My now-husband and I began our relationship as friends, but with this gown, it was love at first sight. I first laid eyes on this Oscar de la Renta creation in 2009, long before I was engaged. I was working at my first job out of college as a marketing assistant for a fashion label in New York, and my boss would occasionally browse wedding gowns online in preparation of her boyfriend proposing. Her wedding gown shopping was contagious, and soon every woman in the entire row of cubicles was surfing the net for her perfect gown. As my boss lamented how beautiful the Vera Wang gown she wore to her first wedding was, I came across the Oscar de la Renta bridal collection. Style number 92E25 popped out of the screen at me (I don't think I'll ever forget that style number). Its grace, its cut, its fabric; it was "the one." I just knew in my gut that this was going to be my wedding dress.
I silently saved the image of the gown swishing down the runway to a special computer file where I saved pictures of my favorite fashion finds (this was pre-Pinterest). I glanced at the image occasionally over the years, even shared it with my mom and a few friends when the talk of wedding gowns arose, but it wasn't until nearly three years later, after I got engaged, that I began to search for my actual dress.
I went with my family and friends to a few bridal boutiques and tried on many beautiful white gowns. Surely another dress had come along in the intervening years that I liked better than 92E25. The bridal gown shopping experience was fun, and I found one gown I really liked, but nothing I tried on made me feel the way I felt when I imagined walking down the aisle in the Oscar gown. I couldn't buy a dress until I had tried on 92E25.
I was living in Charleston, SC, at the time, and no boutiques in the state carried the designer. I did some research and discovered that BleuBelle Bridal in Savannah, GA, was the nearest boutique that carried Oscar de la Renta. I sent an email inquiring about the dress and received a prompt reply that a sample of the gown was being sent from New York for me to try on.
That Saturday, I got in my car and drove the two hours from Charleston down to Savannah by myself. I held my breath as the stylist pulled the gown out the dust bag, afraid it wouldn't live up to my expectations — how could it? But when I put it on, I just knew; this was my dress. To make it all the more serendipitous, it turned out this particular sample gown was the actual gown worn in the bridal runway show back in 2009. I was trying on the very gown whose image I had saved on my computer so many years earlier. I finally had my dress.
Photo by Sweet Monday Photography