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An oldie, but a goodie, this New York Times essay “Say No to the Dress,” by Joanna Hershon, her tale of having the ultimate aspirational wedding dress:

Picture …the 7th floor at Bergdorf Goodman. Picture the Bridal Specialist…clutching her clipboard. Picture several Russian seamstresses with pins in their mouths…Picture the Mother — mine — and me: young, happy, tense. I’m in the Dress.

It was lovely and elegant and expensive….

I was rightfully grateful to have a mother who not only could afford to take me wedding-dress shopping at Bergdorf Goodman but who actually loved every minute of it. I wanted to make her happy.

But the bride herself was drawn to another style of dress altogether:

My eyes had wandered toward something more bohemian, less voluminous, but in terms of big purchases, in terms of fashion, I listened to my mother.

Yet during the many subsequent fittings, the lovely, elegant and expensive dress just didn’t feel right: This dress, which cost about as much money as I’d made in the last year [as a writer] had flattered my waist and — at least temporarily — made me feel like dancing.

But I couldn’t see it anymore.

The many months between the initial purchase of the dress, when she was financially dependent on her parents as an actress and writer, and the final fitting 2 weeks before the wedding, when she sold her novel, for a lot of money changed things — among them her feelings about herself AND her wedding dress:

I took off the dress that we’d chosen — my mother and I — when my life had looked one way.

She tried on another dress — “a 1930s fantasy — silky, backless”:

I felt the silk fall over my body like a sheet of cool water, I realized my life looked another way now. I also realized that the dress was a perfect fit.

“Wow,” my mother said.

Even her Mom knew the second dress was the right dress and didn’t put up a fuss with the switch. Because the second dress more accurately reflected and represented who her daughter was and was becoming.

Have you had an experience like this during your engagement, when something you ordered or committed to at the beginning of your engagement didn’t feel right as your wedding date approaches?

Did it feel off because something about you has changed in the intervening months? What was changed in you? What changed in your relationship to yourself or others?

These are interesting questions to ponder. So before canceling an order that you made months ago, slow down, grab your journal, and really think about WHY that dress, the ceremony poem, that over-the-top party doesn’t feel quite right. Is it something that’s changed within you?

If you discover the WHY, you may not need to make an expensive change. You could get right with the previously-OK venue, knowing that you’re undergoing rapid personal growth during your engagement. And though it may not be a perfect fit, it’s good enough. It works.

But what’s interesting is how much and in what ways you’re growing – take a moment and enjoy it.