After almost three hours of bartering and trying on more dresses, interrupted by the occasional screams and applause of joy as brides found their “one,” I ended up with a pricessy ball-gowny Amsale satin dress. It wasn’t my dream dress, but it was the prettiest one we found. And it was cheap. All the dresses were $249, $499 or $699. I kept picking the most expensive of the choices, but that was still a bargain.
I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but I pictured something with more of a slim silhouette and maybe some lace detailing with buttons or something. I figured this one would be a good backup as I continued my hunt in bridal shops. I would’ve been happy walking down the aisle in this one.
Before leaving the store, we decided to take one last spin to check out what came back out on the racks. I was slipping out of another try-on when we spotted a gorgeous Monique Lhullier with a more simple A-line shape and just a touch of beautiful beading – definitely more along the lines of what I envisioned.
Then, OUT OF NOWHERE, this girl came along and snatched up my dress! I stood there, dumbfounded, with my mouth agape. Janet thought quickly and chased her down to ask if I could try it on before she left with it. When I slipped it on, I really felt like a beautiful bride; I was crestfallen that this other girl had it, but I was hoping since she was bigger than me that it would not fit her. When she tried, she couldn’t get the zipper all the way up… Victory was mine!
But the next thing I knew, she was walking around to find the alteration guy on hand to ask if he could let it out. She also started talking about how she was planning to lose weight before her wedding. I wanted to just tell her that the zipper was only halfway up, so it wasn’t going to fit even with all that, so “just hand it over now, bee-yotch!” But of course I played nice and patiently waited.
Janet even whispered to me, “It looked way better on you.” Well, maybe she said it louder than I thought because someone nearby who heard made the clawing action and said to us, “Me-YOW!” Whoops!
As I was waiting around for her decision, I was getting upset but trying to keep my cool. I didn’t want to be Bridezilla, but I wanted that dress! Janet checked the racks again for me while we were waiting. She came back with a dress in her hands, and she was excited! It looked a lot more like what I wanted. It had a lace top and a satin skirt with buttons down the back, and when I put it on… What everyone said was true: I just KNEW.
A light shone down on me from the heavens, and the angels sang a pefect song. Romona Keveza ended up being my designer, and she blessed me with THE dress for me.