So, although I have proclaimed some discomfort with another big wedding, I'm coming around to the idea in a few areas. One of these is the dress.
One of my closest friends has a bachelors degree in Fashion Design and learned all the physical skills of constructing a garment there. She then went on to get another bachelors in Costume Design and a masters degree in Costume Design at Penn State. Plus, she has an almost identical style aesthetic to mine. She made my first wedding dress and has been nothing but excited to make this one.
When I called her to tell her that I was engaged, it was such a good conversation. When I was first engaged, I often felt uncomfortable telling people because it seemed like everyone began asking about the event immediately. Not Camilla. She asked about Jacob. We giggled and gossiped and talked about her life, too. Then, we dreamed a little bit about the dress.
She sent the first round of designs and I have to admit that it took me a morning to tame than inner bridezilla that seems to be latent even in the most laid-back of brides. So many pressures from so many sides makes you just want to take the whole event by the throat and shake it so that it knows who is boss. Luckily, our capitalist society has seen an opportunity for profit in that emotional response and said, "You know what? You shouldn't feel bad about that. In fact, that is a totally appropriate thing to want. This should be all about you. On this day you can be the spoiled princess you always hoped you were when you daydreamed about your parents not being your real parents because they were actually poor peasants chosen by the king and queen to spirit their baby girl away to suburbs to keep her out of harm's reach when the boogeyman threatened to steal you."
Well, maybe they don't say all of that.
But I don't want my wedding day to be all about me. There are lots of people that this day is important to. It's about the lives that our parents dedicated to our raising. It's about the siblings who helped us find our way in the world. It's about the long nights and fun days that our friends spent supporting us and shaping our worldview. It's about the faith traditions that provided the framework for identities.
For my first wedding, I told Camilla exactly what I wanted. It reflected only my personality. This time around, I want the dress to reflect her personality as well. Plus, she's better at designing dresses than I am.
I don't want to be a princess. The princess gets lonely a lot. I want to be a member of a community.
But I also want a dress that makes me want to say, "I have the coolest fucking dress. I can't wait for you to see it!"
So, when none of the five designs managed to be the complex fusion of whimsical and sexy that I had asked for and it was a tough day so it felt like the dress would never be right if this was the foot we were starting off on, I had a personal princess moment and walked around campus saying mean things in my head.
But since the building I was walking to hadn't been unlocked yet, I got to spend some time in the early spring sun and just breathe a little.
Then, I was able to send Camilla an email that thanked her for the work she was doing and that thanked her for telling me to be honest and for preemptively assuring me that we would keep working until it was right. I wrote a few sentences about what I'd like to see that wasn't there and was able to neutrally analyze what worked and didn't work for me in the designs. Camilla's response was wonderfully supportive and a whole new set of designs is on its way.
As part of the process, I got to put together a few inspiration boards to communicate with images what I can't seem to say with words. This was an incredibly satisfying experience and great distraction from the homework I didn't want to do.
You can see them here, here and here. (Jacob asked that I make them links rather than embed the images so that he doesn't accidentally see them. How cute is that?) If you want to know where a particular image came from, leave a comment and I'll provide the link. If I had to wait until I had time to list all the links, this post would never see the glowing blue monitor light of day.