I am at that awkward age where my friends all seem to be either getting married or having children, (or busy having a life somewhere far, far away–usually a combination of these things).
Having a life, Getting married, Having kids–all are things that I support in the nebulous “positive feelings toward this thing in general” sort of way.
But as the years pass, my desire to participate in weddings steadily decreases.
Just over a year ago, I made a near-fiasco out of a friend’s wedding when, as Maid of (dis)Honor, I forgot to bring the ring down the aisle with me. After that delightful affair, given my penchant for disaster encouragement coupled with a tight budget, I determined that five stints as a bridesmaid had been sufficient. Between plane tickets and expensive dresses that I never would have personally chosen (Some more flattering than others, but all unlikely to be worn again), I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on wedding participation. Furthermore, as the ring incident clearly demonstrates, I am a liability to the smooth progression of a ceremony.
So that was it, I was done.
No more weddings.
Five was enough.
No more expensive dresses that I can “shorten and wear again” but never will.
No more fees for alterations that still can’t convince a dress to fall flatteringly or remain up where it is supposed to.
No more plane tickets and vacation time spent being a third or fourth or fifth wheel left abandoned after the vows are spoken and my dear friend is whisked away for the beginning of a new relationship that diminishes the closeness of the one we used to share.
So, of course, early this year, I was asked to be a bridesmaid in not just one, but two weddings.
And, of course, I said yes to both.
(The whole ‘no more wedding’ thing lasted just about as long as my New Year Resolutions).
But this time around I have high hopes. Will I still be spending a ridiculous amount of money on travel expenses? (Of course. But these days, “wedding” is synonymous with “reunion.” With everyone spread across the country, it’s pretty rare for so many of us to be together in one place.) Will I still be buying ridiculously expensive dresses? Yep. But here’s the wonderful part about both weddings: I was given a color and a few stylistic parameters and then ALLOWED THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE MY OWN DRESS!
This is pretty amazing.
It does two things:
First, it assures that I buy a dress I that I feel comfortable in, a dress that I know will be versatile enough to be used for other occasions.
Second, it justifies spending how much I’ve spent on these dresses. I am a thrift store addicted, garage sale shopping, clothing-a-holic. I love clothes (and have accumulated far too many), but it’s rare that I spend more than $20 on a single item. If I make an exception, I need a REALLY good reason for convincing myself that it is ok to do so; and a wedding is a PERFECT opportunity to find a vintage-style dress the like of which I have been coveting since I first learned of Modcloth.
Better yet, not only is a wedding justification for spending FAR MORE than I normally would for a dress, but the dress I selected is still FAR LESS expensive than a typical bridesmaid dress. Budget friendly, vintagey, elegant perfection!
The dress for wedding number two was waiting on my step yesterday when I arrived home from a long day of work followed by rehearsal; but I was so excited that I had to try it on immediately.
It was fresh from the shipping envelope, so it is in desperate need of being pressed, but isn’t it darling?
So, here we go again. Another round of weddings. Another set of new beginnings. Another stroll down an aisle in a dress that is definitely not white.
But at least this time, I won’t have to worry about forgetting the ring! 😉