Weddings are so stressful. Honestly, I kind of wish I didn’t ask for one. There is so much planning and decisions that go into this small one, I can’t even imagine having a huge wedding.
“Kelly, I’m going to punch the next saleslady who says congratulations,” I warn and she laughs, a hand placed on my lower back as the two of us, plus Aunt Emily and the girls walk down the sidewalk and towards a dress boutique where we have an appointment to, hopefully, choose my wedding dress. I’m ten weeks now and the wedding is next week on Sunday.
“They’re just being nice,” She offers with a smile and I’m ten second away from growling.
“No, they want me to buy stuff, but I’m going to be really pregnant soon, so I won’t fit in anything I buy next month.” I rant and Avery grins.
“Wait, you’re only kind of pregnant now?” She teases and I glare.
“Careful Avery, I might decide I like Cassie more than you and give her the Maid of Honor position.” I threaten and her eyes widen.
“You wouldn’t,” She gasps, then laughs, genuinely amused and I feel my lips twitch as Sara rolls her eyes.
“I’m on the sidelines with my Maid of Honor crown in my hands, patiently waiting to put it on,” Cassie jokes and now I do laugh. I’d decided on only having a Maid of Honor and Alex choosing a single Best Man and no others. I didn’t even choose, I had the girls pick a number 1-10.
“Girls, we’re here,” Emily says as we all come to a stop in front of Satin & Lace. My excitement and the earlier bitterness switch places and I feel myself grinning as we walk through the door where the spacious boutique is open, the walls lined with what has to be hundreds of dresses hung up carefully and one wall lined with shoes and accessories. There isn’t an obvious changing room aside from one of those changing divider things. The walls are a pretty cream color and there are three women waiting in the midst of the open room. All dressed professionally and all grinning at us in welcome.
“Hello, Natalia’s wedding party of six?” Before I can do anything, Kelly nods.
“That would be us; we’ve got a week to choose perfect a dress for my daughter in law,” She says, gesturing to me. One of the salesladies nods, eyeing me up and down.
“Hello, I’m Ingrid, and these two ladies are Holly and Jessica, my assistants. Feel free to remove your coats and hang them up on the coat rack.” We all do so and then we’re lead to the center of the store, where we sit on the collection of charcoal colored loveseats and chairs.
Once we’re seated, me in a chair in view of everyone, Ingrid starts by asking questions about what type of wedding I’m going for and when the date is. When I said next week, she nodded, as if brides come in all the time with such a small gap of time. I like this lady- she’s all business.
“First thing’s first, is there anything in particular you want?” She asks and I think for a moment.
“I want something that is classy, but cover’s my baby bump,” I say and the two other women write it down.
“And specific color?” I’m at a loss.
“Um, white?” I offer and Avery snorts; the saleslady smiles.
“Jessica, what do you think? Cream, ivory, baby powder, and, what? Eggshell, maybe?” Jessica nods after writing those down. She and Holly go off and start gathering dresses, placing them on a movable rack.
It took me three weeks of after school shopping to find my prom dress. So, I was utterly shocked when the eighth dress I tried on turned out to be my wedding dress. It’s an off white color with sleeves that hand onto my shoulders and the dress part is simple, the only addition to the fabric being large, classy ruffles.
“Oh, Natalia, you look gorgeous,” My mom says, a hand at her mouth, her eyes glistening.
“I like this one,” I inform the saleslady. “How much does it cost?” I ask, dreading the number given.
“Seven hundred and fifty dollars,” The lady says, all business and I sigh. That is nowhere near as bad as I thought, but still rather pricey. I glance at myself in the three mirrors set up next to each other.
“What do you guys think? Is it too much for such a small wedding? I mean, there are only fourteen people, plus the priest. Maybe I shouldn’t have a wedding after all. I shouldn’t be stressing myself out. Aunt Emily? Could I be hurting the baby by stressing so much? Oh, God, you know what? Alex and I can just go to the courthouse-”
“Natalia, have you ever had to worry about money?” My mother asks me, serious suddenly. I shake my head, aware that I am biting my lip.
“No, you have not. Everything is going to be fine. Calm down, before you get wrinkles and go look at the veils while I pay for your dress. We have dinner reservations in two hours and we still need to find Avery’s Maid of Honor’s dress and I’d like to buy myself a new pair of shoes.” I nod and make my way back behind the changing shade with Cassie, who has been helping me into and out of dresses.
“You okay?” She asks and I groan.
“I don’t know, I’m overwhelmed, I think. This is a major life event and I’m scared.” I confide in her as she unzips the white gown.
“You can back out. You don’t have to do this,” She says as I step out of the dress and I jerk my head to look at her.
“You don’t approve? Am I doing the wrong thing? Should I figure something else out with Alex?” She shakes her head and bites her lips, eyes conflicted.
“I think that what you are doing is the right thing to do for the baby, but is it the right thing for you?” She asks and I help her hang the dress back onto the silken hanger before grabbing my cream colored knit sweater and pulling it on over my head.
“If it is right for the baby, if it will give her the life she deserves, then yes, it is the right thing for me to do. I can’t, won’t, be selfish and put myself first.” Cassie smiles at me warmly and hands me my black leggings0.
“Then you will work things out. You’re starting to sound like Sara with all of your worrying. I hate to sound like a broken record, but you will be okay.”
“Thanks, Cass. You’re the best,” She grins and grabs the hanger with the dress on it.
Funnily enough, it takes us longer to find Avery’s dress than it did to find mine. I’d found a purple tie that I loved and we spent six hours searching for a dress that looked nice on Avery and was of the exact color as the tie.
Avery’s maid of honor dress is the same shade of purple as the tie and its strapless, goes to about mid-thigh, and has ruffles, but not as voluptuous as mine.
When Cassie, Sara, Avery and I finally got back to our apartment, I was exhausted and just hopping into bed after a quick shower when my phone rings. Groaning, I grab my phone and sit on my bed. Cassie is in the shower, so I’m not disturbing anyone.
“Hey, I just wanted to make sure you got home safely and to ask how you are feeling?”
Alex. I smile.
“I’m fine, exhausted, but okay. Guess what?”
“I found a dress.”
“You did? I’m glad. Do you feel like a princess in it?”
“I think so, yeah, but I was curious, what are we going to do about living arrangements? We haven’t really talked about it.”
“I was going to bring it up tomorrow actually. I thought maybe you’d move in here with me until we can get a house somewhere later when we’re financially stable. Unless of course, you have another idea or thought, but I figure since I’ve already got the room and no house mates, we could make it work. I could have the guestroom finished this week, and it can be your room or the baby’s room. Or both. I don’t know if you want to share a room or not, I’ve actually been stressing out about this all day.” Have I mentioned how cute he is when he’s nervous?
“I, um, don’t know. Can I get back to you on that? I know I brought it up, but…” I trail off, unsure as to how I was going to finish that sentence.
“Of course. You should go to sleep, Nat. I’ll see you tomorrow, right? You’re still coming over after your nine o’clock class?”
“I told Avery I’d drive her back after class, her car is still in the shop, so I might be a little later than I thought. No later than 12:30 though. Is that alright?”
“That’s fine. Sweet dreams, Natalia.”
“Good night, Alex.”