In Our Own Backyard...Angelina, we need to talk!The pressure to come up with the perfect dress is at the same time wildly exciting and completely daunting.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
I heard this week that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have announced their engagement and forthcoming marriage – after seven years together and parenting six kids. Brad reportedly spent the last year designing Angelina’s engagement ring, so they had to put off the big event for a little while longer than planned in order for the ring to be completed. Now that the big announcement is out in the pages of “People” magazine, the two lovebirds can get down to brass tacks – namely, planning the wedding, making up the guest list and searching for the absolutely perfect dress.
Ah, Angelina – I feel your pain! The pressure to come up with the perfect dress is at the same time wildly exciting and completely daunting. There is so much out there to pick from, but you want the dress to be an exquisite reflection of your individual style and personality. And just between us girls, you want to make sure it covers up that little bulge in your tummy after giving birth to kids and maybe that less-than-perfect backside that starts to sag the least little bit after you pass the age of 35.
I know. I have a daughter who is getting married in June, and once the invitations went out, I realized that the clock was ticking on finding the perfect mother of the bride dress to wear for the wedding. Since I am technically her step-mother, that means that there are two other mothers who will be involved in the ceremony as well so I have a lot at stake in looking my absolute best.
My first move, of course, was to try to find out what the “other” mother and the mother of the groom were wearing. The first, I was told by our daughter, is wearing a floor-length black dress. Normally, I like black because it tends to make a person look slimmer. Since this is an outdoor wedding in the middle of June, however, I couldn’t quite reconcile myself to wearing black.
A couple of weeks later, I got an email with an attached photo of the mother of the groom in the dress she had just picked out for the wedding. It’s a champagne color, with horizontal layers of material overlapping from top to bottom and topped off by a little bolero jacket (she and I had discussed earlier how women of “our age” often look better in dresses that aren’t completely sleeveless). She looked wonderful, which of course ramped up my own sense of urgency in finding that perfect mother of the bride dress.
I made a couple of initial forays into various shops to see what might be out there. I soon discovered that most dresses labeled “mother of the bride” dresses are quite upscale and formal, made of chiffon, or taffeta, or satin, with upscale price tags to match. Nevertheless, I decided to try one on in a pale pink. It absolutely washed out what little color there was in my face, and I couldn’t get the zipper zipped all the way up. The clerk in the dressing room declared, however, that she’d never seen it on anyone who wore it so well, and added she thought it was the perfect dress for me. When I told her I thought it was a bit on the small side, she leveraged the zipper until she managed to get it all the way up and then beamed back at me.
“I think it looks absolutely stunning on you!” she cried.
I told her I thought the color was too pale for my pale complexion, and I doubted that I would be able to eat at the reception because it was too snug around the middle. She offered to order it for me in a different size and color, and when I lingered over a photo of the same dress in a water-color print, she confided in me that the print was her own personal favorite all along.
I told her I’d think about it.
I haven’t really done much shopping since then, hoping I’d get some inspiration somewhere along the way as to just what I actually want before I go out and try on any more dresses….
A couple of good friends of ours, Pat and Dave, also have one of their children getting married this summer. We hadn’t seen them in a while, and when Dave called Ken last week to see if he wanted to have lunch someday, Dave confessed that they hadn’t been around much recently.
“Pat’s been looking for a dress to wear to the wedding,” he told Ken, “and what an ordeal that has been!”