I told you I'd do it...

Bright and early this morning, my cute roommate Morgan and I drove up to Friendship Heights to attend this...

Maybe the Captain's frugality is rubbing off on me. Maybe I'm just crazy! But really, who doesn't want a killer deal on their wedding dress?

This event was INSANE as you will see...what pictures cannot capture is the mayhem that gives it the name the "running of the brides". It literally felt like we were caught in a stampede as we approached the door to the mall surrounded by screaming brides, their bridesmaids, MOBs (mom's of brides), gay guy friends, and even dads! It was a mosh pit of matching t-shirts. For a second I thought about following through with my own MOB's suggestion to wait and meet up at the one in Chicago or Boston. Now that it's over, I don't know if I could do it again, but if I did I would definitely need reinforcements!

I hope you enjoy the line as much as Morgan and I did...
Getting excited to go in! We had NO idea what to expect. The website gave a glimpse of what was on the other side of the doors, but I really had no clue! People were so organized. Their "team members" all had responsiblities. One, we would find out, was to carry these signs around. You'll find out why in a bit.

More mayhem inside the store. When we walked in, the only dresses still on the racks were being horded like these ones. I literally could not even get my hands on a dress for at least an hour. We just walked in circles. Begging.

The "sign holders" were parading around the store, asking for their brides' dream dress size, color, style, etc. It was amazing. The hording didn't stop--it just turned into "trading". No one would let go of a dress unless you had one to give them in return. Finally, some sympathetic bridesmaid handed me a dress in my size (which I wasn't even sure what size I wore in wedding dresses at that point). I tried it on--not the perfect dress and more than I wanted to pay, but we held on to it like it was a life boat in open, rough waters. Something to trade. One dress turned into six, until my arms started to ache. I kept thinking, This is crazy, carrying around dresses I don't even want, just for leverage. The plastic bags made my arms sweat.

Eventually, cheers started errupting from groups throughout the store, indicating that a bride had found a dress! I kept getting more and more overwhelmed and disappointed. Just as I decided that this would not be my lucky day and that I should just give up, people started abandoning dresses in piles and sales people started putting dresses back on the racks. I tried on a couple that seemed like they "could" work...or at least would be good ideas to show a seamstress--since I obviously was just going to have to take my ideas to someone to make them from scratch.

Then, something caught my eye in the corner of the store. A bride named Brittany had on this dress with an AMAZING skirt. I hovered. I asked if that was one she wanted. She said maybe. She was picking between 3 or 4 dresses. I told her if she didn't want it, I wanted to try it on. Then this other girl started hovering too! and another! and another! Brittany looked at them, pointed at me and said, "She has first pick." Oh it warmed my heart! Finally, a ray of light.
Another shopper asked me what I was looking for. Apparently, her job was to scavange for her bride. She told me she saw something like I was describing against the other wall on the floor. Morgan vultured over Brittany's group for me while I did some recon. I found the dress the scavanger was talking about and it did have an amazing skirt too! But it was on the body of this cute Latina. I hovered there while she hummed and hawed. It seemed to take forever--even after she told her friend that she didn't like it--I swear it was a power play. She took her time just because I was hovering. She finally took it off and I took it over to Morgan so she could help me zip it up. It fit, but it would need an entirely new bodice and for the price of the dress, it would be worth it! But what I really wanted was in Brittany's pile of "maybes".
By this time, I was hot and sweaty and hungry and so was Morgan! I started to let my mind wander, watching and listening as cheers/applause continued to errupt throughout the store. Then Brittany picked up the dress, my dress, and started walking towards me. She said with a big smile on her face, "Here, it's yours." I was in a little bit of shock. Really? You don't want it? Oh I could cry! and I almost did. And then I saw her friend on the floor had caught the moment on video. Maybe it will end up on YouTube and I'll be famous.
It needs some sleeves, but coming in WELL under budget I went to work a happy bride-to-be!

Phew! :)

Kinda makes everything else seem a little less important...

I haven't met my friends' Shannon & Dave's baby boy, Paxton, yet--but I want to!

Filene's Basement - Running of the Brides

One of my co-workers just tipped me off to this crazy, but possible very rewarding, bridal gown event. If I end up going, I'll definitely post photos!

Cry Baby

If you know me well, then you know that I'm a bit "tender hearted" (aka: prone to the occasional weep-fest). Well, something about being engaged has magnified this trait--it's a little ridiculous.

...In the kitchen at work while I was taking a quick break to eat a plum, that Subaru commercial came on--you know the one where the dude can't find his sunglasses so they have to retrace their "steps" through the desert and he finally finds them in the hood of his sweatshirt after the bats fly out of the cave and his lady friend just shakes her head and gives him a silly little grin and then the word "love" comes up on the screen followed by the Subaru logo and you aren't sure if they are talking about loving a car or loving a human?--and it reminds me of driving from Oceanside to Long Beach last week and getting a call in Irvine from my mom asking if I still had her car key in my purse, which I did, because the car was blocking the garbage dumpster and the garbage guys were about to give her a ticket, so Tim (listening to my side of the conversation) turns around and starts driving the 45-minute-leg we had just driven to go back and give her the keys with ZERO animosity or frustration, proving to me that I have said yes to an amazing man. Yep. It's a good thing I was the only person in the office with a 10am plum craving.

...While walking to the Metro this morning, as I'm thinking about going to try on wedding dresses this weekend, not because we even know when we're getting married yet (fall? winter?? next summer??? 3/4 sleeve? long sleeve?? cap sleeve???), but because no matter how many times I've sketched one of my "dream dresses" on a napkin or piece of scratch paper, the only real wedding dress I've ever tried on (this past Christmas) was the one my little sister wore when she was 19 and I couldn't even zip it up more than two inches--and reminiscing back to when we went dress shopping with her the first time and we were stuck in traffic and made that ridiculous "music" video to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and thinking about how much I wish I had my sisters and my mom close by to go dress shopping with me.

...After talking to my respective parents about the subject of a budget and learning that my mom has been saving her pennies for this very event and then hearing my dad say, "I'll make it work" knowing that we are, indeed, in the middle of a recession and neither of them has any extra cash floating around.

...Right now as I type this from my desk thinking about all the times I've "lost it" the past 5 days, putting on my glasses to help hide the redness and feeling a mix of a little ridiculousness, a lot of love and a whole lot of gratitude.

...Wondering how a cry baby like me will ever make it through the actual day without waterproof make up (and I mean all of it, not just the mascara) and a rain coat to protect that dress that is yet to be found.

Very Good News!

I've been waiting a pretty long time to share this general statement with the world and what better way to do it than this? Okay, so maybe it would be better to call you all individually, or maybe just tell my grandmas and aunties and wait for the word to get out.
and couldn't be happier, more ecstatic, more overjoyed!!

Be on the look out for updates on all things wedding.

Beach Week!

For the first time since my family started our annual beach week I actually got to enjoy it as a vacation. I splurged and took a week off of work to fly from the east coast to the west coast for seven whole days of perfect weather and my family members close by (very close, sharing a condo on the beach in Oceanside).

Tim came out for a few days. What do you think? Does he fit in?

More pics to come (I just have to steal them from Emily and Liz).

"I Need the Wild"

That is what I read on the water bottle of a check-out girl at Trader Joe's today. Underneath it was the scripture reference Luke 5:16. I was so curious to find out how a scripture from Luke could be translated into needing the wild, so I looked it up when I came back to the office.

"And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed."

Peter, James, and John just forsook all to follow the Savior.

Jesus' "fame" was increasing in the land, becoming known for the power of his word and his ability to cast out devils. The people pressed on him.

He healed a leper and asked him to tell no man.

"But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities."

So what did Jesus do? He withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

It doesn't take much for me to imagine what that could be like, to be pressed upon by the multitude. Surrounded by so many in need. Each wanting Him to work a miracle to make their lives better or easier. I sit at my desk with a bundle of nervous energy between my shoulder blades--waiting for the next request, the next project, the next crisis--because here everything seems to be an emergency. I feel as though I am surrounded by need, though it is a much different kind.

He removed himself and prayed. Regrounded in the wilderness. And then he went right back to teaching and healing. Lifting and blessing.

Maybe it doesn't make the need go away. Maybe it just creates more. Even so, there is a lesson here that I need to learn. I need the wild.