It seems like everything wedding-related is such a whirlwind. At least, it is for me, so far. Between the dramatic airport scene and fitting everything (Final food tasting, cake tasting, tux fittings, jewelry shopping, bridal shower, bachelorette party) into such a short amount of time while in NY - I was s-p-e-n-t - and a tad overwhelmed.
Our luggage didn't arrive until after my bridal shower, but I lucked out and planned pretty well when it came to shopping for my bridal shower and bachelorette party. I had a dress and shoes shipped to my mom's house so I didn't have to pack them for our trip from Chicago to Albany before flying to Aruba, and then flying back to Albany from Aruba for the shower/bachelorette/bachelor parties. What I'm trying to say is - it all worked out just fine. Well, except for two things.
A handbag, and a coat. So, something to put things in, and something to put me in.
With my mom already at the bridal shower location for set-up, I searched her stash of handbags - and none matched my dress. I contemplated using my wedding clutch, and said as much out loud while gazing upon it in my hand - until I heard Lou's voice from another room.
"Honey. Come on. You absolutely cannot use your wedding bag."
I nodded, and silently cursed myself for being so fashion desperate, and weak, as I put the clutch back in my mom's wardrobe for safe keeping. I thought for a bit, and I figured I could go without a handbag, but I really did need a coat, since it was cold enough to be snowing on and off - and because my dress was sleeveless.
So, I began search #2, and remembered my mother mentioning I could wear my great grandmother's mink she inherited. "It's a petite", she had said. I pulled it down from her closet and tried it on. I wish I had a picture to show you.
I laughed so hard, the coat just about fell off me. The shoulders were HUGE. I looked pimp, but that wasn't quite the look I was going for. I brought the coat back around my shoulders and hugged it around me, breathing it in while thinking of my great nannie. After a few more seconds, I hung the soft mink back in the closet and thought of how when I was little, I'd crawl into her chair with her, sliding perfectly into a little pocket between her lap and the arm of the chair. I thought, I miss her.
After some more searching, I chose a camel-colored wool dress coat from my mom's closet. It was also a petite, still a bit too big for me, but not too bad. With no handbag to store my camera, lip gloss, tissues and cash, I wound up shoving these things (and a few other various last-minute things) into the pockets of the coat.
JUST LIKE A CRAZY BAG LADY. Without an actual bag.
As I walked into the bridal shower, I was feeling a bit off without a handbag, and wearing a coat with overstuffed pockets. I felt naked - and weird, as silly as that sounds. I wrapped the coat around me and it sort of felt like a mom hug. I opened the door to the restaurant, and my cousin - my Maid of Honor - was the first person to notice me. Right after she exclaimed, "the bride is here!" she came over to me, laughing lovingly and knowingly at the too-big coat while catching my eye, as she helped me hang the coat up. I wiped the awkward expression from my face and laughed back, so grateful for her attentiveness.
I greeted everyone, and they talked about how happy and lucky I must feel to have made it back on time. I walked around the room for a bit, feeling coated with excited well-wishes, kind words and expressions of love.
I sat down, and took a deep breath. I really let myself relax (the mimosa didn't hurt, either) and take everything in. I realized how right everyone was - I was extremely lucky to be there. And beyond happy. I let myself become immersed in the feeling of love that filled the room.
And as a result - I cried, like, 5 times.
I didn't even miss not having a handbag on me. Because, each time I went to get a tissue from my overstuffed mom coat pockets, I laughed so hard - and felt soooo warm.