What would make a woman stuff her wedding dress into a suitcase? I’ll tell you:
Brian and I met eight years ago, September 11th, 2003. Sixteen days later, we decided to get married. The conversation went something like this:
Me, “We should get married.”
Brian, shrugging, “All right.”
A couple weeks later I was visiting a friend in California. One thing that I noticed upon exploring the area was that it seemed to me that there were as many David’s Bridals as there were McDonald’s. Considering our verbal engagement I thought, Wouldn’t it be fun to find a David’s Bridal and let them dress me up and tell me how pretty I am? I didn’t set out with directions, nor did I have navigation. I was sure that I’d stumble upon a David’s Bridal if I just started the car and hit the gas. Well, that was the one day that – for the life of me! – I could not find one single David’s Bridal. Not. One. What I did spot, however, was a Goodwill thrift store. I did a little mental shrug and figured I’d do the wedding dress thing some other day. Might as well go thrift store shopping, I thought.
So there I was crammed between the unorganized aisles of vintage and thrift clothing, not paying attention to where I was going. My head was turned left, but my body was moving forward. I nearly smacked face first into a big bundle of white that was hanging directly in front of me. Because the wedding dress was in a plastic bag, I couldn’t make out the shape of it. All I saw was a “size 8” tag that had “$60” marked on it. So maybe I will get to try on a wedding dress after all! I hoisted the dress over to the dressing room only to remember just how small these dressing rooms really are (imagine the size of a public restroom stall). Between me and the dress, there was no wiggle room. I kept stepping on the train as I desperately and awkwardly tried lacing up the back. Once I had it mostly on and mostly cinched, there was no space behind me to step back and see how I looked. I could tell that there was potential, but here was my dilemma: I was fresh out of Bible school; and I was broke. I knew that $60 was a steal for a wedding dress; but I couldn’t afford to waste $60 on a dress that I would never use. So I asked the manager if there was a bigger room. The sweet woman set me up in her office. She found a full length mirror, propped it up and began to help me lace up the back so that I could see the dress as it was meant to be, in all its glory.
And was it ever glorious! It was a three piece ensemble (veil, dress and poufy slip thingy). Each piece STILL HAD THE ORIGINAL PRICE TAG. The three tags totaled roughly $1,000. The wedding dress had never been worn!
So she’s lacing; we’re talking. She’s adjusting; we’re talking.
Sweet Manager, “Oh! This is on an orange tag! Today’s Orange Tag Day. If you get it, you’ll get an extra 50% off!”
Say whaaaat? Not only did it fit me like it was made for my body, but now the dress was $30.
Coincidence that I couldn’t find a David’s Bridal that day? I think not. No, I think God was behind all of the invisible David’s Bridals; and I think He opened my eyes to just the right thrift store that afternoon.
I kept it a secret from Brian and stuffed the thing in a wee suitcase for the flight home.
Did I mention that my shoes cost more than the dress?! How often does that happen? If you’d like to see a picture of the dress, click here.