It's crazy, in a good way, to know that in a few months, I'll officially be a "Mrs." The name that I've had for my entire life will change and, while it'll take some getting used to, I like the way Hilary Eldridge sounds, but most importantly, I love the fact that it officially makes us a family. We dated for over 6 years before getting engaged so we've already made a commitment to each another but in less than 100 days, before our family, friends and loved ones we make it official.
The one factor that has made it so simple and stress free is that we're looking forward to the marriage more so than the wedding. Sure, the wedding is beautiful and fun, and yes, I have a dress that makes me feel like a princess, but we are really embracing the union, the party is just an added benefit.
I have my rehearsal dinner dress AND my wedding dress -- I went with a dress that I never thought I would wear. Ever. EVER. And apparently that's how it goes.
I found one dress and thought "I like this one. It's pretty." I even showed a few people and said "I think this is the one."
A few weeks later, my mom, Doug's mom, my sister, my niece and I went to a bridal boutique. Oh, what a lovely experience! Each one of us selected a dress or two that we liked and I tried them all, most of them in the same shape and style as the very first one I tried on.
A lace mermaid style dress was everyone's favorite. "This one is elegant and it fits so nicely," I said. Everyone agreed. Evelynne, the consultant pointed to another dress. "Try this one on," she said.
"Nope. No way. There's no way I'm trying on THAT dress. It's not what I'm looking to wear on my wedding. I think I like that one," I said, pointing to the crown favorite.
"Trust me, I've been doing this for over 20 years. Just give it a try" she said quietly and winked.
Begrudgingly, I put it on. "Ugh. I know I'm not going to like this" I thought, as she clipped it in the back and helped me with my shoes. She attached a veil to the quick updo she did on the spot. I turned around to see my reflection in the mirror and burst into tears. Poor Evelynne wasn't sure what to do. She stood back timidly and asked if I was okay.
With crocodile tears rolling down my cheeks I looked at her and said "I've never felt this beautiful in all of my life. I look like a princess."
Let me be clear -- I never thought that a dress -- A DRESS -- would make such an emotional impact. Sure, I'm emotional and sentimental -- I still cry (every. single. time) at the ASPCA commercial and I shed tears of joy when my sister graduated from college and my brother broke a world record, but those are major accomplishments or moments that pull at the heart strings. This. is. a. dress!
(Total honesty? I'm tearing up now, as I relive that moment in my mind.)
Our pastor told us the marriage is for us, but the wedding is for the family and we're blessed that everyone will be there to celebrate with us. We have the date confirmed, have the church secured and we've gone through one session of our pre-marriage counseling. The first session was slated to be the most challenging. Sure, it was emotional, but it only confirmed our decision and strengthened our bond as we talked about our future as a married couple.
We still need to get out invitations and finalize the venue, but other than that, we're all set. I know that there are a 1000 other tiny details that we'll need to address, but honestly, what more do I need? When you want everything you have, you have everything you want.