no bows, no silk, no tulle

To start at the beginning- go to Part 1.

Upon returning from Panama, we got right down to business and tried to set a date for our big day.  We knew it would be sooner rather than later, because heck, we were older and knew what we wanted.  What was the point of dragging out the oh-so-torturous segment called “engagement”?  When it came down to it, there was only one date that worked between everyone…and it happened to be Bart’s birthday- his golden birthday to be exact.  It was a mere four months away.

Due to the fact that I’d been a bridesmaid about ten times, I knew exactly what I wanted and what I didn’t.  The problem came when I began discovering what a Jersey wedding was…what Bart was accustomed to versus what I had always known.  The summer we were engaged, I think I attended five weddings with Bart and each one was more extravagant than the next.  While I was impressed and in awe (especially by the fact that there was more than enough food to stuff myself before we even sat down for dinner), there was no way I wanted my wedding to reflect this fancy status quo.  Oh, and the bigger issue- we had a budget, a very small budget.

Bart and I clashed in our ideas of the perfect wedding so many times that I often threw my hands up in the air and asked begged to elope.  I wanted casual, he wanted formal; I wanted appetizers and dessert, he wanted a full course meal; I wanted a small wedding party, his groomsmen list started at 16.  It was quite humorous though, because a few months into the engagement I finally broke down and sobbed- telling him that I was tired of compromising all of my childhood dreams…slightly dramatic I will admit.  But it came out that Bart was mostly voicing his opinion because he thought that’s what a supportive fiance was supposed to do.  In truth, he could care less about most everything but he wanted to love me well and thought this was a good way to show it.

Phew.  After that monumental break-through, it was much more smooth sailing.

One funny memory (that wasn’t so funny at the time) was when I decided to go wedding dress shopping.  I had planned on taking some girlfriends for the real thing, but beforehand was scoping out where to go.  I had already nixed many bridal boutiques because I knew I wouldn’t find what I was looking for there…my list for a dress consisted of everything that I did not want it to be…no lace, no buttons, no strapless, beads, bows, silk, frills, ruffles, tulle, poof…and on and on it went.  So, one afternoon I was driving to work and passed a store called “Barefoot Bridal”.  Since our plan was to get married on or near the beach, I thought this boutique might be the answer, especially since I wanted to go barefoot on my wedding day.

I timidly walked through the doors and was instantly greeted by an older woman who asked the normal questions and then suggested I look around a bit while she checked another customer out.  I zipped through the whole store so fast that I had to stop myself halfway through and pretended to be interested a little.  The saleswoman came back and offered a fitting room to me, which I declined because I hadn’t found a single dress I liked.  She insisted that I try something on, if only just to get an idea…I politely refused several times before giving in and following her to the dressing room.  After helping me into a random dress, I held back my disgust while she excused herself to answer a phone call.  That’s when I saw my ticket- and yanked the ugly gown off, threw on my clothes and tried unsuccessfully to sneak out of the store…the saleslady called out to me at least twice but I completely ignored her.  I remember feeling like I had escaped a small prison- ha- and that evening I logged onto and ordered 3 wedding dresses to be delivered to my house, where I could try them on alone.  My dress was one of those three.

to be continued…


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