When your little girl grows up…..

Last week I had the experience of a lifetime. As a little girl, you dream of your own wedding and wonder when and how your life will unfold. You wonder about the person you’ll love, the dress, and the people that will join you in the ceremony. Then, when you become a Mom, you know that eventually your little girl will become a bride. Laura asked me how I “knew” this would happen. I’m not sure, but I knew she would find someone to love and that loves her. I also knew we’d have a special day where we could watch the beginning of their journey as husband and wife.

When we lived in Pennsylvania and Laura was growing up, we regularly watched the TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress”. It was a great show for us to watch together and decide which dresses we liked and watch the various opinions and relationships. I always told Laura we’d go to Kleinfelds when she was ready for her dress! Little did we know she would be living in Cleveland and I’d be living in my motorhome full time and spending considerable time in the western United States. But, it’s time for a dress, so we headed to NYC to Kleinfelds!

To prepare, I brought my wedding dress and veil, Aunt Pat’s veil (Laura’s Aunt/Godmother and my sister-in-law). Laura is determined to incorporate pieces somehow, so I’ve brought them all to NYC :). Just packing this stuff to bring to your daughter is emotional in itself!

Not everyone could make the trip to NYC, but we were incredibly blessed to have people that we love join us. We had Laura and me of course, my Mom Linda, one of Laura’s bride’s maids Victoria, our dear friends Sally, Deb, Tammy and Laura’s second Mom growing up Nancy. We all descended on the city on Wednesday for an appointment on Thursday.

I’ll admit I was nervous about Kleinfelds, but worked very hard not to show my nerves to Laura. We are just average people, not fancy, not loaded with $$. It’s common for me to be nervous when I’m in situations where I think I’m “less than” the people there. In this case though, it was about my little girl, so no nerves are keeping me away!

Our appointment was at 12:30 and was scheduled for 1.5 hours. Both Sally and I (and maybe others) were skeptical that we would find a dress in 1.5 hours! Well, what an experience! Our consultant greeted us promptly at 12:30. Her name is Debbie and she is frequently on the show as the consultant to the brides. We went to her area and she asked Laura a few questions. Then, went to pull dresses to begin the process.

I cannot describe my emotions at this point. Excitement, nervous, anxious, fear, anticipation, joy, calm… I had it all. Like most Moms, I’ve looked forward to this day my entire life. When Laura was 10 or 11 we went to a thrift shop looking for something (I think we were just killing time when we were camping in another area), and they had wedding dresses. I had talked Laura into trying on a few. Even then, I was emotional. So now, this is the real thing!

As Debbie (the consultant) slipped the first dress over Laura’s head I could not contain my emotions. Laura was beaming. She loved every minute of this experience and this was the first dress. Over the next hour, she tried on numerous dresses, but still knew the very first one was “the dress”. Debbie still had her try on various styles to make sure. After 8 or 10 dresses, she was sure.

At this point, we’re all pretty emotional. I watched as her bridesmaid, Victoria, fussed with the dress, took pictures for her to have for later, and just generally took care of Laura to make sure she had what she needed. Watching this bond was as emotional as the dress!

Then, enter the veil people…. Oh my goodness. When they put the veil on I was a wreck. To see your daughter in her dress, with the veil, with people that love you and her so deeply….. well… you get it.

Eventually, she chose a veil and we completed measurements and details for ordering the dress.

The Kleinfeld experience was absolutely everything we dreamed it would be! They were kind, professional, efficient, helpful, patient and invested in Laura and her vision. To watch this dream come true was a once in a lifetime experience!

Laura and Chad are so perfect together and I can only imagine the emotion on the day of the wedding. What I do know is that Roger and I are blessed beyond measure for not only Laura in our lives, but the people around us that make all of this so incredibly special.

Not everyone could join us on the dress shopping journey, but many were there in thoughts! And, on the special day, we will get to see everyone together!

Now, bring on the wedding!!!!

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