Amanda’s World – The Wedding Dress
It was the only thing in the window. That is, apart from a paper banner in bright red with gold lettering proclaiming ‘SALE’.
It was the window of the dress shop specialising in wedding wear and normally filled with half a dozen wedding dresses, page boys’ outfits and smart, uncomfortable looking dresses or suits for the bride’s mother.
And, of course, in the background to contrast with all the feminine finery, a tailor’s dummy dressed in a morning suit and grey top hat.
But this morning there was just one dress, the sale bargain of the week, with a discreet price tag: £349…
I paused in astonishment. Before I had even seen the price tag I had been quite taken with the dress itself. Perhaps because it stood alone in the window, it had caught my attention as I hurried by and drawn me to the window to loook closer.
My breath was taken away by its beauty – it was of cream satin, with a demure round neckline beautifully embroidered, and the design carried on down over the bust to the waistline.
The puff sleeves carried a similar design with a delicate lace edging at the cuffs. Below the waist, the gown billowed out fully, but plain, to the scalloped hemline at the front, while at the back it was gathered into a full bustle from which masses of material descended into a wide flowing train, yards long, with delicate embroidery.
I could readily imagine how beautiful it would appear as it was held by pretty bridesmaids following the wearer up the aisle to the wedding ceremony, and afterwards as she walks on the arm of her groom – the hem rising and falling with each slow pace to the sound of the wedding march, and the swish of the satin skirt along the floor of the church.
The only other item in the window was a matching headdress, a hoop of artificial orange blossom with a full veil attached to give a hint of mystery as she entered the church, and to be flung back after the ceremony to reveal her beauty and happiness as she led the bridal procession from the church.
I stood for some time admiring the dress and dreaming. I felt the excitement of the wedding morning, the last minute preparations to ones hair by the attendant hairdresser, the beauty treatment and the make-up, the careful adjustment of the new bra specially bought for the occasion to fit under the dress, the feel of the new expensive sheer stockings as I rolled them on to my freshly smooth legs and fastened them to the suspender belt (not new, but worn in compliance with the old adage about something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue).
I would have borrowed my sister’s lovely earrings and tucked a pale blue handkerchief away out of sight for emergency use. I could imagine the giggles of my bridesmaids – hiding their nervousness on this great occasion – and, taking my father’s arm, I would have sailed down the aisle to be given away by him to the man of my choice, to love, honour and obey him as commanded in the words of the age-old service.
I could have afforded to buy it to live my dream in the privacy of my own home, but I knew as I asked the assistant that the dress was at least two sizes too small. She offered to show me other dresses, but this was my dream and I fled the shop, but not without a backward glance at the dress in the window.
I passed that way again about a fortnight later. The dress had gone from the window, presumably sold.
I wonder who the lucky girl is? I would have liked to have met her. From the bottom of my heart I wish her all joy in the wearing of my dress, and all the happiness for the future.