Thursday, August 30, 2007

1. The Saga Begins...

Good friends of ours are getting married in March 2008. The four of us go rock climbing together once or twice a week. They are the couple on the left in this photo, and we are the couple on the right. We climb at Aiguille Rock Climbing Center in Orlando, FL (

My friendship with Susan, however, extends beyond our shared enjoyment of climbing, to include (among other things) careers in the same field and a love of sewing. So, when they announced their engagement, and after some deliberation, I offered, as our wedding gift, to make her wedding dress.

My deliberation stemmed from two main concerns:

1) I didn't want her to feel obligated to say yes. If she wanted to select something from a bridal boutique, then that is what I wanted for her.

2) I wasn't 100% sure that my sewing skills are up to it. I consider myself to be at the advanced beginner / low intermediate level. And, while I'm happy to wear "good enough" homemade sun dresses around the house on the weekend, I wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than "practically perfect" for something this important. And, of course, wedding dresses are typically a bit more complicated than sun dresses!

The pros were mostly the obvious ones:
Sewing is something special that we share. Sewing our own clothes means the same thing to both of us - you get to have EXACTLY what you want. I thought that having a dress I made for her with love would be more special and meaningful than anything she could find in a store. And, unlike many recently engaged young women, she actually seemed to feel more stressed than excited about shopping for a gown.

After weighing the pros and cons, I went ahead and made the offer, attempting to give each of us an easy way out, just in case. I started by telling her that I wanted to make a suggestion, but if it didn't appeal to her then that was fine and I wouldn't be the least bit hurt or upset. I suggested that, if she thought she might be interested, she do both - shopping in bridal shops and browse patterns with me. IF there was a pattern that she fell in love with AND nothing in the stores appealed to her as much, then... I even added the disclaimer that it would have to be a pattern I felt capable of doing, and doing well.

You never know for sure if saying those types of things ("It's okay if you don't want to, honest.") will really work and eliminate any feelings of obligation. But I generally say what I mean, and I was hoping that Susan knows me well enough to believe me when I said it.

Well, given that you are reading a blog entitled "The Wedding Dress Saga", I don't suppose there's much suspense about the outcome. She said "Yes." And so, the saga begins...

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