The Wedding Dress

When a mother dreams of her daughter's wedding day she has visions of the flowing white gown and a beautiful bouquet.  She pictures her husband, the father of the bride, walking their daughter down the aisle, arm in arm while tears of happiness blur her view.

Never in those days of anticipating her daughter's Cinderella day did she once think about something equally important - the shopping for the wedding dress. But, as the mother of the bride soon learns there are many  tedious steps that need to be taken before the glorious event of walking down the aisle.

As a newcomer to the bridal scene I pretty much thought that if you've seen one white wedding dress you've pretty much seen them all. Did I not learn anything from the past experience of shopping for Prom gowns?  This, I was to learn, would be an experience like no other. The hangers each held a variety of styles.  There were the poofy-foo-foo dresses with yards and yards of material. There were A-lines, straight lines and mermaid styles for the slimmest of the slim.  Organza, tulle, satin, silk and lace were just the tip of the fashion fabric iceberg.

Patiently, I sat and watched as my darling daughter modeled a medley of gorgeous gowns, one prettier than the next. Any one of them could have been the perfect one.  Whether fancy lace or simple satin - they all looked flawless on her petite size 6 frame. Fear of commitment seemed to be what spurned her on to visit other bridal salons.

It wasn't too long ago I had been in a similar situation, but that was senior prom and I thought that was cause for an ultimate Tylenol moment!  I can tell you now that shopping for a prom gown pales in comparison, and rightly so.  This is a big day; one that will  not only live on as a memory in our hearts but  that will also  live forever on the wall in the form of a framed photograph of this merry milestone in all our lives.  So, it was, with minimal complaint from me, that we searched and searched some more.

I was becoming quite good at going with the flow and I began to enjoy the outings.  Oohing and ahhing became as natural as breathing as my daughter modeled these fantasy gowns before me. Finally she had it narrowed down to three.  All were similar in style, all looked stunning and beautiful but still no commitment from the bride to be. I was now in the 'going with the flow' mode and knew she would eventually find what she was looking for.

And, it did indeed happen, quite by chance.  Browsing through a salon she chose a dress from the rack that I wouldn't have guessed she'd take a second look at. Her decision to try it on would change the course of our shopping adventures.  It would also signal the beginning of the we  ddingplanning. No sooner had she slipped into this creative vision of splendor and we both knew this was thee dress for her.

There was my little girl, standing there in a white wedding gown; a white wedding veil with tiny sparkles of crystal and bugle beads trimming the edges that softly caressed her shoulders. The sight brought tears to my eyes.

The message hit home as I watched her gracefully step in front of the long triple wide mirrors. My baby girl is getting married!  There is no turning back only going forward, toward a new life with the man she loves.

Time is flying by so fast!  We've reserved the church, we have the reception hall, the DJ has been booked and the photographer has been hired. And as the date draws ever near I know the hardest part for me will be accepting that my little girl will be leaving home to make her own home and family with the man she will soon marry. For her, finding the perfect wedding dress signals the excitement of new beginnings. For me this a lesson in learning to let go, slowly and gracefully as the sound of wedding bells ring out in her not so distant future.

~ Kathy Whirity ~

Bio: Kathy Whirity lives in Chicago where she shares her life and love with her husband of 28 years, Bill, their two daughters Jaime and Katie, and two rambunctious retrievers Holly and Hannah. Kathy is a family life columnist for two area newspapers.

[ By: Kathy Whirity Copyright © 2005 -- submitted by: Kathy Whirity ( ]


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