To Have And To Hold, Until Death Do Us Part.

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.