Sisterhood of the Traveling Dress X & Re-Gifted VIII Winners!

It’s that time ladies! It’s time for one of the all time favorite things on APW – the time where we give away wedding dresses… passed from one reader to another. The first wedding dress is being given by Sarah, and the recipient is Leah, who said:

I love that dress. And it would fit me! We are getting married right after Christmas this year. He’s a science teacher and I’m a grad student (getting my science teaching license! we’re nerds together). Like others, we’re also paying for our own wedding. We’re actually going to hold the wedding at the boarding school where he works to save on the venue.

Plus, can I say, I’ve been really nervous to go dress shopping. I now live halfway across the country from my family and friends (moved here for a short-term job, tried to go work other places, and just had to come back). I feel weird “imposing” on people I’ve only known for a year or two. I know they’re my friends, but it’s not the same as going shopping with the people I’ve known for much, much longer. I feel like this post is serendipity!

I know this sounds so cliche, but your wedding graduate post is the one I needed to read. I am so anxious about mama drama that I am not even talking to my mom about wedding stuff yet. We just got engaged a few weeks ago. I asked him, and my mom was all put out when I called to tell her the good news. She and my dad have been going through a rough marital patch for the last year. In fact, I meant to propose last summer but shelved the idea so my intended and I could keep having good, meaningful conversations about what we expect out of relationships and life in general. I finally decided not to let my parents’ drama make me put off the wedding. I am sure that this wedding is the right thing, so I proposed (my man is super shy about personal things, not that I need to justify proposing).

I think this is finally the time when I grow up and move on from letting my parents be such a driving force in my life. I’m 28, but I very much love and respect my parents’ opinion. And I want to please them so much that I have done things just to make them happy. And I need to be over that. So your post was the kick in the pants that has crystallized my thinking from the last several weeks — time to make a clean break. We are paying for our wedding . . . not because my parents haven’t offered to before, and not because they couldn’t help us. But because it is a chance for me to be the adult I know I can be. I’m pretty poor (grad students at my school have awful stipends), but I’ve got money put away. And so does my man. So we can do this, and we can grow up and be the lovely adults we know we are.

I could go on and on, but it’s best that I stop now. Just . . thank you, so much, for sharing your wedding grad thoughts. You have put me so much more at ease about my wedding. I will be a little ball of stress and anxiety at times, and it’s okay. And, at the end of the day, I will marry my Matt, and that is awesome.

The recipient of Melissa’s dress, by way of Kelly-who-got-married-this-weekend (long story, happy ending, wedding grad post coming soon) is LV Anna, who said:

I have been lurking in APW regularly since January. Although I have posted very infrequently, the wit and wisdom of the site – the APW team AND commenters has been a ray of sanity and sunshine in the oft-terrifying Wedding World. I really love the fact that APW isn’t afraid to tackle the tough issues surrounding marriage, gender and identity, a hot button issue for me.

You see, I am a second-time bride. I didn’t wear a wedding dress the first time around – it was what I wanted at the time, but I also secretly felt the loss of that wedding dress dream, and quite a few others. True to form, I didn’t let myself acknowledge or grieve for those little dreams, and as a result, I’ve found a lot of those little dreams I didn’t know I had as I prepare for this wedding. The journey of self discovery through wedding planning was not one I expected, but one I fully embrace. The other option is the afore-mentioned sticking my head in the sand, and thankfully I’ve pretty much given up on that as a life tactic. Who likes eating sand?

Because he is awesome, my intended has quietly listened as I work through the realizations that marrying again has for me, and held me while I cried. He has helped me wrestle with the past, and stood by me as I put it into its proper place – treasured yes, but past none the less. I am 100% confident that he is the man I want to make my life with, have fun with, and make babies and help them grow up with.

Which isn’t to say that life is all sparkly hearts and bubbles – we are both imperfect people and we irritate each other from time to time, and my always supportive mother has terminal cancer and may not live long enough to see us married (which is its own epic wedding issue, but I digress). Life is precious, and it is that experience of life that I so-greatly look forward to sharing with him from now on.

One of the few things I want for this wedding that is wedding-but-not-marriage related is a wedding dress, and time is getting short. Our wedding is in May of 2011. I think this dress is gorgeous, and would be honored to be the next bride to wear it.

So Ladies! Anna & Leah! It’s all happening. Email me ASAP, and we’ll make the magic happen (and I think I speak for all of us when I say you better come back as wedding grads!)

Pictures: First photo by: Pierre Chiha, Second photo by Georgi Anastasov

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