Orange Tag Day (or ‘the wedding dress story’).

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, “Seriously?”

Me, “Yeah.”

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.



  1. August 7, 2011
    adele bernard

    I remember you bringing home your dress. I remember thinking wow. They are really serious about getting married. I am so happy you did. You were a beautiful bride and God blessed you with the dress that was meant to be yours from the beginning.

  2. August 8, 2011

    love this story!!!

  3. August 8, 2011

    I look forward to the “how we met” story. This stuff is SO good. I love how God walked you right into that dress! Totally wish I would have been there with you!

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