For months now, I have been looking at wedding dresses and while it has been quite a lonely process without my Mom, sister and best girl friends I have come to realize that I knew my dream dress the moment I laid eyes on it. I always pictured trying on a slew of dresses from horrendous to breath taking, with them around, all of us giggling and drinking bubbly. It took a long time for me to get over the fact that my situation would not permit this. In the beginning, my sister would go try on dresses in America with my mom taking pictures (we considered having my dress sent here from home) since we are the same size and build. We would often all get on skype and look for something online together.
It soon became obvious that this process was sad for all of us; looking at one another over a computer and trying to make that moment as wonderful as it would be in person was fruitless. It seemed to cause more pain than joy. Perhaps it would be easier if we had to plan long distance with the reassurance that they would all be able to attend the big day, but when that isn’t even a possibility it becomes more like rubbing salt in open wounds. It has been very difficult for my Mom. I am sure she had envisioned something similar to me; to not be able to be there and watch her eldest walk down the aisle has taken a massive emotional toll on her. I try my best to make that easier by not confiding in her about the difficulties I am having or the disappointment I feel for not having the people that mean the most to me here. I don’t think it is fair to burden her anymore about something that clearly hurts her so deeply. It has been quite an isolating and daunting process filled with pressure and expectation for me. I am handling it all the best I can and sometimes that isn’t very well.
Despite a dark cloud of sadness and disappointment hanging over my big day, I have trudged on trying to throw something together that pleases my fiance’s family and friends- I sometimes find this difficult given the cultural differences between post colonial South Africans and an off beat Californian, but I have hope that there must be a happy medium.
I still haven’t gotten to go to a wedding dress boutique and try on dresses- I really am regretful of this as it has always been a sort of dream in my head of how things would go when I got engaged. As one must do in a situation that they don’t have much control over, we must adapt. Accepting that I must adapt took a long while, my heart is literally broken that this one thing I had always pictured, isn’t at all what I had in mind.
Instead of the wedding dress store visits with my giggling crew of females, I am off to Mitchells Plain to an absolutely darling Cape Malay woman. She is such a special woman with great sensitivity and has made a really hard time much easier for me. Some people have such special spirits that see when someone needs that extra bit of encouragement and help, and she is one of them- a healer and soother. She encourages me and really listens to what I say. I am very lucky to have found her in such a difficult situation.
Perhaps dreams about how one’s wedding should be is silly to some, but it really meant a lot to me. In the end, as much as I would like to say I never thought about how planning my wedding would go or what I would look like on the day, I did, once or twice allow myself to think about it. Those pictures are engraved in my consciousness and I must get over the fact that this isn’t the way it will be.
I am lucky for so many things and for so many wonderful people in my life that this probably shouldn’t be such a big deal to me. I have so much love in my life and am so lucky to have my fiance Gareth- especially since he loves me enough to put up with all my depression and emotional break downs over one day that will probably be such a blur, none of this will have mattered any way.
On a happy note and just for fun, and because I am head over heels in love with a particular dress- I would like to share it with whoever reads this. In this life, I would never be able to afford such an extravagant thing but it is so beautiful I decided it needed a place on my blog:
As this would be waaaay out of my budget, my beautiful dressmaker Dia has made me a dress that holds the same style and certain characteristics of the one above. Again, I am very fortunate to help in the design of my dress with such a lovely woman.