I was a Priscilla bride. As you may know Priscilla of Boston, which has been producing gorgeous wedding dresses for 65 years, will close forever next week on December 31st. The news was announced in August, and ever since then I've been thinking about honoring my Priscilla experience on my blog. I thought the best way to do this was to share an email I wrote to friends right after I bought my wedding dress from Priscilla's in January 2010. Here it is:
You know the show Say Yes to the Dress? Well, even if you don't, you'll know how people say, "When I put on my wedding dress I just knew it was for me... I cried..."
I never had that.
In fact, I thought those people who did were a little titched. The only reaction I worried about having was Carrie's in Sex and the City when she is supposed to marry Aiden, has a panic attack in her wedding dress, and Miranda has to rip her out of it.
I bought a dress, for super cheap, nine months before my wedding date mainly to halt a sort of sad and depressing shopping experience. Don’t get me wrong, shopping is normally my thing, but I found wedding dress shopping with dresses that don’t actually fit you very confusing and not so fun. I never loved that other dress, but I figured I would only wear it for a few hours.
Lately, I'd been feeling bad about that dress for a few reasons (namely that it will live on forever in the form of pictures and, since I am walking by myself down the long aisle at Memorial Church, I was worried I wouldn't "stand out" enough all by my lonesome). So, whenever I read a bridal magazine, I would check out the dress pics, only oh-so-casually. But nothing tickled my fancy, so I let it go.
Until, it did. And then I fell hard. Very hard. It was a new dress from Priscilla of Boston. So new it wasn’t even on their website yet. I saw it advertised in one magazine, then two, then three. By the third time I saw it, I cried. No joke, I cried (granted I was a little emotional while planning a wedding, but still!). John knew I didn't feel great in my dress and he saw me get so worked up, so we talked about it on Sunday and he convinced me I should at least try it on, otherwise, I would always wonder. He told me, "You deserve to feel beautiful on our wedding day, so if you really want it, we will find a way to make it happen." You see, I knew my (suddenly) dream dress would not be cheap. But the man of my dreams is totally priceless, clearly.
I found the dress on the Internet. I stared at it. I refreshed. It was like a boy I had a crush on-- I kept looking at the picture. And every time I did, my hardened little bridal heart skipped a beat.
So I called the store in Boston on Boylston Street. They said they had it in. They promised me they wouldn't tempt me with the forbidden fruit (which I had already named, YES I NAMED MY DRESS, "Hilary Grace") unless they could guarantee it would be in for May 15th. I made an appointment for the next morning at 11 am. I fretted and giddily refreshed some more and hoped it would transform me into a beautiful bride.
I woke up with knots in my stomach. As I approached the store, I saw it in the window. My eyes teared. I'm not kidding! I got up there and a sweet bridal consultant got me in the dress. I cried. A lot. She had to bring me tissues. Embarrassing! They brought people out-- no one had seen the dress on before! I told them I felt like a bride for the first time.
In short, I bought my dress, which I say is made from magic. It is made from magic because it makes me feel beautiful, and pretty, and reminds me that I am marrying the best guy in the world for me. I told John I never wanted to take the dress off, that I would even clean the house it in. He told me I couldn't clean the house in it, because we are selling it after the wedding, especially since demand will be high for this new-ish design. He's still John, the practical economist, and I love him for that.
On my wedding day, May 15, 2010, I still felt like the dress made me magical. Here's a shot of me clearly seeing myself transform into a bride:
I don't think I will ever feel that beautiful again!
Postscript: I did sell the dress, within a few months of our wedding. While I loved it, I knew I would never wear it again (not even to clean the house in) and I honestly wanted to pass on some good bridal karma. Plus, John would have nagged me... I don't regret selling the dress at all, though I saved my veil in case anyone from the next generation wants to wear it someday.
[For more pictures from our wedding day, if you're interested, our wedding was featured on Weddingbee, the *only* bridal website I read while wedding planning. Love! Click here to see us as part of their "Real Wedding" series. Also, I can't recommend our photographer, Michael O'Bryon highly enough!]