The tale of the vintage wedding dress

My great new friend Carmen Dundee told me that the wedding dress you dream about 
is not actually the one you end up buying. I had a few visions, but did not really know 
what I was going to get. With our wedding two months away, I decided to go with my
 mom, my sister and my said friend to try on a few dresses... My initial plan was to order
 a dress from China, the website looks amazing and the comments on Facebook are 
amazing and they have over a thousand gowns to choose from! How can you go wrong?! 
Well, it is said that  horror stories are told about the extremely distorted version of the 
dress of your dreams that will arrive in the post. Was I up for giving it a shot? No thank 
you, I wanted to show my wedding a bit more respect than that!

       So, off to a dressmaker then. It sounded like she had a good idea of who I am 
and what I want, but how can she really know? I have my own suspense drama's to 
write about having dresses made... These events  brought me to the point where I 
agreed to go to some shops, the wedding being two months away and all that. Shop 
number 1 offered some traditional gems, but anyone who knows me knows also that 
I am not very traditional. I tried on my first wedding dress ever and wanted to run out 
the front door, across Beach Road and into the ocean, but this dress definitely would 
not let me get past the front counter even. See, this is where Carmen's pearls of wisdom 
started to spill into plain sight (it might also have been the 'pearls' on this iron maiden
 stabbing me in the stomach), the dress looks awesome on the rail, even in the 
window, but don't make decisions until you have been laced up, pulled up straight and 
told that you don't have to be able to sit down. Feeling discouraged, we got back into 
the car and started to plan towards the best place for coffee and cheesecake (which by 
the way is unmistakeably 'Pajamas and Jam' in the Helderberg area), my sister got this 
bright idea that we should just try one more place, where my mom got her wedding 
dress earlier this year.

        OK. We walked in, this place is in Somerset West and used to be a house, Carmen 
ran to the shoes, we walked to the back where the dresses are. The sweet little shop
 assistant said that they only have a few wedding dresses. I started looking through
 them and started to feel that 'why oh why' feeling again and then I saw the 
second last was huge, but beautiful, a true vintage find. Shall I try it on? It is 
so big. My mom looks hesitant. It is beige. It is not strapless. As soon as it slipped over 
my head, I knew (what a cliché, but how true!). Can we alter it? Is it booked for the
 15th of December? How do I look? They all stared in astonishment and then I saw the 
tiny tear in my mom's eye. Oh no! said Keelyn (the sweet assistant) it's booked for 
the 15th! How on earth is this possible?! Well, she will phone and confirm and then let 
me know.

       We started toward the exit when Carmen saw a polka dot creation, so we stopped. 
As we got to the car, Keelyn popped through the window and said the most wonderful 
thing I've ever heard... "she found another dress, she found another dress!" Back inside, 
buy the dress and before we left for cheesecake, Carmen took a mental picture of the 
moment. How happy I am, now that I found my dress, I cannot wait for the day! Christo 
will love it too, I am sure. Finding the dress of my dreams without knowing what it 
looked like gave me a feeling that is difficult to articulate, it is metaphysical. Here is 
your dress, you are doing the right thing, you will be even happier than you already are 
(if that's possible) and enjoy the best day of your life. This feeling is my wish for every 
woman in the world!

Photo credit: Lupa Photography 



  1. This a beautiful memory. I hope you and your husband have many blessed years ahead. And the photos are stunning.