Our second daughter is getting married next year. Next May 31st, to be exact. But, with all the hustle and bustle going on now you'd think it was THIS May. Yesterday we made the trip to the Bridal Store - otherwise known as "the place where everyone will tell you how beautiful you are no matter how terrible you look and charge you a small fortune besides".
Daughter 2, the bride, doesn't want to leave anything " 'til the last minute" so there we were: the bride, bride's older sister, best friend, and flower girl (Princess Granddaughter) and me, the mother-of-the bride (MOTB). The bride had already picked out her dress on a previous visit, so she obviously wasn't seeking anyone's opinion on THAT. But, when you're a size 2, how bad can you look in anything? Older sister is loaning the bride her veil (her something borrowed) and generously brought along the veils, which had been heirloomed with the dress in a hermetically sealed box, which then had to be opened in order for the bride to try them on with the dress. I thought this extremely nice, as it will cost well over $100 for daughter 1 to re-preserve her dress and veils once daughter 2's wedding is over.
It's a funny feeling to see your baby trying on her gown and seeing her dreams in her eyes. The attendants twitched and adjusted the dress, train, and veils until the perfect picture emerged. The flower girl played 'toss the bouquet' with the bride, who patiently played along (even when the bouquet narrowly missed a display of tiaras). MOTB took numerous pictures of the process and made approving comments when asked for an opinion. Word of advice to future mothers-of-the brides: your opinion only matters if it agrees with the bride's. You can tell her that you disagreed with her ONLY after she's come to that decision herself.
Another word of advice for mothers-of-the brides (and brides): set your budget BEFORE going to the store and only try on dresses in that price range otherwise you will find yourself spending 2-10 times more. OF COURSE the more expensive dresses will look better. They have better tailoring, more detail, and more luxurious fabrics. But it's only worn once and unless you have an unlimited fund to draw from, will anyone REALLY notice the difference? Of course not. Plus, by the time you add in the veils, tiara, special undergarments and shoes, you'll be spending more than you thought you would anyway. What mother can say "no" when her daughter looks like Cinderella off to the ball?
Then we come to the part where the maids tried on dresses so they could pick a style. The bride had already picked out a color - pale pink - that made the two attendants look pallid and washed-out. But, good friend and sister that they are, they sucked it up and went with it (I think that's written in the bridal attendant contract). But then an amazing thing happened: one of the maid's sample dresses wasn't available in the requisite color in her size so she tried it on in a color altogether different than what the bride had in mind. Fast forward, bride changes mind, and we have a new color palette! Thank goodness. The new color actually flatters the bridesmaids' coloring, and the girls have many styles to choose from in that color so they can pick something that flatters their figures, too.
I think that I have two beautiful daughters. I'm so very proud of the women they've become. Way back when they were both little girls it was hard to imagine exactly how they'd turn out. I would say that RW and I are very lucky.