November 4, 2010

Let the Wedding Planning Commence!

Posted in Wedding Wonders at 8:38 PM by goingbeyondzebra

Well, as you all know, I have now been home from Italy since the end of August. I couldn’t have asked for a better summer, and it ended more perfectly than I could have ever dreamed!

After a week or so of relaxing and catching up on some much needed sleep, I spent the next month and a half doing what almost everyone, especially those my age, seem to be doing right now: job hunting. About three weeks ago God finally saw fit to answer my fervent prayers with a yes and I procured a job as a personal assistant to a lady who runs a sign language interpreting business! So far it has been going really well, it’s about 32 hours a week which is good for me right now, so I am pretty excited.

All well and good, but that’s not the real news. The real news is that the first major wedding purchase has been acquired. To get to that however, we need to start at the beginning… *insert whooshing noises, blurred images going by, and harp music in ascending scales*

It was a chilly, but beautiful Sunday morning that found me huddled on the stone steps with two of my friends, Stephanie and Jessica, and my mother. Several other young woman of my approximate age stood or sat around us, chatting cheerily about styles, fabrics, and wedding dates. The conversation between my friends and I was a little less obvious, since we were seeing each other for the first time in about a month, we stuck mostly to life topics of jobs, goals, and loved ones. My mother sat mostly quietly by, interjecting every now and then while whipping away at the cross-stitch pattern that’s been occupying much of the free time of her hands.

One o’clock chimed and the excitement mounted as the doors to the shop we’d all been waiting on opened. The first of us entered in a whirl of excitement, taking instructions and signing our names to wait for our turn to be called. Colors rushed around as swirls of fabric crowded our views, and while the bridesmaids dresses in the front were nice, not many could be entertained by them for long, as the real prize lay behind the counter. Shades of white glistened and crystals glimmered in the reflection of the light, but to get to the treasured area, we must wait our turn.

Mother lost herself in the crowd and dresses appropriate for her part in the wedding, as my conversation with my friends finally turned to suitable topics. How did I want to look? What style was I going for? Did I have a particular fabric I wanted? All these questions and more invaded my mind as I contemplated what seemed to be one of the most momentous decisions I would ever make. Saying yes to my fiancé seemed easy compared to this!

What was that? Can you repeat that name please? Yes, that’s me! It was now my turn to enter the garden of white and envelope myself in whatever gratified my senses. Mom suddenly reappeared from the masses and the four of us headed back to stake our claim amongst the other brides-to-be.

I was given three green clothes pins to pick out dresses to start with, and after perusing the sale section (which was the reason so many of us had flocked to the store at once) with my “entourage” we decided on three dresses I would like to begin trying on. We were ushered to a room and a cheery lady named Sandra (who unknowingly started our conversation in Spanish, having just finished translating for someone), zipped and fluffed and pinned me into my first dress. It was a sweet lace and chiffon dress with a decent train that looked gorgeous, and I thought it was the one, but I had to try on more just to see. Unzip, step out, step in, re-zip, pin, and I was out again, showing off on a pedestal in front of humongous mirrors and a small gathering of people. It too was pretty, and for $25 (marked down from around $900), it would almost be worth the buy just because. But it didn’t quite seem it, so on we go!

The third was a gorgeously beaded, strapless gown with a cute belt that looked appropriate for a winter wedding. Now I was torn. Pretty lace that, according to my wonderful friends, had a very Celtic flair to it, or the sparkly, winter wonderland gown, which should I choose? After a few moments I took them both off and donned my street clothes again. I was feeling overwhelmed and flustered, I was never good at making decisions, and the sale atmosphere had everyone in a rush which made me feel anxious. So I decided to walk around some more and see if there were any others I wanted to try, as Jess and Steph did the same and my mother sat and watched over us, trying her very best to let me make my own decision. Since there were so many of us there for dresses, our dressing room time was supposed to be limited, so Sandra asked if she could take another bride while I tried to make a decision. I had no problem with this, especially since that took a bit of the pressure to just buy a dress right now off of my shoulders.

A bit later, my friends and I had picked out a few more dresses I wanted to try. There had been a certain style that I’d always admired, and I hadn’t yet had the chance to try it out, so we found a dress with the style and figured I might as well try it now since I had the chance. The other bride-to-be that Sandra was now helping was gracious enough to be willing to share a dressing room, so while she was showing off I was changing, and vice versa. Jess and Steph were life savers, as they now knew the changing routine and were able to help me out, so Sandra could have more time with the other young lady. Swoosh, zip, fluff, and I was in another dress, one that Steph and Jess had found. I really liked it, but at first it didn’t particularly catch my eye, since I was in a hurry to try on the different styles without inconveniencing the other girl. So off we went and I tried on the next. An almost off the shoulder number with little sleeves, sweetheart neckline, sweep train and mermaid silhouette, it was gorgeous, but it gave me what Steph dubbed a “bubble butt,” so it was on to the next. Corset style lace up back, a few sparkly patches, strapless, with a somewhat straight neckline, it was incredible. But it was a bit over budget, and though I really liked it, I still wasn’t sure.

By now I had decided against the lace dress from earlier, but was still on the fence about the sparkly, winter one. On a whim I decided to try dress #1 from round two on again. I stepped out, looked in the mirror, and suddenly I knew. This was the dress. Down to $180 from around $2000, it was perfect, with everything I was looking for and some things I didn’t even realize I had wanted. And my friends were the ones who found it!

And there you have it, THE WEDDING DRESS HAS BEEN PURCHASED! It was a “sample” dress, meaning it was one of those they keep on stock for brides to try on, so it has a few little quirks that will need to be fixed, and it needs to be fitted, but overall it is amazing and I am so proud of the price! Mark and I hope to keep that a trend for our wedding planning, the motto is: “Twice as nice at half the price!”

I will try to keep this thing updated more often. With the new job and trying to visit people since being back things have been kind of hectic, but they are settling down a bit now so I hope to establish myself into a good routine.

Farewell for now! May you all have a going-beyond-zebra kind of a day!



P.S. I just got news that one of my good friends was in a very bad car accident. She has a broken neck, but still appears to have feeling in her limbs (praise God!), and is going into surgery about as I write this. Hopefully I will know more soon, but please, everyone, keep her and her family in your prayers! She needs healing, and her family needs support, love, and comfort.



  1. Elise Ivey said,

    Woohoo!!! I’m so excited that you found the perfect dress… and what a deal! I’m impressed. I ran into your man earlier today at the school! I hope to see you again, too.

    Definitely in prayer for your friend…

  2. mark said,

    Great. You describe beautifully every dress you tried on EXCEPT THE ONE YOU BOUGHT! I know you did that because I read your blog!

  3. David Lyle said,

    Sorry to hear about your friend. I’ll be praying for her. Keep us updated.

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