I just tried on a wedding dress. You will note that I say, ‘a wedding dress’, as it was not ‘THE wedding dress’. It is not the one that I agonised over for weeks winter. It’s not the one I have my knickers right-royally in a twist over. That one is THE wedding dress.
At this point you may be wondering what the shizzle I am doing trying on wedding dresses at 9.30 on a Thusday night in pandemic-induced lockdown, smelling of hay and beef tacos. Especially as I had a black sports bra on underneath it. Especially when Grand Designs was in full swing downstairs. Especially as I have already chosen ‘the dress’ that I will be wearing on the wedding day.
Because of the distance some of our guests will be travelling, it was always our intention that we would milk the event for all its worth. All planned was the pre-wedding meet‘n’greet supper for those from distant lands. The post-wedding hair-of-the-dog BBQ was in hand. Naturally, the sun was booked months in advance.
Only, COVID came. COVID cancelled the wedding.
Anyone that follows this blog will know that in a whirlwind, most of the wedding was rearranged and we thought little more about it until close to the original date. At that point, despite our very best efforts at stoicism and perspective, it hurt a little. And you know what they say: once bitten…
Consequently, the details left to be fixed-up in April remained unresolved even into December. I couldn’t face it. I hadn’t the heart or the enthusiasm to muster. Besides, compared to the backdrops that loomed ominously over so many at Christmas 2020 – loss, grief, unemployment, loneliness – compared to all that, having no generator for the caterers at our wedding seemed pretty unimportant. Concern for the lack of toilets booked seemed positively farcical. Please note that here, given the grievousness of the situation, I refrained from the ‘fartical’ pun my fingers itched for.
My mood blackened with the winter skies and I sank. I trudged through the winter’s muck. I haven’t even used false tan since early November.
Recognising that I had to do something, I bought Christmas decorations, completed jigsaws instead of posting on my blog. I ate all the strawberry dreams from tins of Roses and then I ate the rest.
Then it happened. There she was: the dress. She appeared on an Instagram feed quite out of the blue. I had first seen her in the summer, but on account of her price tag, I had left her where she was. Except now – as if by magic and nothing to do with cookies – she was there before me again and I knew she had to come home, because not only was she still just as gorgeous, she was on sale! Hallelujah!
It was the kick up the botty I needed. It was the beauty I needed to draw me away from any more strawberry dreams. For now.
Still, when she arrived, I placed her packaging down unopened until tonight. I was afraid how my pallid complexion would appear in anything but a thermal base layer. I was afraid of the Bolivia-sized backside I have grown. Tonight was crunch time. I had to bite the bullet else it would pass the point of sending her back even if she looked like a plastics recycling bag.
Alas, I should not have worried. The particularly pretty, high-street wedding dress I have now hung in the wardrobe is the first step towards elevating the wedding celebrations to be that little bit ‘extra’. She has become my Sunday dress. She made my heart skip a beat. Crucially, it wasn’t because I thought for a minute Bolivia wouldn’t make it down through the open zip. It wasn’t even the relief that Bolivia didn’t get stuck or even get a little friction burn on the fastening. (That has happened). In spite of hat hair, black sports bra and even purple thermal socks, I found her image delightful, and she made me look ok, too. I swooned, and as a result, I will officially not be wearing the jeans and T-shirt I would otherwise have worn to the Sunday post-wedding hair-of-the-dog bash. Also, you heard it here first: said bash will now be a boozy tea party in honour of my Sunday dress and all her frilly frivolity.
I remain unconvinced that the day will go ahead as planned. I remain sceptical that our full guest list will be invited. I remain even more sceptical that our full guest list will be able to step aboard a plane to the UK just for our wedding. But now, thanks to the dress, I’m writing again, not because I’m paid to or because I have been asked for a contribution, but because it’s what I love. I’m back to milking our wedding. I’m thinking of all the ways it can be made ‘extra’ without blowing the budget and without either the bouncy castle Rhys refuses to contemplate or the drink-serving-donkeys that my mother won’t even discuss.
I’ve left searching for toilets to Rhys. I figured if I was feeling metaphorically shit about the day, thinking about the actual shitter that may or may not be there is not for me. Besides, I don’t think luxury loo units come with a sufficient array of variants that I need concern myself with finding ‘the one’. Unlike dresses, and unlike the next item on the hitlist: shoes. If nothing else, just like frills and puffy sleeves and bold colours, exquisite shoes have a habit of making me extremely happy, if only for a time. Afterall, it’s like my least favourite supermarket once claimed, ‘every little helps’.