I believe there are two camps of women in the handling of wedding dresses after the big day has come and gone: 1) the super cautious type who actually gets serious about its preservation, takes it to the cleaner, and then refuses to open it for 20 years in hopes her own child will someday want to wear it and 2) the careless type (but with good intentions to be like all those No. 1 types) who stuffs it back in the bag, hangs it in a closet somewhere in her house and promptly forgets about it.
I’ll let you take one guess as to the type I am. Needless to say, my gown has hung in the back of our guest bedroom in its white zippered bag for FIVE years now. About a year ago, I unzipped it to take a peek at what the wrath of time had done to its chiffon material. Some discoloring under the arms (to be expected, given I danced my behind off the night of my wedding) and that was about it. Fast forward to last month and my rearranging wardrobes (bringing winter duds back into my bedroom closet for the coming season). There it was again. Taunting me this time with the silly question of, “Think you can still fit into me?”
Girls, it is a dangerous proposition to ask yourself this question. And yet, there I stood, doing it anyway (and if you tell me you’ve never thought it yourself, no matter how many years removed from your own wedding, I’m calling you a liar). So earlier this week, I asked Nick for some help getting back into this dress. He furrowed his brow, gave me a “What for?” but then shrugged and said, “All right.” There was some shimmying and shaking, but you better believe I raised two Rocky-style fists of glory when I felt that zipper pull all the way up. And yeah, OK…there was a bit more “back cleavage” than there was five years ago. But the point? THE ZIPPER ZIPPED.
And that brings me to this month’s self-portrait. Yes, that’s me in my wedding dress (though, admittedly, that’s a horrible angle that doesn’t show off just how pretty my gown truly is. This shot from my bathroom is slightly better). And yes, that’s cake in my hand. Because, I thought, “If I’m going to put this gown back on, IF IT STILL FITS, well, I’m celebratin’!” (Or, in the words of Parks and Rec‘s Tom and Donna, “TREAT YO SELF.”) Because you see, on my own wedding day, I never actually ate any cake. At least, not beyond that sliver shared with Nick for an obligatory cake-cutting photo. I set my piece down, “Twist and Shout” started playing, and the next thing I knew it was whisked away and I’d forgotten all about it.
So fast forward five years to thinking this treat to myself was well-deserved. And the best part about this whole little journey (beside me giggling over its absurdity)? I still love my wedding dress every bit as much as the day I first tried it on.