The Dress

The Dress isn’t black and blue.  It’s white…or ivory…or champagne, with sequins, beads and sparkles, if you wish, and you only wear it once. 

bride and groom

Yesterday I went shopping with my 3 daughters for The Dress; my middle daughter is getting married in October. 

my daughters shopping

Nowadays, you start planning a year in advance.  In the 1930s and ’40s, war brides got proposed to and married within a few days before their husbands shipped out.  Times change, traditions evolve, and iconoclasts always do their own thing. 

feet

Marriage is not about the wedding, ultimately.  It’s about a vow between two people and how they live that out over time.  And no one can take that away from them legally, socially, or religiously.  You can make it into a right or a rite, but it’s a vow and a life that will be lived despite systemic impositions.   I celebrate that self-determination, that freely-willed commitment to working and learning and loving, united with a partner.  It’s a brave thing.  I don’t celebrate the consumerism so much.  I really don’t enjoy shopping, especially for clothing.  Me — I buy what I need at Goodwill, quickly and cheaply. Done.  What I do enjoy is watching my daughters be their inimitable selves, and taking pictures.  (That hasn’t changed in 30 years!) I brought my camera along and played observer…and I had a blast!

self portraitVisually, all the sparkle and white is a lot like winter. 

like winter

The mood yesterday was cheered by a significant thaw, sunshine and temperatures above freezing for the first time in months!  And it had been a month since I’d seen my kids.  No, not just ‘a‘ month – February.  A rather cruel month in some ways.  I crave the warmth of their smiles and hugs and laughter, and our togetherness.

stealth photographer in the dress shopBright, happy prettiness all around.  What fun!  Every wedding dress is lovely.

not the oneBut then comes The Dress, the one that makes a bride light up when she puts it on.  The Dress is Mount Everest.  Once you scale it and check it off the list, the accomplishment is elating.  Congratulations!  You have found The ONE!

This is the final picture…for now.  There’s hair and veil and shoes and more to conquer.  On her wedding day, my daughter will be absolutely radiant, I’m sure.  It’s going to be beautiful.  But I don’t know how many photos I’ll take that day.  I’ll be busy dancing! 

Thanks for coming along for the ride today!

© 2015, essay and photographs, Priscilla Galasso, All rights reserved

 

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