24-hours of panic


…here’s a teaser:

I’m still in shock about how quickly it all happened.

As many of you know, back in July I found two potential dress contenders. I nearly purchased one when I was offered a 15% savings if I bought within the week, but at the last second decided I just couldn’t rush this decision and decided to wait and re-visit the shop in September.

Fast forward to August 31st. 

Priscilla’s announces they will be CLOSING for business at the end of this year. 
I e-mail my consultant immediately, convinced that orders can probably still be taken. I don’t stress about it.

When I don’t hear from my consultant the next morning, I get nervous. I call the store and leave a hysterical voicemail begging for them to let me order one of the two dresses and ask if I can set-up an appointment. Then I start Googling news on the closing. Now the real fun starts.

They will not take ANY new orders.

I text one of my bridesmaids’ close friends, Jen, to confer.
She placed her wedding dress order in early August. We’re both freaking out.

Jen works right across the street from Priscilla’s so we make plans to reconnect after she has a chance to get over there.
I’m at work in Watertown trying not to sob into my coffee.

She texts back confirming the “No new dress orders” policy is firm but tells me that all the dress samples, veils, and accessories are out on the floor for sale at 40% off.  The store is a total zoo. People are going nuts over the news.
I leave work and sprint to my car. I’m in Boston by 3.

The crowd has died down and there are only a few brides-to-be screaming at the shell-shocked staff behind the counters. The phones are ringing off the hook! Tension is high. No one knew it was coming. Every single employee just learned they were losing their jobs the night before.

I spot my two dresses and secure them safely in a dressing room, then see a few other gowns that are in my price range at 40% off, so I grab them too. One in particular catches my eye and I remember thinking “Oh, just grab it. Why not?”

Grace, one of the seamstresses, lets me know that it’s one of the newest samples for the Spring ’12 line, so very few brides have had a chance to order it. Since Priscilla’s isn’t taking orders anymore, it will be one of only a handful of that dress style ever made. Score!!!!!!

I take my time browsing, but feel a rush of adrenaline each time the elevator door jerks open and more brides pour out.  I’m told I can only take 5 dresses in at a time, so I grab a veil and get started.

I work my way from the two I already know I love to the newer picks, trying the one I ultimately would buy on LAST.

Before I even got it zipped, I just knew. It felt perfect. Even the veil I’d grabbed without thinking complemented it perfectly. I didn’t cry, but I was smiling like an idiot.  When I stepped out to see it in the main salon, a small group of women all exclaimed “Ooooo,” so completely unexpectedly that we all burst out laughing.  It was the perfect affirmation that this dress was the one.

I’d barely walked three steps towards Newbury St. before I was trying to call home to share the news. I had a ginormous dress bag that I needed two hands to carry, so it wasn’t easy. By the third ring, I was having a panic attack.

My sister Skylar picks up and asks excitedly: Was it the dress I thought?!
Me: No… Maybe…Yes. No.
Me: It’s neither of the ones I thought I wanted. I am freaking out! Is mom there?
Skylar: Did you send a picture?
Me: I think I want to keep it a secret [pause]  Please just tell me I didn’t make a huge mistake!
Skylar: [dryly] Until I see a picture, I can’t know if you did or not.
Me: [dying laughing]

In 15 minutes I’m home and finally chatting with my mom.  I quickly e-mail all the photos taken in the salon and pause for reaction. [I’m still freaking out that I lost my mind and just BOUGHT A DRESS] but she loves it. Phew!

But the craziest thing, I realized about a WEEK after I bought my dress while I’m looking at the pictures from my first Priscilla’s trip. In nearly every single photo I took that day, my dress is on a mannequin right behind me.

Clearly visible, in a “yoohoo, over here” kind-of-way. When I think of how much I poured over these photos…trying to decide between the two dresses I thought could be “it” I just have to laugh.

And that’s the story of my dress search!



  1. I, too, was so shocked that “the dress” was right there the whole time…just outside the very room we were all in and out of so many times. I love your very apt description of it’s presence!…”yoo hoo, over here.” It was obviously one of the very first dresses we saw. It was exquisite. I didn’t think it was available for some reason. Couture? Spring sample? The trips were fun…and hilarious sometimes, too (!)….I’ll never forget dragging your brother to the salon in Waltham, telling him he “must be there”..and the poor kid, so used to growing up with 3 sisters and a mom, sprinting right over, graciously accepting all the attention that a man in a bridal salon is apt to get… taking his seat (velvet, no less!) and waiting for you to model each gown. Patient as only a guy growing up with so many women would have to be, he never complained…but nearly leaped off his velvet seat when he discovered Brian was outside in the parking lot. Obviously thinking he was going to be getting some type of relief in the form of male companionship, he almost ran to the window (to escape?) and blurted out, “why isn’t he in here?” …and then realized he knew the answer!
    It was so much fun shopping with you and I’m honored that you wanted to include us in your adventure! It’s the perfect dress for you! Really, it was meant to be!

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