The Star-Herald

Always go for the dress

So, what is it like to be a bit older than most brides-to-be and also the star of a scenario much like that of the television show, “Say Yes To The Dress?”  Well, dear friends, let me borrow your attention for just a bit and I will tell you.  

The day started off with that oh-so-familiar trek from Caribou to Bangor. It was, as always, a joy. No matter how many times I travel I-95 from Aroostook County to Bangor, Maine, it just never loses its wonder.  My appointment was for 2 p.m. and my sister, Lisa, and I were right on time. My dear friend Kathy met us there at the bridal boutique and after hugs and greetings, we walked into the building. Needless to say, it was chic, colorful and charming, with warmth and style. We browsed a bit, pointing out pieces we liked and politely passing by items that did not appeal. The prices were just right.  I must admit I was feeling a bit anxious, with a million questions for the stylist. 

A very stunning, statuesque young woman entered the shop, her hair a luscious raspberry red.  After greeting us, she led us to the elevator, which took us to the third floor, where a treasure trove of wedding gowns were waiting. We were introduced to our stylist, and she welcomed us into a lovely suite just past the gowns. Chilled, sweet mimosas and sugary treats of various flavors beckoned to us as we sank down on plush, velvety lounges and chairs.  We settled in like princesses and sipped on our drinks. 

Five wedding gowns in various shades of white and golden ivory glided toward us on a silvery chariot-like clothing rack. Rising to my feet, I held out my hand and reverently glided my fingers along the risen seams and embellishments of the wondrous creations there before me. In no time, I was in a dressing room, stepping into that first dress and then the second, third and fourth, all of which, while exquisite, were not the suitable style for me.  I must share with you that all four gowns were difficult to step into and transformed me into a rather grumpy looking fairy godmother. Both Lisa and Kathy shook their heads in a combination of dismay and disbelief as I struggled across the floor toward them, the bottom of the dress tripping my every labored step.   

With some discouragement and just a little hope, I held the fifth dress before me, noticing immediately a distinct difference in the material and the flow of the skirt. I turned my back to the mirror.  Once the dress was in place, I pivoted around slowly. Ah, yes!  This was the dress. With some alterations and a tuck here and there, it will be all I have envisioned — for me.  This dress is age appropriate and elegant. Without a moment’s pause, I said yes to the dress. 

We said our goodbyes and I carried my account folder and complimentary pink robe out to the car; placing them down gently on the backseat. I remember a time when a woman of my size would have had a limited array of wedding gowns to choose from.  Many dresses were made specifically for the bride by local seamstresses or family members and love was woven into each and every priceless stitch.  Now, women of every size have endless possibilities, as the clothing market reaches out to nearly everyone. 

My friends, love has no boundaries and no exclusions. Regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, love thrives. Whether you marry in your favorite jeans or a satin ensemble, it is that trust,  deep devotion, and loyalty that must adorn your heart. 

Please be kind to yourself and each other. 

Belinda Ouellette lives in Caribou with her Goldendoodle, Barney.  You may email her at belindaouellette9@gmail.com.

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