How To Know When You’ve Found The One
Sketch (not of my dress) via
You hear it, see it, and read about it all the time: The bride tries on a dress and the mother and bridesmaids immediately dissolve into a pool of tears. They know she’s found The One. Or the couple walk into a venue and immediately feel at home. It’s so “them.” They know they’ve found The One.
For me, the only part of the wedding planning process that’s given me tears in my eyes, butterflies in my tummy, and a knowing sense in my gut has been my guy. The rest? Not so much. This wedding planning jazz has actually caused me to be way more rational than I normally tend to be, which is hilarious in a way. The one time in life you’re given a free pass to be somewhat non-sensical, to make decisions from an irrational/emotional place, and to let your crazy flag fly is when my head has never been screwed on tighter. But I’m okay with that because it means our decisions have been deliberate and intentional every step of the way. Here are two recent examples.
I truly thought we’d get that knowing feeling people talk about the moment we found the right place. We were on the same page with this all along: We wanted someplace warm and inviting that could host both the ceremony and reception and we knew a ballroom or loft (common options in Chicago) weren’t for us. We also wanted a place that offered plenty of character so we wouldn’t have to do too much in the way of decor. I knew for sure that moment would happen when we looked at a place in Vermont. After searching throughout Chicago (online and in person) I’d decided that a city wedding wasn’t for me. I’m no city slicker. I’m a take a hike with my dogs, fly down a ski hill, curl up by the fire kind of girl. Vermont had to be IT and my parents found a beautiful venue, an Inn, less than a mile from the vacation home we’ve had there for nearly 20 years. The location was both beautiful and meaningful and, in a way, a kind of hometown to me. It had to be The One. But when Robert and I toured the venue in October–the absolutely perfect venue–I felt nothing. In the back of my mind I couldn’t help but think about how much I’d fixate on the weather leading up to the wedding and if it rained the choice of having a destination wedding (where much of the day would be outdoors) would (quite literally) be awash.
The day before our trip to VT after some hardcore Googling I stumbled upon a venue, The Racquet Club of Chicago, less than 2 miles from our home. Just how hardcore was my Googling? They don’t even have a website. Robert and I were able to tour it that night and we liked it. A lot. Did I get any certain, knowing feeling that it was The One? Absolutely not. It wasn’t until after seeing the Vermont option that I started thinking about this place more and more. As we talked about it I began envisioning exactly how the day would unfold and flow from one area of the venue to the next. The place is nothing if not warm and inviting with chunky wood ceilings, giant floor to ceiling windows, old school chandeliers, a library, and fireplaces in every room. What’s more, the evening we saw the venue it was pouring rain outside and inside felt safe and cozy. While I’ll pray for sunshine on our big day, I can also rest assured that rain wouldn’t detract from our choice of location one bit.
Check out the nerdy/swoon-worthy library/bar via
So, for me, there wasn’t a moment or a feeling that it was The One. The decision happened gradually, over time, and with lots of thought and discussion. Once we were able to really see and imagine what the day would look and feel like in that space it became The One.
(Side note: I may or may not drive past The Racquet Club in a slightly stalkerish manner every chance I get…)
In an effort to prevent this post from going on for days (believe me it could) let me just say this about the dress: I found it during an appointment, which I attended alone, sandwiched between interviews at the oh so unromantic hour of 1 p.m. last Thursday. There was no champagne. There were no tears. (This coming from the girl whose eyes well up during a Dick’s Sporting Goods commercial.) I didn’t even know the dress was The One. By the time I put this dress on I’d already tried on hundreds since August. Not one spoke to me. But after staring at an iPhone photo of myself in this dress for well over 48 hours like an obsessive egomaniac I was pretty sure I was in love. I can’t believe I’m going to admit this, but I even woke up in the middle of the night one night to look at the picture. Still, after finding that dress I went to three more appointments last week and found nothing that even remotely held a candle to how I looked or felt in the dress that would become The One. Ever since deciding it was The One (and getting measured and ordering it yesterday afternoon!!!!) I’ve never been more ecstatic/in love with a piece of clothing in my entire life. It’s perfect. Just like the venue, there was no distinct moment of clarity, but rather a gradual knowing that I’d found The One. Or perhaps it was simply the fact that the designer’s first name isn’t Monique, Vera, Jenny, Jim, Alexander, or Oscar.