This year around the time of our 4th anniversary, I did something crazy for myself: I bought myself a new wedding dress.
To some, this might seem crazy. For me, it was an integral part of my healing around our wedding.
In case you don’t know the story, let me tell you.
My wedding was surrounded by crazy. Everything that could’ve gone wrong, did.
Here is a list of things that went wrong/not the way I wanted:
-My hubby broke his hand at his bachelor party
-We were victims of fraud when we purchased our photographers plane ticket, and we didn’t find that out until about 3 weeks before the wedding
-I didn’t want a traditional bachelorette party, but we went ahead with that because I didn’t have the guts to stand my ground
-My bridesmaids didn’t all get along
-My sister and I got into a huge fight
-Our basement flooded the week before our wedding, and the area around our venues were flooded as well. This of course resulted in HUGE amounts of stress.
-My DJ tried to sleep with one of my bridesmaids
-My videographer was creepy
-An unwelcome guest decided to show up at my reception, which put me in quite a sour mood.
-I felt like there were things I wanted that no one paid attention to
-I am an introvert and I don’t like being around so many people for so long
-I ordered my wedding dress 1.5 years before my wedding, and by the time our wedding rolled around, I wished I had a different one. My hubby offered to buy me a new one, but I didn’t want to be so vain.
-It seemed like the day wasn’t exactly about our marriage…it was just a huge party. And that didn’t sit well for me.
I needed therapy for about a year after our wedding, and I also kind of became a hermit for that year. I didn’t want to see people, hang out with them, anything. Girls have so many preconceived notions about their wedding, and when it doesn’t turn out the way they thought, there are lots of negative emotions.
So since the hunk of burning love and I had such a tough year last year and didn’t kill each other or get a divorce, I wanted to do a vow renewal this year. Yeah yeah, it is only our 4th anniversary, but I still wanted to do it, and I wanted to do it the way I originally wanted it all. Well, needless to say, we didn’t travel to Italy or find ourselves atop a tall mountain, but I had a crazy idea one day while driving to Ankeny to see my bestie, Alicia.
I wanted to buy myself a new wedding dress.
We went to get a pedicure, then ventured over to a wedding dress consignment store. I thought I’d just look and see what I could find and what the prices were. Well, I tried on about 5 dresses, and a dress that I at first glossed over ended up being almost EXACTLY the one I wish I would’ve wore 4 years earlier.
This dress made me feel so beautiful, even being the heaviest weight I have ever been.
It is everything I wanted.
I fell in LOVE with this dress, and put half down on it.
A week later, I came back to pick it up. I had kept all this from my hubby, but my other best friend Sally, an associate with my photography company, knew my plans. We had a branding photoshoot scheduled, and I told my hubby we were getting some anniversary photos taken as well. Little did he know, I was waiting for him in my new wedding dress.
I even bought myself a bouquet of my favorite flowers, peonies, from Wildflower Florist in Reinbeck, Iowa, and I had cupcakes made by my friend Kiedra at Sweet Magic by Kiedra in Cedar Falls, Iowa. I had my hair done by Madi Bowen in Grundy Center, and my makeup was done by my dearest friend Alysha, who owns The Old Fifty-Six: barn weddings and events in Grundy Center, Iowa. I was giving myself some much needed closure on this whole wedding fiasco by pampering and doing things the way I wished they would’ve been.
So, did buying a new wedding dress work? Did it help me heal?
Yes. It did. It released the importance of that ONE DAY, that ONE DRESS. The day we decided to stay together last year almost means more to me than our wedding day. Choosing to marry someone isn’t nearly as difficult as choosing to STAY married when things seem impossible.
It also helped my money mindset as well. I saw what I wanted, I had the money, and I bought it because I knew it would bring me complete joy and closure on the pain and sadness I felt around that day.
I am not keeping this dress, just as I didn’t keep the first one. I would LOVE to keep it and wear it all the time, but honestly, I am losing weight, and it was too big when I bought it, and it will continue to get bigger as I get smaller. I also want to help another bride feel the joy I felt in it.
We hold onto material things too much in our culture because we care about the thing more than the emotions or memories, which is another reason why I’m selling it.
But I am so thankful for the joy it brought me while I was wearing it, and I am thankful that I did what I needed to do. It was definitely one unexpected way that I nourished myself this year.