Wedding Dress Shopping

Not too long ago, my dear friend Lauren got engaged to her boyfriend Ken, who simply adores her. I remember when she told me they went ring shopping. We both knew it was only a matter of time before he would pop the question. Today she visited the city for a bridal consultation at J. Crew on 5th Avenue and invited me to join. I was so sincerely honored that she would ask me.

I’ve never been a bridesmaid and I’m OK with that. But I’m a hopeless romantic (I legit subscribe to Alison Conklin‘s RSS feed because her wedding photography is undeniably incredible), so attending her consultation was a treat. As she tried on dresses, that silly, unwelcome voice crept into the back of my head whining when will it be my turn?! and so I felt a bit foolish because, as much as I wanted to try on pretty chiffon dresses too, it wasn’t about me. My time will come. (I hope!) I shoved that voice right back where it came from and focused on the bride-to-be.

When we arrived, we were both disappointed by the sour-faced mother-daughter duo watching their bridezilla also trying on gowns (something we discussed immediately as we exited the store). It’s funny how the simple presence of someone else’s negativity can bring others down. They all looked exhausted, and my guess is she’s tried on hundreds of dresses but hasn’t found “the one.”

Anyway. We didn’t let that damper our spirits. Lauren had a list and a budget, and she got right down to business, with the stylist assisting her needs, trying on strapless gowns, chiffon gowns, silk gowns, gowns with sleeves and more. We both had a blast, took a bunch of pictures and spent an hour being super girly. She left J. Crew with a really good feeling on one particular gown, so I think we may have a winner.

The girliness continued over a long lunch at Lillie’s, one of my personal favorite spots in Union Square. We covered all of the bases: boys, babies, wedding, travel, parents, siblings, work, friends, etc. Lauren and I have become much closer over the years, and I’m so thankful for her friendship. The hardest part about living in the city is the lack of close girlfriends. Even though all of mine live in PA and CA, I’m lucky that we keep in touch regularly and can always pick up where we left off like no time has ever passed.

And so begins Lauren’s wedding-planning process. As for me, even though I’m fully immersed in a time where nearly everyone I know is celebrating an engagement, walking down the aisle or welcoming a new life into the world, I continue to remind myself that I chose this particular path for a reason and someday I’ll get to be the girl trying on wedding dresses.

Image of J Crew bridal boutique
Hanging out in the J. Crew bridal boutique.

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