April in Glenwood: Saying yes to the dress
American brides spend an average of $1,280 on their wedding dresses. The range is somewhere between $900 to $1,500 to be exact.
That’s not as high as I presumed.
I’ve been planning a no-fuss wedding — no-fuss is key here — so I’ve been on the internet prowl for deals on simple, classic dresses. And some of the other details that make a no-fuss wedding no-fuss.
That can be more of a challenge than Pinterest has led me to believe.
I’ve viewed many wedding dresses, and even pairs of shoes, in the thousands of dollars.
The variety of dresses today are as fancy as brides want them to be. They can feature long trains and lace detail fit for queens, or vintage beading and embellishments straight out of “The Great Gatsby.”
They can make a girl look like a princess from a fairy tale. Dream it, and someone will make it.
Wikipedia says after the Middle Ages, weddings often served as unions between two families, businesses and countries.
A bride’s attire may have indicated nobility and social class. Rich colors and plush fabrics indicated wealth, while less fortunate brides resolved to marry in their Sunday best.
I’m trying to find somewhere in-between.
My midwest upbringing brings out the traditional side of me, so I did want to wear a color close to white. I almost went with pink, but ivory was more my style.
Women have been wearing white wedding gowns since the 1400s, and as far as trends go, that’s a pretty amazing lifespan for fashion. Many people equate the wearing of white to that whole virginity thing, which is more of an old wive’s tale than anything. The color choice actually had more to do with preference.
The Wikipedia on wedding dresses said Mary, Queen of Scots wore a white wedding gown in 1559 when she married her first husband, Francis Dauphin of France, because it was her favorite color. Queen Victoria wore white because it was the color of her prized lace. Some women, especially in the Victorian era, wore black.
Take that for tradition.
I also skipped the poofy skirt and yards of lace and satin to go simple. No train or long veil needed since we’ll be getting married in a small gathering in front of a mossy oak in a New Orleans park.
Although I never intended to spend upwards of $1,500 on a wedding dress, I still wanted one that made my heart feel like it skipped a beat when I first laid my eyes on it.
I found that, and more, and can still afford to eat steak on my wedding day.
Call it a fetish — I prefer infatuation — or whatever, but I love dresses. I can’t remember not having the love affair I have with them. Maybe it’s because my mom sews, and she’s been making my dresses, even for my Barbie dolls, since I was a little girl.
It may have something to do with being born in the ’70s, when some women still wore dresses on a daily basis, even around the house.
My great-grandmother Ruth always wore a house dress and an apron, even when weeding the garden or making a homemade fried chicken and noodles dinner for her six children and their families.
I never remember her wearing pants.
As progressive as I consider myself in terms of my womanhood — and loving pants because at one time we weren’t even allowed to wear them — I’m all about her choice of comfy house dress.
I think it should make a comeback.
I know dresses aren’t for everyone. There are many people who would rather walk down the runway at the Green is the New Black fashion show in the nude than wear a dress on a special occasion. I, on the other hand, wear dresses as often as I can.
Especially on special occasions.
One of the reasons I was one of Miser’s Mercantile’s best customers was because of the cute second-hand dress finds I scored when popping in there whenever I could.
So I wanted to find a wedding dress that really spoke to me. My dress needed to be beautiful and feminine, and fit my fun personality and the fall outdoor venue.
Plus it needed to make my heart flutter like it did after my first date with Steve. While on budget. Remember, this is a no-fuss wedding.
Except when it came to finding the perfect dress.
April E. Clark said yes to the dress, and now needs shoes that won’t kill her feet. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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