Saturday was surreal, beautiful, and memorable thanks to the women in my life.
As a motherless daughter who is planning her own wedding, I have been dreading going wedding dress shopping for the past 5 months.
I had so much anxiety about the anticipation of missing my mom on this special day that I strategically planned to put off shopping for my dress as long as I could.
I was avoiding it so much that I even pulled out my planner at some point along the way and calculated the last month I could comfortably start shopping before the wedding.
However, when one of the premiere bridal shops in the Charlotte area announced they were going out of business and their entire inventory was heavily discounted, I knew I had to put my emotions aside and make an appointment to try on dresses.
So, I invited my two aunts and cousin down from Asheville to join my maid of honor, matron of honor, mother-in-law, and me on this adventure.
Then, I panicked.
I had low expectations the entire week leading up to D-Day (dress day) — making several phone calls to my dad and best friend to tell them that I didn’t think I would be able to find a dress.
I told them that perhaps I was bringing too many people with me; that this was going to be an emotionally charged day for me and I was going to miss my mom too much to concentrate on the task at hand.
I repeated myself multiple times to whoever would listen:
“I know myself and I have come to terms with the fact that I will not find my wedding dress on Saturday. I will end up going somewhere else alone to pick it out. There are too many people going and I am going to be over stimulated. I just really wish my mom was here to go with me.”
As it turns out, though, this day was exactly what I needed.
When I was in the shower Saturday morning — because the shower is where I do my best thinking — it occurred to me just how lucky I am to have all these women driving into town to go look at wedding dresses with me.
They want to be here for me; they want to make this day special.
It occurred to me that I had been spending so much time focusing on what’s missing (my mom) that I was failing to see the blessings I do have.
At that moment, my mindset changed. All of a sudden I became excited about my family visiting and finally showing them where I live, and I couldn’t wait to put on wedding dresses and have everyone “ooh” and “aah” over me.
Yes, my mom’s presence was very much missed — not just by me, but by my aunts as well.
Even though I can’t have my mom here, I am incredibly thankful for the women I do have in my life. Together, and individually, they create a wonderful support system.
I was exhausted at the end of the day, but this time spent laughing with and enjoying my family and close friends is exactly what I needed to get me past the anxiety of being a motherless bride.
I even proved myself wrong and went home with a beautiful gown — a gown that my aunts surprised me and helped pay for.
Now, I cannot wait for our wedding day and to see Justin’s face as he watches me walk down the aisle to one of our favorite songs wearing this dress.