This year marks the 10th anniversary of my wedding to W. As part of the celebration, I will be documenting our relationship from the proposal up to the wedding, and each year up to our 10th anniversary.
Halfway through proof reading The Wedding: Take One I realized I had skipped a very important planning milestone: The Dress Fitting. For over 10 months the glorious A-line Swarovski crystal and lace masterpiece had been in storage at Luly Yang’s boutique. Schroedinger’s gown: It would either fit me or become my greatest regret. There was a high probability that this gown would turn into another wedding battlefield casualty. Luly had ordered it 2 sizes smaller than my measurements because “brides always lose some weight due to stress” and if that didn’t do the social pressure to look fit on the pictures would force my hand. Heeding her advice, I created a yoga and excercise routine on the Wii Sports platform just in case the stress didn’t get to me, which incredibly was the case. Getting a substitute dress would be hell this late in the game. It was up to the dress to make or break this bride’s resolve and spirit.
Apprehensively, I stepped into the dressing room where the finished product waited for me. I stared my opponent down to make sure it was the correct model and size. After a year and a few months since the last time I wore it, plus add all the backdrop drama, the last thing I needed was for the dress to be all sorts of wrong. Was this the color I ordered? Yup! Was it the right size? Yup. Did it have the cover panel in the front beaded area? Yup! Phew!! ☺😅😍 With my back to the mirror, scared and weary of the scene I was about to witness, I took a deep breath, pulled the dress up from the floor and zipped it.🤞 I walked out into the main seating area and opened my eyes. The darn thing fit like a glove!!! Luly’s smile was priceless, another win for the books. The gown didn’t need any additional alterations, only a hem job. 💪👌👏 Woohoo! Pure joy!
Now came the hard part, taking the dress through security, two airplanes and three airports without ruining or losing it.
On December 18, 2008, W and I headed down I-5 at 4 am, in the middle of a freak snowstorm, as passengers in a limo car that kept slipping and sliding on the black icy road. The flight left around 6am and my priority lane status would get us through security fast in case we had to run. Rumor had it that the airport was running out of de-icer. Shutting it down was eminent. Getting stuck in Seattle would put all of our plans at risk since we only had two business days to get the marriage license in Puerto Rico, which required blood tests. Arriving in SJU (Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport) around 11pm on the 18th was already cutting it close. 🤪🚀⌛ Thanks to the elopement we had a Plan B, and a few other ideas up our sleeve in case the bad luck snowball turned into an avalanche.
Escorting the wedding dress through TSA and the X-ray machine was easier than expected thanks to the officers’ expertise with items of this nature. The team on deck did everything they could humanly do to ensure that the dress didn’t get beaten up, wrinkled, snagged or was shown to the unsuspecting groom. W had to carry it around because I could only drag it or fold it, and he was not enjoying it. We grabbed our gear and ran to the S gate trains in time to catch our flight. The lovely southern belle that greeted us at the door immediately offered to store the dress in a safe place, anticipating my request. Sticking the Gold Medallion tag on the garment bag hadn’t hurt either. 😎 Momma raised no fool. Upon her return, she complimented us on how quickly we had secured and stowed our belongings.🏆🥇💺When we landed, she passed me the garment bag and wished us the best of luck on our marriage and journey. I hoped we wouldn’t need it, especially when it came to the connecting flight.
A mad dash through the ATL B Concourse later, wedding gear in tow, we arrived at our departure gate. Our tickets said Sky Priority so we used that to our advantage and went straight through the priority lane into the gangway. At the end of the line we met up with the queue and patiently waited to board. When we made it inside the 737, I politely asked the flight attendant if they had a place to store the garment bag I was holding, and she said, in a very obvious Puerto Rican accent, that the closet was only for First Class passengers. 🤬🧐The stand-off escalated quickly, and was broken up by a very loud “Uuuuuu, a wedding dress, gimme gimme!” The young woman looked pale after the swift passive aggressive reprimand given. After giving her the stink eye, I turned to look at the angel sent from above to keep the dress outside of the stowbin. W smiled and shook the hand that was offered to him. We were saved by none other than the Captain! 👨✈️🙇♀️
When we got to SJU the Captain walked down the aisle with my gown and joked that he could keep it; there was still time to turn the plane around and run! I bust out laughing. Wouldn’t that be nice! 🙃 A do over, the most magical of events, is a rare commodity and the irony did not escape me. Maybe this second marriage to W would be better than the first. 🤣🤭I profusely thanked him for getting us safely into San Juan and exited into the terminal. Down the stairs and to the right, we picked up the checked bags and jumped into my mom’s car. The next day would be full of marriage license errands, an unnecessary expense that W wanted to incur because he wanted to get re-married in Puerto Rico for real. At least the dress had made it intact! Nine more sunrises and this circus would be over…
Stay tuned for the Bachelor and Bachelorette party, the Rehearsal Dinner and The Wedding: Take Two.