AIMEE: “Eees byooteeful!” says the sweet little seamstress in the Saks bridal department in Virginia, clapping her hands. Once I’m zipped and hooked and facing the mirror, there’s a knock at the door and my entourage floods in: mom, dad, my Aunt Anita, my cousin Renie and Karina, the woman who runs the bridal department.
Aimee with her mom and dad.
“It’s so you!”
“Now I show you bustle!” the seamstress says with a mischievous glimmer in her eye, flipping the train of the dress up over my head and launching into a whole explanation as she ties up a slew of hidden ribbons and does the kind of intricate work that makes it seem like she might be dismantling a bomb back there. Once all the layers are properly tied up, tiered and pouffed to a level of perfection few could imagine, Karina instructs me: “Now walk!” I do my best little strut but this thing is heavy, and I’m still a little worried I’ll lose the top. “No! Walk normally! That’s not normal! And you look like you’re about to fall down!”
“It’s sort of heavy, I’m just getting used to it,” I say.
Aimee and Karina.
“Should we bring it up?” Karina asks, then answers, “We’ll bring it up, just a tiny bit, then you definitely won’t feel like you’re tripping.” The seamstress is instantly on the floor, scooting around me in circles.
“That’s a good idea,” my mom says, “especially since you’ll be walking out on the grass for the ceremony.”
“Aimee…” Karina looks at me with confusion and fear in her eyes, “you’re going to be on the grass?” I nod and Karina winces like I hit her in the stomach. “Oh my god. We have to do it shorter if you’re WALKING ON THE GRASS!!”
All right. Once everyone’s calmed down, that’s squared away and a few more pins are stuck into the sides to take the top in a little more, Karina gives a final nod. “You’re all set. We’ll have it steamed and ready to go.”
“Wait!!” I stop her. “Don’t I need another fitting?”
“No,” Karina says, “you’re all done now.” This knocks me out like a bouquet to the head. It’s the last time I’ll try on my dress until I’m wearing it down the aisle.