Once upon a time, there was a Princess named Valerie who vowed never to wed. She was more intent on the glass ceiling than a glass slipper. One enchanted evening she met Prince Charming at the Silver Slipper Saloon, and it was lust at first sight. Four years later she said YES to the dress, but how did she end up with two?
A week shy of 33, I finally tied the knot. My parents couldn’t wait to give me away. Prince Kenneth’s mom held a vice grip around his leg. I throw an epic party, but weddings are different. They cast a spell, be-bitching you with their evil charm. Every detail had to be just right, or Bridezilla came to play.
Six months before…
Thirty something’s don’t belong at wedding fairs. Mom, Lori, and I found ourselves drowning in a sea of psychotic bride-to-be’s. Six bridal shops later, I found Dress No. 1. It was love at first sight, but she was dangerously tight…and wasn’t at all white. In those days, cream was the new crimson.
The seamstress from the boutique had a side business making gowns from her home. Who wants off the rack when you can have custom?
One month before…
For a gal who detests being the center of attention, I became a headliner at showers and stagettes. I was surrounded by beautiful women who’d been waiting a loooong time to get this party started. We were going down drinkin’.
The week before…
Panic set in when the seamstress bit off more than she could chew. It was only days before the merger when I got the finished product. I turned a whiter shade of pale when the tulle of the dress took on a cloudy blue hue. The color of warm skim milk.
The week of…
I couldn’t live with it. From accessories to my skin tone, nothing matched. Suddenly cream was trending again.
Two days before…
Mom and Lori walked with purpose into the wedding boutique, home of Dress No. 1.
Keep in mind, the seamstress that hand-made Dress No. 2 worked in the same boutique.
Lori walked directly to the original dress, took it off the rack, and went straight to the till.
The puzzled salesperson asked if she wanted try it on. “Nope,” she replied, “I’m good.”
She proceeded to shell out the exact amount of cash, right down to the penny.
Completely confused, the clerk asked for the bride’s name to add to their records.
Unfazed, Lori fired back with an alias. Like she’s done this a million times before.
Miraculously, the dress fit me like a glove, thanks to my wedding anxiety diet program.
All I needed was a new pair of cream shoes. OMFG! We raced to the mall for a round of speed shopping.
Meanwhile, Prince Kenneth was knocking on hell’s door after dancing with a devil named Sambuca the night before.
We made it to the church on time, and as the minister started reading our vows we both broke down in tears. We’d gone through the trenches to be in that moment.
It was a brilliant fall day with soaring summer temperatures. The ceremony went off without a hitch.
The cake arrived at the reception, sweating buckets and tilted like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The chocolate rolls looked suspiciously like turd nuggets.
Our video photographer was too drunk to hold the camera. Everything was filmed from the chest down. We’ve only watched it once.
In September, we celebrate our 23rd anniversary. We lost the camera on the flight home from our honeymoon, but the memories remain.
For the record, two dresses only set me back $500. When my niece Abby gets married and needs something borrowed, she’ll have a variety to choose from…
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