Gonna Dress You Up In My Love


The eyebrows! The hair! The lace all the way up to her chin! Annie Banks knows no bounds!

I've been excited about my wedding dress since I was four and used to wear a tutu on my head (sometimes a pillow case, depending on tutu availability). My plastic bejeweled heels certainly didn't hurt, either.

Living in dresses for most of my childhood - the day when I could don the ultimate dress was never far from my mind.

After procrastinating for weeks because I was afraid I'd look like a carebear, I decided it was time.

Surprisingly enough, Cincinnati hosts a serious bridal district. 

Most go on a Saturday afternoon, amidst mimosas and veils and tears (of both the sentimental and tantrum-like nature), where there are rooms barely contained with walls and filled with hundreds of passers by. It's enough to make you sweat.

I mean, why change in a fitting room when you could change at a subway stop in New York City? The upside of the subway station is that you might get some tips.

Since my job requires that I never have a weekend off, it actually worked in my favor when my mom and sister and I went to pick one out on a Wednesday afternoon.

Seriously. If you can go in the middle of the week, GO. There was hardly anyone there. I didn't feel rushed. I didn't feel like an exhibitionist. 

I felt like Julia Roberts on the hillside, when she FINALLY doesn't run away from Ike:

I felt like Liv when she looks over at Emma while that wistful Priscilla Ahn song is playing and they're thinking of being friends again:

Thankfully, I did not feel like Tess when she ruined her mother's wedding dress and acted like a total troll:

The associate that helped us was a woman named Tracy. She had wild curls, smelled a little bit like smoke, and had an extremely boisterous personality that I eventually fell in love with. It struck me by how much you really have to understand people to do that job.

Her instincts were quick and she knew when I didn't love one. In fact, she knew better than I did what I wanted. Because she brought a dress to me that was EVERYTHING I said I didn't like and didn't want. And I put it on just to humor her. And then I had that moment where every dress before and every dress after just didn't matter to me. I felt beautiful. I wasn't worried about how my body looked, or which angle was best. I just felt like myself. Only maybe the more formal version.

If nothing else existed and it was just Bryan and I in a field and I was wearing that dress, I'd be happy.

I hope he likes it, too.