She said yes to the dress!

This is NOT the one!

This is NOT the one!

Surrounded by mirrored walls and racks upon racks of white, cream and ivory-colored gowns with lace, appliques, beads, shimmers and glimmers, bling-bling and what-nots, my youngest daughter, my middle child, said yes to the dress last Friday.

Venturing into the city, we met my daughter at her apartment and with Maid of Honor sister and best friend bridesmaid in tow, we browsed for a wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses at a bridal salon.

While we sat in a row of cushy chairs waiting for our dear one to appear in a vision of loveliness, one of us remarked, “This is like the TV show Say Yes to the Dress!”  The experience proved to be almost as surreal for this mother of the bride as being on a television show might be.

On one hand, I was so happy and eager to watch daughter try on bridal gowns as this is her dream come true.   But on the other hand, I could hardly believe this was actually happening.  How did my little girl grow up so quickly?!  How could she be old enough to become someone’s wife?!

I’m fairly certain both my daughters expected tears from me while viewing the betrothed bedecked in wedding garb.  Truly, part of me did want to weep during this bittersweet moment – joyful with a twinge of melancholy – but reflecting back on the moment, I believe I was in denial.  It just didn’t seem real.

But real it was.  And believe it or not, this sentimental ol’ Mama did not cry.  As my beautiful daughter stepped out of the dressing room each time with exquisite gowns that fit her to a T, her sister, friend and I oohed and aahed and gave opinions.

I know my dear daughter well.  I could tell by her body language whether she liked the gown she modeled or not.  Her face smiled, but her body said no, this isn’t the one.  Even when the sales attendants told her how lovely she looked, or sister or friend would exclaim “So pretty,” I could discern each dress was not her cup of tea.

My middle child is a no nonsense person who admires simplicity for the most part.  She’s kind of a no frills girl, so when she told me several weeks ago that she thought she wanted a lacy gown, I was mildly surprised that she desired something fancy.  But then I realized that this child, now grown woman, has always loved things of old.

As a little girl, she loved visiting antique shops or colonial style homes or museums.  I very distinctly remember her announcing “I wish I could live here” in a 1700’s era home we were touring.  So a vintage look is right up her alley and wedding gowns of lace have a distinct vintage feel.

The first delicate, gossamer-like wedding gown which floated down over her head to settle onto her body, made her beam.   I could tell by the way she looked that this dress was definitely in the running.  She tried on several more after that, but came back to dress number one.   When the bridal consultant added a veil to the ensemble, daughter revealed, “This veil is exactly what I pictured!”

Sometimes, she can be a tad indecisive (a trait she no doubt inherited from her mother), so she surprised us all when the sales girl asked daughter, “Is this the one?”  and she said a decisive, resounding yes! We clapped, we smiled, she glowed.

After we got the ordering accomplished, oldest daughter and best friend began trying on several bridesmaid dresses.  They weighed in on their favorite but the opinion of the two other bridesmaid friends will be consulted before the final selection is chosen.

My daughter’s dream wedding gown is ordered; we left the bridal shop with her chosen veil and accessories.  Along with the church and reception site reservations, we accomplished another important aspect of wedding planning.

I feel happy and excited yet a bit numb.  I keep placating myself that I have an entire year to get used to the idea that my joyful, little rambunctious bundle of energy, who is now a grown-up beautiful, compassionate and gracious young woman of 25, will promise herself to a young man who vows he will love and cherish her for life.

It is Page 17 in Chapter 5 of my book of Opportunity and I’ve decided that in the coming year, I will cherish each moment I’m given to spend with my middle daughter who really is preparing to leave Mama’s Empty Nest to begin a new life of her own with her beloved one.

It’s okay.  I’m not going to cry…..yet.

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