Sam and Mark's Super Happy Wedding Funtime

Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Before I begin my lament on shoe shopping for the wedding, I’d just like to say I know that this is ridiculous. I know. I KNOW. Which is what makes the whole process that much more painful, I don’t want to be the woman absurdly complaining about shoe shape and color choices and yet HERE I AM. There are real problems in the world. People without access to safe medical care, safe drinking water, safety in their own lives, and here I am bitching about shoes.

Let us begin.

The trouble with getting creative with my dress color is it now limits my shoe options. A white dress? The world is your shoe shaped oyster. A blue dress? Well, now you have some limitations. The world is no longer your shoe oyster. It is one of those months without an ‘r’ in it and you shouldn’t risk it. Ok, I’m done with this metaphor now.

I’ll start with the fact that I have a pair of black dansko heels that I adore. They are comfortable, they are cute, I can wear them all day. I love these shoes so much sometimes I get a little misty just thinking about them. I would wear them to the wedding. Heck, I might still, but they are black. My dress is light blue. Tea length. And something about a heavy, dark shoe under the light blue skirts and ivory lace is just a little, well, wrong. It doesn’t fit the aesthetic.
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Originally, I wanted blue shoes. With a white dress, blue shoes are darling.
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But with a blue dress, blue shoes are rife with danger. They need to match but not match- they have to be in the same color family, darker maybe, but not too much darker. If the shoe is too navy then I am pretty much back to my problem with the black shoes and I might as well just wear those. I could dye shoes to match. Which is a thing people do. But gah, that’s work. Work I cannot be bothered with. And bring a fabric swatch shoe shopping? Um. Who do you think I am?

Look at all these lovely blues that won’t work:

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So. Blue is out. What color would go? An ivory would be nice. Or white. A twist on the theme- blue dress, white shoes. But have you spent any amount of time looking for white shoes? Let’s just say you get a lot of this:

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And I’m not ready for that. That said, I’m not really ready for this either:

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Apparently that’s a thing. A $2000 thing. I’m never going to be a proper modern woman.

So pretty much white is out. White, black, blue. Blerg. Maybe a nice neutral? Maybe. Maybe something with a retro feel? Yes. Retro. Kitten heel. Retro kitten heel!

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Ok. Maybe not that retro.

So the search continues. I am down but not yet out. And worst case, I wear my black shoes. Ugly with my Cinderella dress. Yep. But a hell of a lot better than a pair of crystal slippers…

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When I was a little girl I loved Cinderella. I wasn’t so much into princesses as I was into transformations. And I still am. I love a good makeover, be it a house, a room, or a tortured urchin.

I had the Golden Book of Cinderella. I loved the pictures. I loved that book so much I actually chewed on the corner of it because I think I wanted it to be part of me. Also because I was like 4. And 4 year olds are weird.

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I would spend hours and hours reading that book. Poor, unfairly treated Cinderella was cleaned up and sent to a ball where she met a handsome prince who fell head-over-heels in love with her. Cinderella worked so hard, was so kind, she deserved to be treated kindly, to get to dress up and go out and enjoy the wonderful ball. I loved that. I loved that her nasty, mean stepsisters, who were so bent on marrying the prince ended up being ignored in favor of this beautiful woman in a beautiful dress who was content with just going to the ball. It was a perfect story. Inner beauty gets a trip outside and you end up marrying a prince.

Monday my parents and I bought my wedding dress. It is wonderful and magical and blue. And I didn’t realize until describing it to my boss (who has a daughter of book-chewing age, obsessed with Cinderella’s blue dress) that I am wearing Cinderella’s dress. If Cinderella was in Mad Men.

As soon as I realized what I’d done I was horrified. I am not a princess bride. This is not me. I don’t want to be Cinderella.

Except. Well. I do. I guess I do. My mom (actual, not godmother and not fairy) bought me a beautiful dress. A dress I would have never bought myself. A dress that makes me feel lovely and fancy and wonderful. A dress that makes me feel like something special, something other than a normal person, something not unlike a princess. And while I’m not a fan of the princess, when my boss mentioned Cinderella something inside pinged. Like a little (chewed off) fragment of that silly book started glowing inside some long lost nook of my innards. The little girl who stared for hours and hours at the lovely blue gown on the cleaned up Cinderella smiled a great big ear to ear smile at the idea that she was going to get cleaned up and dressed up and get to marry her very own Prince Charming.

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When I was really sick last year I stayed home and watched every episode of “Say Yes to the Dress” available on NetFlix. Wedding dresses are a little silly. And brides who spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a dress they wear once, these women, these families, are effing crazy. But I watched them tear up and cry and hug and bridge generation gaps and have these moments that they would remember forever. And thanks to the power of television, be able to relive any time they felt like it.

And I cried with them (I had the flu!) and I laughed with them and I was so happy for them for finding this thing that brought them such emotion. And I was happy for myself that I would never, ever spend that much on anything. I was to practical. Too realistic. Too unsentimental for such trivial nonsense.

In the old days (of western culture),  if you were a a regular person, your wedding dress would just be your best dress. This was in a time when dresses were worn daily, so women had a best dress.  If you look to the past, the only people who wore gowns (and few were white) were nobility and they were showing off. Weddings were land deals and political maneuvers and you needed to put your money and power on display. Prominently.

Clever advertisers in post WWII America sold us on the idea of a big white ball gown. Just like De Beer’s sold us on forking over mad cash for a crazy diamond ring. The big white dress is a new thing. So getting all teary-eyed over tradition is just non-sense.

And yet anytime I’ve seen a friend in a stupid big white dress, I tear up.

So now that I’m faced with the prospect of getting my big white dress, I feel decidedly uneasy. Part of me thinks I should just find a really pretty dress, screw the word wedding, and be done with it. A nice party dress. Something I could wear AGAIN some day. Then there is another part of me, some weird twisted part of me that says no to this. This part of me is insisting I should forgo practicality and get a dress that screams (in my own special way) Wedding Dress. A dress I’ll only wear once. A dress that probably costs more that I am comfortable spending.

This is, of course, further complicated by my size. Most party dresses in my size are for older women on cruise ships. While, this may in the end fit the theme of my wedding (more on that later), I don’t think it fits my personal style.

These dresses scream “Isn’t that lovely, Mertyl?” and “I love shrimp cocktails” and “My what a fabulous buffet!” (Though, I do kinda like the gray one.) Overall, this is not what I want. I want a pretty, fancy dress, but these… these just are not right. I want something fun and fabulous and that doesn’t look like I pulled it off the “Mother of the Bride” rack at David’s. I’m the BRIDE, dammit! If I’m going to thwart tradition and avoid the this:

(though, it is lovely, isn’t it?)

Then I want to look really cool doing it. And chic. And young.  There, I said it, I want to look young. And like a bride. But a bride NOT in a wedding dress.

Practicality is probably not going to win this battle. Size will make it exceedingly difficult. And my own refusal to not wear a wedding dress but yet a wedding dress, is probably going to invoke some sort of stress spasm that may or may not require medication. In the end, it will be a gut feeling. Something will pull me and I’ll say “yes, that is it, that is the one.”

And I’ll probably get all teary-eyed and ridiculous.


Sam and Mark