A Conversation About Wedding Dress Shopping

Friend: Did you find your wedding dress?

Me: I did!

Friend: Did you cry when you tried it on? Because you knew it was *the one*?

Me: LOL, no.

Here’s the thing: Say Yes to the Dress is a wonderful show that I often binge-watch while shoveling Skinny Pop into my mouth, but it’s also a web of lies.

In fact, there were a number of lies I was told leading up to the actual act of shopping for my wedding dress. Like…

  • “You’ll get champagne while you shop!” I wish this were true. I probably would’ve bought a dress a lot faster than I did if it were. But 4/4 stores gave us water in a disposable cup, not a glass of champs in sight.
  • “You’ll find your dress at the first store.” This was 100% untrue for me. It took a solid four stores, and a minor anxiety attack at the third store because I was convinced I wouldn’t find anything. Finding the right dress can often be hard, and that’s OK! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • “Wedding dress shopping is fun!!!” I’m not saying that buying a fancy dress isn’t fun, but it’s also really stressful. As someone who had no idea what I wanted, dress shopping was more of a task to be checked off than anything else.
  • “You’re gonna bawl your eyes out.” OK, to be fair I did cry at one point. I walked out in what I thought was a truly hideous gown, and my mom began to cry, which led me to say, “Why are you crying?!” And then I cried. I cry easily. I was also really hungry that day. Don’t shop while hungry.
  • “When you find *the one,* you’ll just know it.” I definitely knew that I liked the dress I ended up buying, but did I “just know it”? Not really. And I’ve had to unfollow most of the wedding sites on Instagram that I used to enjoy so that I stop having buyers remorse about my dress. There are so many options out there, but you’ll know you’ve found *the one* when you can see yourself getting married in it, which I did.

What they should really tell you before dress shopping, and the one piece of advice I’ll give is this: Don’t feel badly if you don’t cry, or don’t have a *this is THE ONE* moment. All you need to feel is that this is a dress you can get married in — find that dress, buy that dress, and then pour yourself some champagne afterward (because the store won’t be pouring one for you, but you deserve it).

How Our Cat Helped My Fiance Propose

Fiance? Fiancee? I never know, but I think the man gets one “e,” right?

Anyhow, I’m engaged. To be married. It’s so freaking exciting that sometimes I just smile to myself in a super creepy way while alone in my living room. There we go, I’m doing it right now. Creepy smile time.

Engaged

If you don’t give a flying monkey’s butt about gushy proposal stories, then tag yourself out of this post, because here comes the sappy…. I’ll give you a moment to decide… Done? Cool! Let’s talk about the proposal, because it was awesome, and adorable, and totally perfect.

OK, so for our 3-year-anniversary, E and I went to Ojai, which is about an hour and a half drive from our house. It’s all beautiful mountains, and quaint little country stores, and I heard Reese Witherspoon has a house there, so… so…

Yeah, so we went! And we stayed at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (if you’re into all-inclusive things, then this is the place for you!). The first day we were there, we had some massages scheduled, and we decided to grab some food and celebratory cocktails before those happened. See that drink in the photo below? It was lavender lemonade with vodka or something, and it was glorious.

EngagedCocktail

It was so glorious, in fact, that promptly after drinking it we got in our spa robes, and I proceeded to fall asleep on one of the chaise lounges at the spa. (Note: While I was sleeping the drink off, E later told me that he was running through his proposal speech over and over again, so he’d get it right when he finally did propose. I was so day drunk! And blissfully unaware!)

So we get these massages, which were epic, and then hobble back to our hotel room. It was about 6 p.m., and we had dinner reservations at the hotel for 8 p.m. As I showered and blowdry’d the old hair, apparently E was busy tucking the ring inside his coat pocket, and having a mini panic attack (probably).

Something you discover about Ojai pretty quickly is that the people take great pride in their sunsets. They call it the “pink moment,” and our hotel even had a sign out front that predicted when the moment would happen. So we decided to try and go see it, because it was our anniversary, and sunsets are so romantical, and we’re cheesy as hell, OK?

My feet hurt, though. And it was a long walk up the hill to see that pink moment. So I flagged down a golf cart (yes, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is all about golfing, and you can do things like hitchhike with one).

This probably disturbed E for two reasons:

  1. He had a plan, and this random golf cart driver didn’t know about that plan, and…
  2. Wow, it’s probably going to happen very quickly.

Luckily, this driver was a pro. Like, he knew exactly where to find that pink moment. When he first tried to drop us off, it was in a super crowded spot, and when E said, “Is there anywhere more private?” that probably should’ve tipped me off. But it didn’t. La di da, blissfully unaware still.

We eventually got to the top of a hill, where there was an enormous gazebo with floor-to-ceiling windows that offered a panoramic view of the mountains, about to be dusted in pink. We were alone, inside the gazebo, staring off into the sunset, when E turned me around so he could give me his proposal speech.

I’m not going to recite the actual speech, because it was very personal, and made me cry, and I don’t want other people sobbing while reading, but I WILL share the most important part of that speech. Which is that at one point, E told me he’d been talking to Fish (our cat) about our future together, and they’d both come to an agreement. At this point, I had no idea what was going on, I thought he was just being gushy. But then he pulled out his phone, and showed me this picture…

CatRing

It was our baby kitty girl! And a ring! And she was next to it! And A RING.

I started sobbing. Just like, balling my eyes out. I cried so much that I didn’t even notice E get down on one knee and ask, “Will you marry me?” He had to ask me again, once I’d pulled myself a little more together. But I was so surprised, like, I don’t know how to explain the feeling of your heart exploding into other little hearts, but that’s what happened to me. I really was so overwhelmed with joy and love that it manifested in me sobbing through most of the proposal.

One of the first things I said AFTER the “yes!!” was “This is so weird, right?! I mean, how weird is this?!” Getting engaged is WEIRD. Like, why don’t more people talk about this? It’s probably one of the strangest moments of joy you’ll ever encounter. One minute your life is one way, and the next a ring on your finger means a total relationship shift.

I had no idea what to do.I called my mom. She was watching The Messengers, and tried to usher me off the phone so she could get back to it. Then when she realized what I was saying, I think she went into shock, as did my Dad. E said, “If you’re too emotional to eat, we can get room service,” to which I said, “Oh no, we’re eating!” I knew that I wanted to celebrate, and I knew that I wanted to remember the rest of that night. We got complimentary champagne and desserts — PRO TIP: TELL EVERYONE YOU JUST GOT ENGAGED, AND ALL THINGS ARE FREE — and watched the pink moment turn into a lovely, starry sky.

EngagementRing

OK, that’s the end of the sappy proposal story. We spent the rest of the weekend wine tasting, and eating, and telling our friends the good news. Oh, and we watched an episode of Game of Thrones when we got back, so that’s really just the icing to a perfect weekend, right?

Things I Learned About Marriage From “House Of Cards”

It took me roughly a month, but I finally finished watching Season 2 of House of Cards. (Warning: If you haven’t seen any of Season 2 yet and you don’t want any spoilers, this is the time for you to stop reading.)

House of Cards

Here’s what I learned about married life from Frank and Claire:

  • Smoke. Smoke some more. And then smoke again. It’s sexy.
  • If your husband kills his mistress/reporter confidant, don’t ask questions.
  • Invite your husband’s coworkers over for dinner. Serve BBQ. Make them feel bad by flaunting how well your marriage functions, and then manipulate them into going to therapy.
  • The occasional threesome with your bodyguard is an easy way to spice up your love life. (Especially if said bodyguard has just cut open his hand and had a bit too much bourbon.)

House of Cards Threesome

  • The couple who runs (physically) together, wins together.
  • And if running isn’t an option, there’s always that weird rowing machine.
  • Also, the couple who calculates other people’s demise together will likely take over the Oval office.

Thank you, House of Cards, for a thoroughly enjoyable Season 2, as well as all the life lessons. (They’ve been noted.)