Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Dress

What does a photographer do when it occurs to her 
that she barely remembers what her wedding dress looked like?

She goes across town to the loveliest place she can think of 
to pull it out of the garment bag, and study it with her camera.

Here is the story of that dress.

Not so long ago, our nest emptied as our kids left for college.  It was time to get a handle on all the stuff that had accumulated while life was happening.  We dubbed the project "Hindsight 2020", with a goal of putting the things that were weighing us down in our rear view mirror, so to speak.  A book that I read took a novel approach--encouraging us to focus on unearthing our treasures and restore them to their proper place of prominence and usefulness.  To do that, we needed to shed the things that were getting in the way.

In the process of going through our belongings, my wedding dress kept surfacing.  For a long time I'd been watching for ways to upcycle it, or possibly donate it.  But you know what I hadn't done?  I hadn't looked at it.

Lee and I got engaged in March, and were married in June.  It was exactly the way we wanted it.  A minimum of time to fuss and stress, and then married life began.  We loved everything about our wedding--the people, the church, the music, the pastor, the hors d'oeuvres reception.  But in the flurry of that beautiful time in our life, the details of my dress were lost on me.  I remember that I literally went to one store, chose a dress that I was completely happy with, that my mom also liked and was a good deal, and that was it.  It wasn't like I had time to scour the universe for "the perfect dress". 

In my memory, my wedding dress was a beautiful thing to wear to meet my groom at the altar and become his wife.  Part of the frosting on the cake of getting married.  But when I took it out it took my breath away.  Because actually, it was the perfect dress.  I know this now.  

It wouldn't have seemed right to do this little project without my groom.  I didn't fully know what a gem I was getting with him either.  I'm still discovering.  I can let go of the dress when the right moment presents itself, now that I have the photos.  But he's a keeper.  I *still* do.

Stunning backdrops courtesy of the amazing Bavaria Downs!