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Posts Tagged ‘wedding dress’

I’m going to Tarantino this and go back in time to tell the story of how I got my wedding dress. I have to confess, I didn’t get it in Ireland. I got it in the States just before I moved here in August of ‘07. When I visited Ireland in April I priced the dresses here and, I’m sorry to say but, it just wasn’t in the budget. 

 While visiting my family in Florida two weeks before moving to Ireland, I ventured into David’s Bridal, a chain of bridal stores in the US. I wandered around the store gazing at all the gorgeous ‘out of my range’ dresses and came across a few I wanted to at least try on. I decided to not even look at the prices and just grab what I liked because an elbow to the ribs alerted me to the fact that it was a madhouse in there. Couldn’t believe I actually got a dressing room. Was there a mad rush of proposals in Orlando, Florida 

I got my favorite 5 dresses, grabbed my assistant, and ran into my dressing room. I tried on dress after dress checking myself out in the mirror and feeling like I was a kid playing dress up  I put on one dress twice because something about it really appealed to me. It was bright white, strapless, with no train. Sounds basic but the detail was just exquisite. A design of small flowers and iridescent beads were sewn on the bodice and the skirt had a slit that opened up in the front to reveal the same pattern. My assistant retrieved a tiara and veil for me to try on as well. 

Once the package was complete and I was wearing all accessories, I stood in front of the mirror and paused. I stared at myself. I couldn’t believe it was really my turn. I had visions of walking down the aisle and my handsome groom waiting for me at the altar. I even thought of how I’m going to have to walk alone with only my bouquet and a photo of my father. He passed away in September of 2003 and I swore I’d never get married after he died. It was the one thing I was looking forward to ever since my sister got married when I was twelve.  I noticed tears welling up in my eyes and quickly blinked them away. I didn’t want to spoil the occasion so I put on a big smile and asked what they thought.  

I saw the look in my family’s eyes. A combination look of disbelief that the baby of the family was finally getting married and amazement at how gorgeous the dresses made me look.  I took that as a good sign. It was light and comfortable and priced at only $400. Who could say no to comfort and affordability? As I’m looking at my family getting nods of approval, my assistant came over and nonchalantly mentioned that particular dress was ½ off. WHAT?? $200 for a wedding dress? 

We gasped at the price. Our mouths dropped and eyes bugged out of our heads like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I wasn’t sure if I should buy the first dress I fell in love with and so long before the wedding. I texted Anton and he quickly called back. After sounding like a giddy fool and asking ‘what should I do?’ he simply replied “Get it!” He was right, what was I thinking? At that price if I decided I didn’t like it anymore I could always buy another one! HA! I walked back over to my family and simply stated, “I’m getting my wedding dress today.”  

If you can’t afford a trip to the States to pick out a dress I have a few ideas. As I walked around Cork today I noticed Enable Ireland had gorgeous wedding dresses in the window. You can also check Oxfam, T.K. Maxx (I know someone who got a great deal on a gorgeous dress there), and antique shops. No one ever said you had to be the only one to get married in your dress.  Also family members might want to bequeath their dress to you. If it’s a little out of fashion you could always get it tailored to your specifications. Bye bye poofy arms, hello strapless.  Find out how much getting an entire dress made costs too. You might be able to find someone who will make a dress cheaper than a store bought one.  There are a number of ways to get the right dress for you at the right price. Sometimes you just have to get a little creative.  Happy hunting!   

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“Sold to the only bidder” 

The three months Anton and I spent apart were heartbreaking, to say the least. I guess there really aren’t any words to describe what I felt on a daily basis. I can only describe what happened to illustrate my despair. I’d added, to the list of feelings, guilt for not focusing on my houseguest enough. I would talk to Anton as much as humanly possible either on the computer or when he would bless me with a phone call. Leaving Mom to watch TV or putter around the house. On the flip side I thought she might have valued some alone time considering we were together 24/7 for 8 weeks, but my guilt didn’t see it that way. Mom’s not one for expressing herself verbally either so I really don’t know how she was feeling. All I knew is my heart ached for him. Every cell in my body missed having him next to me. And I couldn’t help but show it. The summer crept by.

Normally I would’ve loved the long hot summer days of New York, but this year it was a test of my patience.  It was the perfect amount of time to sell all of my things though. I sold my car on my birthday which was one hell of a present. In just one weekend had the rest of my stuff sold in a ‘household sale’ or had taken it to the Salvation Army. I know they are just things, but when you’re lying in bed late at night staring at the ceiling unable to sleep, you start thinking of all the things you used to have. Things that made your house feel like a home lived in. Things you had for years and grew attached to seeing sitting on a shelf or hanging nicely on the wall. All of that was one. Sold to the bidder.

 Empty House 

Looking around my empty apartment and hearing the hollowed halls put another ache in my heart. I missed my gorgeous extremely under-priced apartment with the coolest landlord a girl could ask for and I hadn’t even left yet. I remembered the girls’ night out parties I’d had where the remaining crew crashed on my couch or living room floor. And the times Anton and I had spent together there. Memories of our first few weeks of getting to know and love one another etched themselves into the walls. That chapter of my life was coming to a close and it was bittersweet.  

“So here’s where the fun begins” 

Now mind you those three months weren’t a completely depressing. Mom and I had a blast going to the casinos in Niagara Falls, cruising the beach in New Hampshire, visiting family and friends I hadn’t seen in years, and hitting the gym on a regular basis. Mom’s a health nut like me. Then my last 2 weeks in the States we went to Florida where Mom lives and I visited my family there too. It was the longest vacation of my life and the only thing that didn’t make it perfect was Anton wasn’t there to enjoy it with me. He was in Ireland working his arse off trying to get our new business venture off the ground. God Bless ‘em. 

 Bemus Point, NY       Mom and I Niagara Falls      Some Of My Family

OK the three months are up and I’m on my way to greener pastures. My family all brought me to the airport because, let’s face it, who knows when I’ll see them again. That was a fiasco in itself because Mom wanted to drop me at the curb but Sis wanted nothing to do with that idea. She made it very clear that she was going to spend every last second with me before I left. So here’s where the fun begins.Sis tells Mom to go with her friend, who was nice enough to drive my whole family to the airport, and park the car. Then meet us inside where we’ll get lunch together. Well I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Orlando International Airport but you can get lost going to the bathroom in your own terminal. So long story short we send my Niece on a hunt for Mom and friend and almost lose her in the process.

Finally after about 20 minutes, I board the plane in 45, we find each other. There was a bout of finger pointing and accusations of miscommunication thrown back and forth but the grin on my face remained. I was beyond the point of caring about anything else but who I was going to see after over half a day of traveling. Nothing could get me down anymore. I had my wedding dress in a plastic garment bag draped over my arm causing it to sweat profusely and 3 heavy suit cases to lug around until I checked in, but it was all worth it.  Lunch is over, I kissed everyone goodbye 3 times, and then I was off to my terminal.

Flight departed on time and made it to New Jersey an hour early. No biggie right, wrong! We had to sit on the tarmac for that hour. If you know anyone from Jersey you know they aren’t a quiet bunch. So kids were screaming, parents were joining in, and single childless people like me could only roll our eyes to the back of our heads so much before it became a migraine. Did I mention I was in the 5 row from the back of the plane? Claustrophobia anyone?  We finally taxi in and shuffle off the plane. Now I only have one large and one small suitcase to carry as well as my wedding dress which, by the way, is still making my arm sweat. I get to my connecting flight and notice the sign over the desk is flashing ‘Dublin’ ‘Shannon’ ‘Dublin’ ‘Shannon’. Wait a sec. Does that mean I have to fly to Dublin first? I got in line and asked the first person who made eye contact what that meant. He assured me I had to go through Dublin first, wait an hour, then fly to Shannon. Could this suck any more? Three months apart and now another hour tacked on? I decided at that point I was already too exhausted to care. Apparently the family feud at the Orlando airport and all the excitement of seeing Anton again stressed me out when I wasn’t looking.

 “…and doesn’t so much as smile as she spits in my cornflakes.” 

Dublin wasn’t eventful. Just sat on the plane and chatted with the flight crew for a bit. Flash forward to arriving in Shannon. I get off the plane and go to the security checkpoint. I get my passport stamped and pick up my luggage. I’m just about to walk out to see my love, the man I’d been longing to see for months and out of no where this woman, this ginger, stops me.  She asks me what’s in the garment bag. I reply that it’s my wedding dress. She then asks me if I’m getting married. Trying as hard as possible not to sound sarcastic I smile and say yes. Then she asks if I’m getting married in Ireland. Another smile and yes from me. Then, get this, she says, “Well make sure you take it with you when you leave Ireland.” THAT BITCH!!! If Anton hadn’t been right on the other side of that depressingly gray door I would have slapped the scowl off her face. Way to shit on my parade.  I understand that they have a job to do, making sure I didn’t bring that one dress in from America on my sweaty arm to sell and make a profit, God forbid. It’s the attitude that gets me. Someone who sees how obviously excited I am in my reply and doesn’t so much as smile as she spits in my cornflakes. I just grunted and walked past her through the abysmal gray doors to my new life. 

And there he was.  

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