I have been married almost twenty years and I still have my wedding dress. I have no idea why I still have it. I have never worn it since and would probably have trouble fitting one leg into it now. It has survived six house moves and currently resides in a black plastic bag in a drawer under the bed still with its original hanger. What are you supposed to do with your wedding dress anyway?
We planned our wedding on a budget (here is the story of the build up to my wedding... of course it didn't run smoothly - this is ME we're talking about!) and I had thought about hiring a dress. At the wedding outfitters I was shown a number of dresses that I sort-of liked and told that the hire price was half the cost price. Way beyond my budget.
I had to come clean and explain our situation. We had very limited cash allocated to the event and had to see if I could pay for the cost of the dress in instalments, even though the wedding was only eight weeks away.
I was directed to the back of the shop and shown a rail of dresses. I was told that these dresses were "last season" and had either been hired out or used for promotional purposes. I flicked through the rail and picked a couple of dresses up. When I tried them on there was always something negative about them; the wrong shape across the shoulders, too low cut, too much of a meringue. I gave them all back and resigned myself to picking something up from a well-known high street store nearer the big day.
I glanced back towards the rail and took one more casual look through the dresses. And there it was... my dream dress from my childhood - the fairytale dress that I had always imagined. Full length, no fuss or frills, a subtle amount of detail, fitted bodice, small bussle, full length, straight skirt, no hoops and a short train. I had to try it on. To my amazement, it fitted! Like a glove. It was a little bit tight around the bodice but I was assured that it could be taken out and adjustments made - all in time for the big day, two months away.
I hardly dared look at the price tag. I knew I had to have this dress but we had our budget and no way of straying outside it, not even by a few quid. I glanced down and had to do a double take...
Yes, dear reader, forty nine English pounds. Even 20 years ago that was a bargain. Also, I was assured that the minimal adjustments would cost only £5. I placed a deposit on the dress there and then. It was mine.
In fact, after writing this I now know why I have kept it. You don't mess around with fate. What was meant to be was meant to be. I shall be buried in it and it doesn't matter if the zipper doesn't close because no-one will ever know.