Oh Happy Day!
After the Wedding – Lake Harriet – Katie took this picture.
She gently took me from the car and carried me like a newborn baby. Each step up the stairs, she held me a little higher. When we got to the bedroom, she swung open the closet door. She reached up to set me at the top of the closet so I could stretch down. When she unfastened the plastic, the bottom part fell. The ladies at the dress shop told her to unwrap me so I wouldn’t wrinkle. Even though she wasn’t the one who would wear me, she let out a sigh of relief because she didn’t want me to get dirty. It was her daughter, Laura, who chose me.
“It took her a while to figure out what kind of style she liked,” I heard the mom say once. Once she figured that out, it didn’t take her very long to find me. After Laura ordered me, and I was all put together, I was shipped to the bridal shop. It took four months before Laura got to try me on. I waited patiently in a closet. I heard people go in and out everyday. It seemed like forever before Laura came to see me. When the lady reached up to pull me off the pole, I thought she was going to take down the dress next to me. When she held onto my hanger, I couldn’t believe it was finally my turn.
The person took me upstairs to hang me on another pole for a while. I was wrapped in plastic, but I heard them coming up the steps. They seemed excited to see me. Their voices were loud and filled with laughter. It sounded like three different types of giggles. They walked right by me and sat down on the sofa. I don’t think they knew I was hanging right next to where they were sitting.
The seamstress helped Laura put me on and then the others came in. Now that the plastic was off, and Laura was wearing me, we both looked in the mirror at each other. I liked the way we looked together, and I thought we made quite a striking pair. It’s like we made each other shine somehow.
When I looked at the other two ladies in the room, I could tell by the look on their faces that they thought I looked good. The way their voices softened told both of us they approved. The seamstress suggested adding a few alterations so the bride would be more comfortable on the day of the wedding.
Laura came back to see me a few more times – sometimes with different ladies but always with her mom. Laura’s future mother-in-law suggested that the belt would look better sewn close to the bodice instead of around the waist, and everyone agreed. The next time they had to make sure the hem was the proper length. Each time they came, I knew it was getting a little closer to the day when we would get to walk down the aisle together. The last time they came, the seamstress showed the mom how to fasten the buttons and put up the bustle.
Now as I stayed hanging in the house where the bride grew up, I knew the big day was going to be tomorrow. That night the house was quiet, but when they came back, it felt like a lot of energy was buzzing about. Laura came into her bedroom and looked at me hanging on the door. It wouldn’t be much longer before we would get to celebrate. We would see how all the preparations would fall together.
The next morning, the doorbell kept ringing as ladies arrived bringing more bubbling energy with them. Happy voices traveled up the stairs as the morning went on. Then the time arrived when Laura took me down from the door. Her hair was swept up like a princess. She carried me to the car, and we went to church. When we arrived, the photographer took me for a while and took pictures of me in front of a window to make shadows in the sun. After my solo picture, the mom and bridesmaids helped Laura put on her dress careful not to ruin her hair or smudge her makeup. The mom closed up the back by using a hair pin to grab the little string to wrap it around each little button just like the seamstress showed her.
“Whew,” she sighed. “I remember my wedding night and how it took the groom a very long time to unfasten the buttons…” A few more giggles traveled around the room. After Laura was all ready to go, lots of pictures were taken inside and outside. The temperature was cool, but Laura didn’t shiver.
“People are starting to come,” said Marilyn, the coordinator who volunteered at the church.
“They are?” the mom said as if she was shocked that everything was going the way it was planned.
“Yes,” Marilyn said with a smile – like she’d seen this sort of thing before. “You’ll need to stay in the nursery and hide before you make your grand entrance.”
The priest quickly stopped by to say hello and to give a few instructions to the bride. After Father left, the father-of-the-bride came in to say, “They told me to come in here right when everyone was starting to show up. I wanted to say hello to a few people!”
“I guess we’re supposed to do that later,” the mom said. Marilyn came back in to let the bridesmaids know it was time for them to walk down the aisle. I waited with Laura and her mom and dad. It was very quiet in the room. Off in the distance, we could hear the organist playing Ave Maria.
“It’s time for you to go,” she said. We walked out to the commons. Marilyn and the other volunteer closed the doors to the entrance after the groom and his parents walked down the aisle. All was quiet. The organist began to play Canon in D by J. Pachelbel while we stood together. Laura’s dad linked his arm through his daughter’s arm, and the mom held onto Laura’s elbow. I felt little shivers coming from the mom. Everyone else seemed to be calm.
“Oh, my god,” the mom said very quietly.
“Mom!” said Laura.
“Whoops,” Mom mumbled. Marilyn gave us the thumbs up sign, and we walked to the doors.
“Are you ready?” We gave a unanimous nod, and the ladies pulled the two big wooden doors open to show us the guests. As we walked down the aisle, some people nodded and smiled at us – Great Uncle Jack gave us the thumbs up sign. When we met the groom at the altar, there were hugs and handshakes and sharing of “love you” among the four. Laura and I walked up two little steps with the groom who soon became Laura’s husband.
As the day went on, I didn’t stay ivory clean as the mom hoped. Only once that entire day did my bustle come undone, and it was during the reception. After Mom pinned it up, she said, “Oh, look how dirty your dress is on the bottom!”
“That means the bride is having a good time,” said a voice from a corner of the bathroom. From what I saw, it looked like everyone knew how to celebrate good times! I’m glad to have done my part of being the wedding dress. This special occasion was celebrated a year ago today. Now it’s time to celebrate another special occasion: Laura and Michael’s first wedding anniversary!
An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today,
the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow. ~Author Unknown