Monday, January 7, 2013

The Bride Of Frankenstein...No, It's Just Me!

A fashion faux pas is a lot like a football game. You go out there thinking you’re playing your “A” game,  thinking you did okay...even great. And then Monday morning...or in my case, years later, you look back at the replay and realize you stunk up the place...and in my case, so did my outfit.  How can one person be so completely in control (or at least think they are), and then upon further evaluation, suck? 

Every little girl (at least I did) dreams about her wedding day--the day when she dons a beautiful flowing white gown, and to the oohs and aahs of her guests (and groom) makes a grand entrance from behind two gargantuan sliding wooden doors. And as she virtually glides down the middle aisle, her bright face and glistening eyes can be seen peeking from behind a delicate veil made of some diaphanous fabric.

There is no bride who is not a breathtaking vision of loveliness on her wedding day.

This is the point of the story where the dj causes the needle to jump and an earsplitting scratching sound can be heard. That noise is in response to my last statement and is meant to let you know that things did not go according to plan at my wedding. 

I, being the contrarian that I was almost 27 years ago, decided that since I was not getting married in a traditional setting--the wedding was at the home of a friend--I would not be wearing the traditional wedding attire. It was too gouche! And what’s really odd is that no one tried to talk me out of it.

I made my way down to New York City’s garment district and visited a friend who worked there. She and I looked through what seemed like an endless array of dresses until I found one that I thought was perfect: a strapless, beaded, tiered cocktail dress. It was the color of champagne and the beads twinkled and blinked as the light hit them. I can’t say I felt like a bride when I tried it on, but I didn’t really know what a bride was supposed to feel like. The fact that I was swimming in it should have told me I was making a rash decision, but I “knew” what I wanted, and how could I not find a good tailor in NYC?

The tailor turned out to be a little, old Italian man in New Jersey. There weren’t many New York tailors who wanted to deal with alterations of such magnitude.

And so it was, almost 9 months later that I did finally walk down the aisle of my very nontraditional wedding wearing my very nontraditional wedding dress. And I and everyone else loved the time.

But the Monday morning quarterback reared his ugly head years later, when my husband and I were watching the film, “Cocoon,” about a group of elderly residents living in a retirement home. During a scene that took place at a nightclub, actress Gwen Verdon came onto the screen. My husband then turned to me and said, “Hey, isn’t that your wedding dress?”

And son of a gun, there it was, a dress that was a dead ringer (excuse the pun) for my dress on a 70-year-old woman! Yup, that was my dress allright. After that night I went home and pulled out my wedding photos. I know hindsight is 20/20, but what was I thinking??

I’m sure there are many people out there who can say they’ve had fashion fiascos, but how many of those were on their wedding day? When I look at those pictures now, I think of those dolls whose legs are stuck deep down into the center of a birthday party cake, with the cake being the dress. Not a good way to remember what I looked like on one of the most important days of my life.

I guess I should be happy about the fact that the marriage outlived the usefulness of the dress. I do still have it, though--it’s hanging in the closet. And I may still wear it--in about 25 years or so.

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  1. I think those cake dolls are beautiful and I'm sure you were too!

  2. Oh Mindy - I love this post! You made me smile in that very special way that any woman searching for a "non traditional" wedding dress does... and then looking back years later and shaking her head.

    The irony?

    I ended up in something very traditional at the time - all far too flouncy for Little Me (and not really what I wanted). I look at the pictures now and realize how lucky the men are that their classic tuxedos generally remain classic - and our choices? Not so much.

    But I still bet you felt like a million bucks, and your groom no doubt beamed as he saw you. And that, as I recall, makes it all worthwhile.

  3. No fair Monday Morning Quarterbacking! If you thought you looked beautiful at the time, you looked beautiful.

  4. I agree with ByJane.

    I'm so glad you loved it at the time and still have it! It makes me sad when I go to a consignment store and see all those bridal dresses that are no longer wanted! I wouldn't trade mine for the world!

  5. Smile. Thank goodness it the the husband and not the dress that matters!!

  6. Too funny! Hold on to the dress and maybe you can wear it again when you renew your vows at 70!

  7. I think we should all get a pass for wedding day apparel. Too many expectations or responses against expectations to negotiate.

  8. When we're young, and impetuous, we're prone to make rash decisions and decide we don't need to do things like everybody else. I'm sure you were lovely on your wedding day despite your non-traditional approach. But take heart. Champagne is a big color in the mother-of-the bride/groom gig. You might still wear that dress yet, and way before 70.

    P.S. I do still want to see a picture of it. :-)

  9. You had me laughing with the visual of the screeching music as the turntable arm made its way across the playing record.

    I give you credit for having such strong opinions at a young age. You were your authentic self long before most of us. I walked down the aisle in a traditional (but gorgeous) dress and would never had considered doing anything else; I just wasn't that sure of myself in my twenties. Good for y

  10. WHAT? No photo? So disappointed!
    I was one of those unusual girls who NEVER dreamed about her wedding or her dress!!!
    -Laura Lee

  11. Funny :>) I am still trying to visualize the dress, but the important thing is that marriage lasted.

  12. I had a Princess Diana looking wedding dress with big puffy sleeves and a long train. The only thing bigger was my hair. I'm still trying to forget the image.

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  14. Ellen, The marriage did last, and yes, that is what is important. And when I can get a hold of all my photos in storage, I will post all the ones I've been crabbing about!