She Said Yes to the Dress

Things didn’t bode well for the bridal-gown-shopping excursion. The weather forecasters weren’t sure how much snow the storm would dump on New York City, and the bride had to travel down from Albany. One bridesmaid would be coming in from New Jersey. Another bridesmaid (my niece) and a flower girl (her five-year-old, my great-niece) live in Boston, which everyone knew was going to be hit hard.

Taking a good guess that school would be cancelled for Friday, my niece and her family made a getaway Thursday night to her brother’s home in CT, and were safely ensconced in a midtown NYC hotel by Friday afternoon. When my daughter got on the 4:15 train on Friday to the city, I was feeling better — even though the legendary Kleinfeld’s had already emailed her that they might have to cancel her appointment because they might not be able to open the store. There are, after all, many bridal stores in New York City.

And thank goodness for that. Manhattan was largely spared the snow — on the Upper West Side we had about 11-inches, although Brooklyn Heights came in at 2-inches. The subways were running. We all own boots. Only my daughter’s mother-in-law-to-be hadn’t made it in. And, yes, Kleinfeld’s had cancelled.

But RK Bridal was open.

This store bills itself as “no-frills,” and certainly is. The dressing rooms are not fancy. They don’t offer the bride bottled water. Over a thousand dresses hang on racks (in plastic), grouped by designer. It could be overwhelming.

From the moment we walked in, however, we were made to feel at home. Because of the slush, we all had to remove our boots, For those of us who forgot shoes (um, moi), the store provided slippers. They did not fuss that my daughter had an entourage of eight. They did not mind that we all dumped our coats in the dressing room. The staff was cheerful and relaxed.

Kudos to my daughter who came prepared with pictures of gowns she liked (which I had printed out for her).

I am also in awe of our saleswoman who grabbed the gowns my daughter liked off the floor, found similar ones for her to try, and then, in an act of brilliance, produced a gown of a type my daughter had totally nixed, but which fit in with my daughter’s sense of style and also emphasized her best features.

That was the dress. What they say is true. When she  tried it on, she knew it, and we knew We applauded, and so did everyone else in the store.

I have little experience in the bridal gown department. At my own wedding 32 1/2 years ago, I wore flowers in my hair. It never occurred to me to look at a traditional gown. I was teeny tiny in those days, and I couldn’t find anything to fit me. My mother wasn’t particularly interested, I think. I ended up having a three piece silk outfit made, which my daughter derogatorily refers to as a “suit.”

I cannot post a picture of this wonderful bridal gown my daughter will don in September because if I put it on the Internet, somehow her fiance may see it — and we can’t have that, right?

I continue to be amazed at what a wonderfully easy bride-to-be my daughter is, so different from the bridezillas we watch on television shows or read about in magazines.

For me this mother-of-the bride experience is exhilarating and exhausting. I’d love to hear from others, both brides and mothers, about the special moments in their wedding planning. If there were disasters, well I guess I better hear about those too. Thanks.