My Wedding Dress Still Fits (25 Years Later)

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Don’t hate me, but I can still wear my wedding dress from twenty-five years ago.

What brought about excavating it from mothballs? A few close friends wanted to honor my husband’s and my quarter-century wedding anniversary by hosting a party.

Someone taunted, “Does your wedding dress still fit? I dare you to wear it.” I had to try at least.

Nudged into a distant and dusty dormer, I found the box and brought it down to the den.

“Look, honey!” I exclaimed as I lifted the lid. I was sure my husband would be excited to see my wedding gown again for the first time in 25 years.

“Nice,” he said. (And that’s all he said. The Giants football game was on. Slight distraction.)

I took the gown, walked into the other room and, after exhaling as much as I could, “slipped” on the satin frock. Even after two pregnancies, amazingly, it (barely) fit.

“Look, honey!” I exclaimed again when I reappeared in bridal guise. The dress was a custom-design by Jackie Spaniel. I was sure it would spark something more than, “Nice.” (And that’s all he said. Again.)


At the next commercial, I asked my beloved for help fastening the thirty-one satin-covered buttons down the back. My husband kept his eyes on the game and fumbled with the buttons. He soon began complaining of numbness.

“I just need to get the blood running back into my fingers,” he yelped, flapping his hands wildly.

We finally got the gown buttoned, and I almost looked like a young bride again. All bets were on! My wedding dress fit. (Sort of.)

When the football game was over, my husband ardently began the hunt for his wedding tie and grabbed the dusty tuxedo jacket from the back of his closet. My handsome groom, with slightly grey sideburns now, was ready, too.

On the afternoon of the anniversary party we drove with emotions both reminiscent and wistful. We also had unusually stiff posture. Why?

Because our outfits were so tight that we could barely move.

Although I got my wedding gown on, it was like a girdle. Any move sideways would set off a chain reaction of button-popping. In addition, the sleeves were squeezing so tightly that my arms looked like sausages.

My husband complained that his wedding tie was so tight around his neck that he was starting to feel slightly light-headed. We kept driving in the farthest right lane on the parkway to play it safe.

Upon arrival at our best friends’ house, we were enchanted. The steps were strewn with white rose petals. When the front door opened slowly, cameras began to flash. With irreverence and gusto, everyone screamed, “Happy Wedding Anniversary!”

As my husband and I entered the hallway, campy Bee Gees and Stevie Wonder love songs oozed from the speakers. The fireplace mantle in the living room had a group photo of my husband’s and my real wedding day two-and-a-half decades ago. The dining room table had a mini-wedding cake for the centerpiece. Fake wedding rings were thrown on a side table. Every detail of the gathering was an expression of devoted friendship and joyful cheekiness.

During the luncheon, the doorbell rang unexpectedly. The hostess opened it, and there stood our son. He came all the way from Brooklyn to the suburbs to share in his parent’s anniversary hoopla.

I think our son was slightly horrified to see his mother in her wedding gown. The last time I had worn it, he was but a seed in my belly. Now, he was a young man.

Neither of us could (nervously) stop laughing. There was something strangely anachronistic and bizarrely hilarious about the setting. (I also hoped my son wouldn’t be psychologically traumatized for life seeing his mother in her white bridal garb.)

Nonetheless, he was right on time for the wedding cake! I tried to blush when my husband fed me a piece. As I reached to wipe off a smidge of frosting on his hand, I dropped my napkin. I didn’t dare bend over to pick it up. By now, my gown was so tight that the fabric was starting to burn my skin if I moved in a certain direction.

The afternoon of pseudo-nuptials was a blast. When someone asked, “What’s the trick?” I thought about it for a nanosecond.

“Good communication, honesty, and being able to laugh. Also, stay true to your vows,” I responded.

“No, what’s the trick to fitting into your wedding gown?” my friend clarified.

Hmmm … uhm,

#1: Store the gown in a place that you’ll remember long after it comes back from the dry cleaner.

#2: Eat your peas and carrots.

#3: Be prepared should anyone ever challenge you to wear the wedding gown again.

When the festivities honoring our silver anniversary connubial union quieted, our dear friends blared Sam Cooke’s You Send Me.” My husband and I walked to our car, which they had festooned with tin cans trailing from the fender.

To top it off, they put a “Just Married” sign in the back window. It was a perfectly fitting start our continued future as Mr. and Mrs..

This post was previously published on Medium.


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The post My Wedding Dress Still Fits (25 Years Later) appeared first on The Good Men Project.

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