When I got the invitation to write THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE, one of the “Big Wedding Giveaway” bride novellas for Tule Publishing, I jumped at the chance. I’m a sucker for weddings, and most of all wedding dresses.
Probably that’s because…well, okay, there doesn’t have to be a “because” for this, does there? Millions of people are in suckers for wedding dresses–which can be more like works of art than mere garments. More like magical sugar-spun dreams than clothes.
For me, the most gorgeous wedding dresses in the past century belong to Kate Middleton, Princess Diana, and Grace Kelly. And my mother.
My mother’s dress was a WWII-time piece of simplicity, compared to the other three.
All cotton-lace, a softly tailored shirtwaist that fit her looks, and her personality, perfectly. She was a liberated, working journalist who made her own decisions and didn’t put on frou-frou to suit anyone else’s definition of “female.” She was way ahead of her time, really.
Still…it was understood that, when I married, I’d wear the same gown….even though it didn’t really fit my figure, or my girly personality, as well. I was curvier, shorter…with far less WWII-time dignity. But I wore it, rather than risk hurting my mom’s feelings.
My sister wore it with great joy, too, when she married. She never considered anything else, and she looked beautiful. The trio-tradition feels nice, and if I could turn back time, I wouldn’t change a thing.
But when it came time for my daughter to marry, I made certain she understood she was not tied to that dress, which suited her even less than it had suited me.
It was a tough decision for her. She deeply honors family, loves rituals and traditions and keepsakes passed down through the generations. But she’s also a free spirit, a creative soul. She has an independent turn of mind I’m quite sure she inherited straight from my mother. She knew it was her wedding, and it should reflect who she was. In the end, she chose a dress that made her shine.
And though my mother had been gone for ten years at that point, when my daughter walked down the aisle in that lovely gown, I knew that, somewhere, she was smiling.
Look at my daughter here, dancing with some of the wedding guests. Who wouldn’t smile, to see a bride that happy and free?
What about you? Are you enchanted by wedding gowns, or bored by all the fuss and frill? Was your own wedding dress the dress of your dreams? And do you love reading about brides–even one who hocks her wedding dress, like mine?
I’ll be giving away free ebooks of THE SUBSTITUTE BRIDE today to two posters chosen at random.
And Kate, the last giveaway winner, please email me at KOBrien@aol.com today! I had a problem with mailing your book and have been trying to reach you!