By: Mary Fran Bontempo

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wedding - jbk formal portrait

Jacqueline Kennedy–Formal Wedding Portrait Was there ever a more beautiful bride? Photo courtesy of the JFK Presidential Library


I couldn’t help myself.

After a particularly trying day dealing with a multitude of “not fun” stuff, I made a decision. It was a dangerous decision, placing my hands firmly on the edge of a Pandora’s box, but I didn’t care; I needed it.

I stopped at a bridal shop.

Lest anyone think I’ve lost my mind and am contemplating marriage, allow me to clarify. I am already married, so my mind is already gone. But my lovely youngest daughter, Megan, is recently engaged, as in three weeks recently, and, well, it’s never too early to look at wedding gowns, is it?

Little soothes my soul like looking at wedding gowns, so the fact that the bride was not with me at the time? A minor detail. I forged ahead, walking into an elegant little neighborhood bridal salon that’s forever been like a Holy Grail for me, except that before now, I never had a reason to cross the threshold. Now? Well, now is a different story.

My daughter is getting married. As far as I’m concerned, this allows me to re-enter the fantastical, make-believe world of weddings with a golden ticket, a free pass, a get-out-of-jail-free card, whatever you want to call it that releases me from rational thinking when contemplating my daughter walking down the aisle.

We’ve already leafed through hundreds of pages of bridal magazines, as well as Pinterest images, looking for the perfect dress. We’ve talked trumpet silhouettes, mermaid shapes, ball gowns, strapless, cap sleeves, one shouldered, and so on. We’ve debated fabrics: Satin? Silk? Lace? No lace? And what about beading and bling? Just how much is too much?

As I waded into the sea of taffeta and tulle on the store’s racks, I felt myself getting light-headed. Where to begin? I could see Meg in this lovely confection, but also in that one. And what about those full-skirted ball gowns? Was it too much fabric for her tiny frame? Probably, but, oh, a ball gown!

Did I mention that Megan’s only been engaged for three weeks?

I want her to have the magic. I want her to have the transformation. I want her to be Cinderella, with the ball, and the dress and the glass slippers, if she wants them. Just like Cinderella’s wicked step-mother was determined to keep her from the ball, I, Momzilla, am equally determined to make sure my little Cindy gets exactly what she wants.

I just hope I can be patient enough to let her figure out what that is.

Were you a “Momzilla” when your child married? Click “comments” below and share!