Friday, March 25, 2011

The Day Before Day 1

I bought my first wedding dress the same week that I got engaged.  In my giddiness in being officially betrothed, I accompanied an also-engaged friend to a fabulous sample sale at the Los Angeles Glamour Closet.  Most of the dresses didn't even fit me, which was mildly frustrating (especially when I wasn't ALLOWED to try on a few!), but one caught my eye and fit the bill, and my butt.  A gorgeous Romona Keveza gown, in light blush slubbed silk with lace detailing and a dramatic train.  The ex-fashion merchandizer in me was satisfied.  The current (penny-pinching) grad student in me was relieved by the 80% discount.  My friend, the saleswomen, and my Aunt Sarah (on-the-phone-from-South-Dakota) approved.  I bought it.  I loved it.  It loved me.  Until... somehow... we fell out of love.

Mirrors are to blame.  Damned mirrors.  I tried on that amazing, gorgeous, fantastic dress at least once every few weeks for 4 months.  Each time I looked in the mirror, I felt a bit less sure.  The dress was, undeniably, a bit tight around my waist and hips.  Through the slubbed silk, I could see my belly-button (or - more specifically - the doughnut of flesh surrounding it).  It was a negligible tightness - the type remedied by a month  of skipped desserts, and some Spanx.  At first I confidently told myself that it would be so so easy to fit into it by my October 1st wedding - 11 months away.  But as weeks wore on, I became less excited.  Trying on my wedding dress was supposed to instill confidence and positive anticipation, but the sight of a bit of belly behind the fabric was disheartening.  Sometimes I felt like I couldn't breathe when it was fully zipped.  I began to resent the dress.  

Flash forward to March 25th.  I was in my hometown of St. Louis, visiting my parents while attending a professional conference.  My mom, who hadn't been able to go dress shopping with me the first time, had heard enough of my kvetching, and (secretly excited, I'm sure), made appointments at area bridal salons, "just to look."  Sure enough, after an exhaustive hunt through the sample-rack at salon #1, we found my second wedding dress.  This one was lacking a bit in uniqueness (compared to the blush of my first love), but was a similar style, and it FIT PERFECTLY.  No doughnut in sight.  My mom got the requisite goosebumps.  I could breathe.   $700.  Done.

I was, and remain, so relieved to have found a dress I feel comfortable and beautiful wearing. But I was also getting really, really, sick of staring at myself in the mirror.  In those moments I felt like the worst version of myself - insecure, indecisive, vain.  My vanity had already cost me several hundreds of dollars (BTW - email if you're looking for a gorgeous wedding dress!).  More importantly, I had lost both time and emotional energy in the process.  The dress shopping had put me over the edge, and with the requisite wedding make-up and hair trials, there would be more vanity to come.  Something had to give.  It was time to take a serious look in the mirror - or was it?

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15 comments:

  1. Post a picture of the first dress. I can't wait to see it.

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  2. I added the pictures... ironically, the shot of Dress #1 is reflected from a mirror. :P

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  3. Hey Kjerstin, Can't wait for Chapter 2! This reads like a novel I can't put down!

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  4. What a geat story Kjerstin! You are quite the writer. The back of the dress is beautiful. Is the front a secret? I'm so glad that you Love your new dress. Now you can feel beautiful(because you are) and confident on your special day.

    Love
    Sherry

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  5. Hi Sherry! Glad you're enjoying the blog, and thanks for the compliment on my dress! The front is only a secret from you-know-who, so let me know if you want me to email you a picture. Love, KJ

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  6. Just saw the story on Yahoo. Wow! Good luck with your adventure. It seems as though you are halfway through. As for the naysayers, you do what is best for you! :)

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  7. I just found your blog on my news feed. I AM IN LOVE.

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  8. Wow, self-absorbed much?
    With all that is going on in the world, this is what an educated woman agonizes over?
    Ugh.

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. I worry about people who need to find flaws in other people to feel better about themselves. I hope that the person that posted that awful comment will find the help that they need. When someone truly loves themselves, there is no way that they could be that hateful to others. Kjersten, you are beautiful and wonderful! Keep it up girl!

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  11. I'm surprised you didn't mention the awful convention of bride dress sizing. Unlike everyday wear, bridal gown manufacturers have not succumbed to the pressure to use size inflation to stroke our egos. A girl who normally wears a size 12 might be looking at wearing a size 20 gown to get married in. This is inhumane. However, the bridal gown makers have it right. Sizes should remain constant, no matter how much the average body size in the US increases. Otherwise, when 8's become 4's and 4's become size 0's, how are us smaller people supposed to find clothes that we can wear - in the kid department?

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  12. Funny mentioning the kid department. Being 5' nothing, I still by some of my tshirts in the kids department, and most of my shoes instead of being the normal adult line are the girl line. Sometimes it's hard to find things professional enough. Love the blog. Planning my own wedding, and thinking more and more of eloping...

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  13. Good Sweet memories thanks to sharing with us.

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