i said yes ...

... to the dress.

And yes, I even said the words, "I'm saying yes to the dress!" And then we literally all high-fived. TLC: eat your heart out.

Here's what's funny: for all the daydreaming about the big day that I have and continue to engage in, I never really had an exact image of what that fated dress might look like. Certainly there are styles I knew that would never be for me (huge skirts that flare out at the knee aren't really so hot when you're 5'1'' on a good day), but the exact gown took on many permutations. Any contenders that I've had through the years (yes, years), somehow seem fit for a whole different person when I look at them now.

Basically, the dress I chose is nothing like what I thought I would wear, but I think that makes it even more thrilling. It's a little frisson of excitement every time I remember that I found it AND that it's a gown beyond my dreams, literally, because I never imagined myself in something like it. I get a little shiver down my spine and a huge grin every time I start to think of it. My coworkers are alternately concerned and moderately amused.

Being as self-inundated as I have been about all things nuptial, I was a little worried I was going to over think wedding fashion and never find myself satisfied with any of the dozens of gowns that I tried on. As I've said before, most of the dress "experts" recommend trying on like 10 dresses, but that would be like sending me to Eataly and telling me that I could only try one cheese. What if the perfect burrata or sweetheart neckline was just around the corner?! Now, having emerged successfully, finally, on the other side of the great gown divide, I understand their logic, but I also know myself well enough to see that I was never going to be fully at peace with my decision until I explored everyone of these ateliers for myself.

If anything, seeing as many gowns as I did only cemented that my dress was the one because I had about 300 to compare it to. When I slipped it on for the first time, it just felt different. It felt right. Other engaged or married friends told me that this would happen when your dress found you (because, you know, they have feelings too), but I didn't believe it until it really happened. So, for my other affianced friends out there still looking, trust me, if even this somewhat sartorially-neurotic girl found her true love, yours too is out there waiting, happily clad in its plastic sleeping bag.

One caveat: the sheer number of hours that have gone into finding this dress: this dress that one wears for ONE night only has got me lightly meditating on this whole crazy industry and process. Am I aware that this is an incredible amount of energy (not to mention money) to spend on one night? Of course. But for me, and for most brides, this day is the embodiment of your uncontainable love for your partner up until that moment and a harbinger of the wonderful things to come in your future together. It's OK for it to be special the same way it's OK to spend hours debating a sash versus a belt. Just remember to take a deep breath in between cake tastings and remember why you're doing all of this in the first place.

So: you want to see the dress, eh? Well, click through here and don't tell Mike.


Oh, come on, you didn't really think I'd give it up that easily?

restaurants, restaurants everywhere and not a drop to eat

final countdown: one year to go!