Since I was 6 years old, I have dreamed of walking down the aisle arm in arm with my proud father, all eyes on me in my fairy tale bridal gown. In my dreams, jaws drop to the floor and tears appear in my guests' eyes. However, now that I am actually going to be taking this walk, I realized that my fantasies are a tad far fetched, and that I had no idea what kind of wedding dress I actually wanted. Adding to my dilemma was the fact that I would rather shove bamboo shoots under my nails then “go shopping” and try clothes on. This is actually one of my least favorite tasks in the world, and always has been. Online shopping has revolutionized my world, but I knew this method of selecting outfits would not fly for this occasion. Therefore, I had to come up with a plan to ease my pain, as well as the pain of those who were accompanying me. Step one of my plan was choosing which boutiques I wanted to visit. Thanks to my wedding planner, Sally Berry at Mother of the Bride, I was told that I only needed to go to two places to start, and I could make both appointments for the same day. Hot dog! Could I possibly find my dream gown in one day? I suddenly became determined to “say yes to the dress” within 24 hours of my appointments. Following the advice of Sally, appointments were booked at Posh Bridal in Wayzata and L’atelier Couture in Minneapolis. Step two of my master plan was to select who I wanted to escort me for this very important day. If I was going to find my dress after two appointments, I knew that I needed all hands on deck. My mom and mother-in-law were a shoe-in but I was worried they would like everything I tried on and cry the whole time (at least my mom). I needed someone to tell me if I looked like a sequined cupcake or exotic bird in the dresses, so I recruited my sister to fly down from Canada for the day. If anyone would tell me the truth, it was Meredith. Another straight shooter, Marialice Harwood, also joined us. Marialice has been my mom’s best friend for many years and I knew I could count on her for the truth!
As I slipped into my first gown, I was surprised at how relaxed I felt. I always thought that trying on wedding dresses would be some sort of surreal out-of-body experience, but I felt so comfortable with Annie. Another surprise came in the lack of my mother’s tears. Sometimes I can make her cry just by looking at her—what was going on? Clearly this was becoming an experience that was much more fun and lighthearted than we all thought! While the first gown was absolutely beautiful, my sister was concerned that it had a bit of a peacock look to it. Though I didn’t feel like I had a tail feather, there was something about it that didn’t quite jive with me. After receiving a quick round of “It’s pretty, but let’s see something else” from my entourage, I returned to the dressing room ready for dress number two. There was something about this dress I loved. As soon as I had it on I knew it was in the running to be “the one.” I was also sure that my mom and mother-in-law would love it, but I still had to face my sister and make sure that I didn’t look like a bird or pastry item. As I walked out of the dressing room, my mom couldn’t contain her tears (finally!) and my sister’s face beamed with approval. I instantly knew that I was wearing my wedding dress. Even though I was sure I wouldn’t want any other dress but the one I had on, I agreed to humor the group and throw on a few more. While they could have stayed on those plush black couches while sipping mimosas and snacking on scones all day, we agreed that it was mission accomplished! We attended our second appointment at L’atelier, and I tried on some gorgeous dresses, but my heart was set on the one at Posh. I consider myself very lucky to have had such a great support system with me, and know that this was a day I will remember forever—maybe shopping isn’t so bad after all!