Tales from the Veil: Find The Dress, Part I

Another “Tales from the Veil” story is brought to us by Rachel Kitt who is the Executive Assistant at the Jewish Federation of San Diego County. She loves to run competitively and for pleasure, bake gluten-free sweets, and hang out with her hubby, a San Diego attorney. After eloping to the island of Oahu in December of 2007, Rachel finds herself looking back on her Jewish destination wedding adventure and laughing out loud. Her story will show you how any bride can take wedding disasters and turn them into wedded bliss. Lemons into lemonade. Grapes into Manischewitz. We’ll be hearing more from Rachel as a regular contributor to The Wedding Yentas.

There was a time during my engagement where I thought that the feeling of “This is The Dress. This is the One,” was only a fairytale with little-to-no chance of actually coming true. I considered it folklore or like the princess stories we grew up knowing. The Dress was just another pumpkin turning into a beautiful glass coach. Or the ugly frog turning into a handsome prince. However, the one about the young college boyfriend turning into a lawyer-fiance? Yeah, that came true. He made my Jewish mom so happy!

Tim proposed in September and we intended to plan a wedding to take place 11 months later. I began wedding dress shopping right away. I started at Jessica McClintock at a mall in San Jose, California, near my hometown. I found the perfect dress, got excited, and then… realized it was not The One. It was definitely a nice dress. And it was cheap. But who wants a dress that is just nice and cheap? I realized I hadn’t done enough research and that I would have to do some more comparisons to really know the feeling of The One. Moral of the story #1: It is okay to buy more than one wedding dress. I honestly have so many girlfriends who bought a dress, then got closer to her wedding date, had a change of heart and then boom!, time for Plan B and Dress #2.

For me, the real search began after I was able to return the dress, thank goodness! I tried on dress after dress, giving everything a try from white to beige to cream and pale pink. I tried on sweetheart and v-neck styles and silk and taffeta fabrics. I tried on dresses with beads and I tried on dresses with lace. No type of dress was safe from my trying-on. I was on a rampage of try-ons; a wild woman with a one-track mind.

A few dresses into the experience, I had come to the conclusion about one thing: I wanted a bright white dress. Side note: An older female relative, who shall remain nameless, actually had the chuztpah to ask me why I wanted to wear white since I lived with the boyfriend pre-marriage and she was traditional “like that.” Moral of the story #2: Family members say mean and shocking things, usually without malicious intent. Roll with the punches. Personally, I smiled at her, said nothing, but grinned with delight as I imagined myself walking down the aisle in a shocking red dress. “Would that make you feel better, lady?”

I did the dress shop hop, visiting every boutique, store, and salon in Northern California, my hometown, and Southern California, my home. I had given myself a very strict and low budget, and refused to go a dollar over or even look at a dress that cost a dollar over. And yet still, I found nothing. Nothing!

Due to frustration, I had almost given up. After what must have been over ten dress stores and multiple trips to the San Jose Airport to see my mom and the dresses that would await us, I was ready to call it quits and just settle on something. Anything.

Then things got a little more complicated.

How complicated?

We moved up our wedding date. Hmmm… okay. So?

By a lot.

All of a sudden, I went from having nine more months to find, buy, and alter a dress, to three weeks until the Hawaiian chuppah nuptials due to a last-minute decision to begin my life with my love as soon as possible.

To be continued… Check back on Wednesday to see if Rachel found The Dress!