A few months ago, I regaled my readers with the saga of my search for a pretty dress to wear to my son, Aaron's, wedding (see "Shopping for 'The One'"). It was no small task to find a dress that fit my requirements in size, price, and elegance. Once I'd purchased a dress, I moved on to the next challenge, shoes. My quest to find a suitable pair involved numerous online purchases and returns (see "If the Shoe Fits"). So how did it all come together at the wedding? Here's my report.
After logging many hours in department stores, bridal shops, and boutiques, I found a gown in a shimmery espresso shade, which, amazingly, was on sale for an unbelievably low price in a petite size that fit me everywhere, including the waistline. As it turned out, I was too excited to eat much during the days immediately preceding the wedding, so I was able to wear the dress without the torturous body shaper I'd bought along, just in case I needed it.
The most stressful moment, dresswise, came when I asked one of the bridesmaids to pin on my corsage. It was a daunting task requiring advanced engineering skills. I feared that the two long pins and weighty flowers would either rip the dress or weigh it down unbecomingly. But, after a few false starts, the ingenious bridesmaid affixed the corsage in exactly the right spot and it stayed in place beautifully all evening long.
The shoes fit, too! For me, that's an event worthy of an exclamation point. I found a pair of bronze leather dressy sandals online, wide enough in the toes and low enough in the heels. They looked lovely but didn't kill my feet. An ingenious solution suggested by a friend made them even more comfortable. She recommended I purchase a pair of toeless pantyhose. They slipped on like Japanese tabi socks, with an opening for my big toe and another for the rest of my toes. This allowed my newly-pedicured toenails to peek out, while the rest of my feet were encased in silky nylon.
Once I found the dress and the shoes, I figured I had it made. Then a friend asked me whether I needed a wrap to wear over the dress. That hadn't occurred to me, though it should have. I tend to like something over my shoulders unless it's exceedingly warm. And what about an evening bag? My selection was pitiful — one black silk bag (which was all wrong for my brown dress and bronze shoes), and a couple of ancient odd-colored bags that also wouldn't work.
As I set out in search of these accessories, my object was to spend less on them than I had on my dress. Any woman knows that it's easy to drop $500 on a tiny handbag. Happily, I found a shimmery deep gold wrap at a local boutique, as well as a bronze leather evening purse. Each cost less than $100, not exactly cheap, but worth it to complete my wedding ensemble.
It all came together exactly as I'd hoped. The zipper zipped, the gown fit, and the neutral palette of my outfit accomplished my goal as mother of the groom — not to draw attention to myself. As it turned out, there was no danger of that, since all eyes were on the bride, Karen, who looked dazzlingly beautiful in her gorgeous strapless white wedding gown.