I said ‘Yes’, to the Dress!
My one-and-a-half-day cram-everything-trip to Malta was successful, and I cannot be happier!
The last few weeks before our summer trip home were spent in a mental simulation on how to realistically book all the appointments we had in as few days as possible. The result was three different wedding dress appointments in one day, preceded by an afternoon dedicated for bridesmaid dresses material. Needless to say, by the end of it, I was completely drained… but definitely happy!
I was armed with all that I needed: my mum, Polly, Julie, Deborah and Loraine; to summarize, all regarded as sisters and best friends. For our first task (bridesmaid and flower girl dresses), Rich was allowed to join our team. This is our wedding and he has a right as much as I to be the decisive force behind the wedding colours. Having a perfectionist and design-guru for a fiancé also bore weight on the decision to have him with us 😉
We’ve known quite long what kind of colour palette we wish to have on our wedding day. The colour of love and passion featured strongly in our engagement and so it is only fitting that it continues as such. We were also prepared though that if we do not find that perfect ‘summery’ shade, we’d opt for something else. We’ve no wish to present a Christmas in September 😉 With professional help, we managed to find the perfect red. Apparently, in eastern cultures, red is the colour of good luck. Fingers crossed that rain realises that we have enough good luck radiating from dresses and does not decide to honour us with a visit on our special day! 😉
Minds at rest that the bridal party has been sorted, we woke up for a second day of shopping in Malta. This time, Rich was left to his own devices in Gozo, juggling his final project and his other big project – a Tramps Tribute at Murella. I will be keeping with tradition on this one: the groom cannot see the dress before that moment at the altar ☺
Let’s just say that the excitement started from the first hour of our trip. As we were driving from Cirkewwa to the first appointment, a car overtook us and started blaring the horn. For a split second I thought I was driving the Dutch way and was in the arms of impending disaster. Luckily it was just a puncture. And luckily, we were five women in a car with a spare tyre too heavy to carry and a burst one too heavy to remove. Julie, always the hands-on, independent one, took the lead and we were progressing quite well until two guys from the Environmental Landscapes Consortium (ELC), there to water the roundabout flowers, saved us.
As sun-battled flowers instantly dried up every drop of water reaching them, the men got down to business and in a few minutes averted our early morning crisis. Cool tank water and some antibacterial soap later (graciously provided by ELC), our blackened greasy hands regained their lady-like state.
Apart from the fact that it was the first time for Polly, Julie and Deborah to see me in a wedding dress, nothing particular promised to remain etched in memory from our first wedding dress pit stop. The lunch that followed was good though 😉
The same cannot be said for our second wedding dress appointment. With light music playing in the background and everyone comfortably seated behind the closed curtains of the changing room, sipping coffee and discussing dresses, I was trying on dress no 8, a beautiful dainty creation topped with a lovely veil.
This part deserves a detail-anecdote. It is customary for the salespersons to help the future bride put on a dress, with family waiting outside, and then they open the curtains for all to see. The gasp moment, I call it 😉 In ordinary circumstances, and needless to say, at this stage emotions are already perking over everything else. Hair messily pulled up, beautified with a veil and a simple band, the train of the dress spread behind me, the salesgirl drew the curtains… and of all songs, the most special one graced the establishment:
I burst into tears from the first piano notes and clung on to Polly. By the second verse, all faces were covered in tears, including the salesgirls who were still trying to make head or tail of what was happening.
Xemx gives me goosebumps whenever I hear it. The lyrics and music go straight to my heart, I imagine Richard’s dad singing it to Polly, about how both older brothers danced to this beauty on their wedding day, and then I think of our big day, of our love and how every word in the song is so very true. At that moment, even though it was not the original rendition, I felt Dominic there with us, approving of this important journey. I’ve never met him, but I’m lucky to be able to still hear his voice, to appreciate his art. After all, art is a window to a personality, a character, to a husband and a father. He lives on, and he proved it at that very special moment.
My heart set on this dress. The rollercoaster of emotions I had just gone through stuck to it as history coats a city. By no means did I think the dress was perfect but the song had changed my perception of the dress in a way I could not control. Leaving our second appointment, I really believed that I would eventually return and buy it.
By this time, I was drained. Physically from trying on so many dresses, emotionally from what the former brings with it. We allowed ourselves a coffee break and were ready to embark on the last task for the day.
I liked all of them, the originality, the richness, the flair… finally a brand which reflected who I am. I selected two dresses to try on and the salesgirl approached me with a third. ‘No, I don’t wish to try that one’ She placed it back on the hanger. ‘But, wait, the back is really nice. Maybe I’ll try it’. Given that she had already placed it back, she asked, ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Yes, I’ll try it first as it’s the least one I like’.
And again, the curtain opens and again, I fall in love with the dress I liked the least. It was everything I wanted in a dress. It translates my personality perfectly: a romantic and a realist, an introvert who meets new people on a daily basis, a lover of vintage yet embracing the modern, elegant, yet fun. And, unlike the rest I tried, there were no ‘buts’ concerning this dress and I knew immediately that Richard would love it.
‘Are you saying yes to the dress?’
I found the dress I want to walk the aisle in, the one I want to kneel in, pray in, and become a loving wife. It’s the dress which I want to enjoy the evening in, dancing with our family and friends, celebrating what has been created, a special union between two special people who, entrusting their fates in the arms of God, opted to embark on the fulfilling journey of love.
In the end, I did not choose the Xemx dress, but I have proof that my future father-in-law is there above us, blessing our every step.
Tears flowing freely, I shall never forget the first hugs in My Wedding Dress.
Ftit ieħor daqt jasal,
Li inti tkun tiegħi,
Għal dejjem hdejk.