So I was starting to think I seriously lacked the bride gene. I have been moving through my check lists and organizing dinners and invites, but for some reason it didn't really kick in that I was having a wedding. But then two of my dearest friends in the District threw me a lovely wedding shower, and everything changed! I ordered my wedding shoes, flew back for a weekend in Wisconsin where my sister and my best bud since the 4th grade organized another shower and a night on the town. This led me to stop being afraid of the big bad white dress, which led to actually making an appointment, looking at a few gowns, and buying two dresses. Between the love of all my friends, the RSVPs in the mail every day, the thoughtful gifts streaming into our apartment, and the list of thank you notes I have to write, it finally kicked in. I am BRIDE-Y! First things first, lets talk about my amazing showers. I sort of hate baby showers. As a single girl, these are not that fun, and normally I haven't the slightest idea what half of the gifts are for, and I certainly cannot tell you what flavor the food in the orange jar is versus the food in the sort of orange jar. However, I feel totally different about bridal showers, and I always have. These are fun! While one could easily deem this tradition of showering the bride with housewares for her new life a tad antiquated, there is another element to these that I feel is often overlooked.
The very best part of these showers is the woman-only environment. I have a tendency to want to create women-only spaces, and a bridal shower is one of these moments where women, married or single, gay or straight, young or old, whatever, can come together to support one of us as she moves on to a new mindset. While it felt weird to be the center of attention and to open gifts in front of everyone - something I haven't done except at childhood Christmases - there was something so truly wonderful about being surrounded by women from different chapters of my life. At my DC shower, I had new friends, friends from grad school, the partners of past roommates and dear male friends, and my go-to-girlfriends in DC. In Wisconsin, I had the family of my birth, the family created by my parents, a college girlfriend, and my oldest friends from elementary school eating this amazing food provided by my culinary school-graduate sister There is power knowing that you have all of these amazing women in your life, and that they are supporting you as you move into a new way of thinking (how I perceive being married). I think that this sort of moment should not be limited to the engaged, certainly not while gay marriage isn't legal. This type of experience should be had by women celebrating any large change in her life. It really does ease any type of fear, seeing your community, your people, your chosen and birth family in one place, knowing they have your back.
So once I returned from my second shower in Sheboygan, I had no problem calling up a store and trying on a few dresses - okay, I didn't really try them on since they were sample size, and I am normal size, but I did actually select two dresses, and once they arrive I'll have a wedding dress. In 6 weeks, I'll be in Rome, marrying Groom. And I'll be a better wife to him, just as I'm a better person, thanks to the wonderful women in my life who are letting me be bride-y now.