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The Dress: Wedding Blog No. 1

May 28, 2013 - Carrie Olson
"I don't know."

There was a flurry of questions hurled my way while I was back in Iowa this past weekend. The biggest was, "when?" Of course, I was expecting that, but I just didn't want to think about it yet. I have been missing my home state something fierce, and I just wanted to relax and was not ready to plan out something with infinite details.

But the questions popped up basically wherever we went, and we finally had to make a few general decisions - first choice venue, who we would like in our wedding party, food, music - of course, very basic and nothing set in stone. And honestly, it felt great to list out a few ideas and have some consensus with family members.

Although, there are quite a few unknowns when it comes to planning my wedding, there have always been a handful of certainties. One, music. It has to be good. If live music is available (and awesome), even better. Food. I want a fantastic spread available to all my party attendees. Fun. I hate stuffy events. I don't like a lot of fanfare and presentation, instead, I want it to be just a big party. Sorry for no details, but until I get some things figured out and definite, I'd like to knock on wood and not detail my dream wedding.

But there is one thing that has always been pretty obvious in my mind: The dress. I've watched all those reality wedding dress like the next girl, but I have never really wanted to go to a fancy shop and try on crazy amounts of dresses. No, I have had my dress pretty much picked out since I was 19. That was the year I was introduced to "Funny Face." An Audrey Hepburn fan to the core, that was my dress and haven't considered anything else as an option. Yes, I know that tea-length dresses are pretty much all the rage right now, but it isn't just a trend I have to adhere to. No, I've tried to use Audrey as a model for most of my clothes when I have gone shopping in the past decade. WWAW (What would Audrey Wear?) Is it classic? Is it chic? Has she worn it in a movie? Then there is a likelihood that I have some kind of variation of it in my closet. No joke.

So on my first day back to Iowa, jetlagged me headed over to a local dress shop with my mother, niece baby Quynn, and my cousin (and wonderful friend) Elizabeth. I had a triple espresso Americano, so I was okay. I needed to try on a bridesmaid's dress for E's wedding. After the fitting, my mom casually mentioned to the owner of the shop that I recently became engaged. "Oh, yeah?" she said. "What are you looking for?" I kind of sighed, being so tired and not wanting to start this whole wedding hoopla so quickly. But I told her what I was looking for, and she opened up a book. And after flipping through a few pages, my mom stuck her finger on one of the pages. "That one." Just a quick glance, and I knew she was right (she knows me so well). A 50's style strapless sweetheart dress with a full tulle skirt, plus a tight lacy boat-neck top that completes the ensemble. I could see a long veil with a bow, my hair back in a classic bun. I knew exactly what shoes I would wear with it (navy spiked heels). So when she asked, "Do you just want to order it?", I didn't hesitate. I didn't need to try it on, it was exactly what I had envisioned. The dress shop owner had tailored dresses for quite a few weddings in my family, including my sister's, so I knew I was in good hands. And after she told me that she could make a toddler version of the wedding dress for my funky flower girl Quynn, I knew that I had come to the right place.

I've never looked forward to planning my own wedding, but I've definitely had some ideas on how I want it to be. And after this one decision, I realized that this whole planning biz isn't so bad. Especially when I have awesome people to help. And if already having an Audrey-esque dress catapults the whole process, then I know it's all going to be good. Real good.


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