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I have never planned a party. I have never been the focus of a celebration. All my birthday bashes have been a simple affair with the guests in attendance being my four grandparents and four family members. 

But now I am the main coordinator of a day that will live in infamy. My wedding day. 

Despite my flaws and inexperience, many decisions are coming together quickly. I was not a girl who dreamed of my wedding. Only brief thoughts of that happiness. The only thing I knew I wanted was uniqueness. I wanted an outdoor affair of simplicity, elegance and unusual touches that would make the day memorable to everyone invited and us especially.

I decided on the colors early. Deep chocolate brown with tiger lilies for the bouquets.

I looked at hundreds of pictures, dreaming of my special day. I searched through countless wedding dresses with only the barest notions of my expectations. I wanted a simple dress, with sleeves and a short skirt. But one that contained the elegance of a wedding gown. 

As soon as I saw it, I loved it. Tea length with a triangle cut hem, brushed with coiling trails of beadwork. It was a terrifying thing. Buying a wedding gown off the internet but it was cheap enough to take the risk. I was measured by a seamstress friend of mine. We sacrificed the extra money to have it specifically sized for me.

As we waited it’s arrival, we started browsing for bridesmaid dresses. Dark chocolate brown would be a hard color to find. Added to that was the difficulty of dressing girls that ranged in age from 22 to 3. At the first retail store we approached, we found three dresses that were possible. As soon as my sister put on the last one, we knew it was the one.

A tight black, sleeveless bodice with a long, black-and-white-and-taupe patterned skirt that ended in the same triangular hem as my dress. We bought three. 

A further search found three different dresses for the younger girls of the wedding party. All black in white in contrast to my former plans. The wedding took a turn toward black and white and pale cream.

When we returned home with the gowns in tow, we found the mailman attempting to hide a box under the mat.  A surprisingly small box was peeled open to uncover my dress. I put it on immediately

It felt odd. Longer than expected but it had the sharp, crisp feeling of a wedding gown. I ran to stare at myself in the mirror. 

With messy hair and stocking-ed feet, I looked beautiful. It fit perfectly. As I stared at the small girl staring back at me, it slowly dawned on me that I was a bride-to-be with a gown hanging in her closet to prove it. I did not want to take it off.