The dress: Maggie Sottero
Dresses tried on before finding The One: 30
The story: "I wanted big and poofy because it was so different from the jeans and tees I usually wore. Originally I wanted a ballerina style with a huge tulle skirt with a hoop, but then realized I wouldn't be able to walk! A tie-up back was also on my list so I wouldn't stress about it fitting on the special day. I didn't like a whole lot of beadwork or embroidery, and definitely no lace. And since I'm a practical person, I also didn't want to spend a lot on something I'd only wear for a few hours, and actually got it on sale for $400!"
Something old, something new…: "I had my wedding band made using small diamonds from a ring given to me after my grandmother passed away, so that was my something old. The dress was the something new, I wore pale blue undies, and I borrowed a silk robe from my bridesmaid that she wore getting ready for her wedding."
Where the dress is now: "It's in my 18-month-old son's closet, zipped up in a gown bag, covered with grass stains and who knows what else. I never wanted to have it cleaned or preserved because I wanted to leave it as is, because seeing it well-worn reminds me of how truly special that day was."