10 years ago I walked down the aisle to meet my husband.

It’s not the wedding I want to talk about this Thankful Thursday. It’s not the past 10 years. Although I am extremely thankful for our lives together.

No, today it’s about the dress.

Let’s face it, when it comes to planning the wedding, the dress is often the first thing future brides look for. Once upon a time it was circled dresses in bridal magazines, now it’s Pinterest. And of course, there’s the trying on of numerous dresses in front of tall mirrors, while standing on a pedestal. I’ve heard some places even serve future bride champagne as they look — the royal treatment.

But me? I knew which dress I wanted to wear back when I was in high school, long before I even met my husband.

Wrapped in tissue paper, still in the original cardboard box, it had been stored on a shelf under the steps of my parents’ home for 36 before the day I wore it.

You would not believe how hard my mom tried to change my mind.

She insisted we go try on dresses anyway, partly so I could have the experience, but mostly because she really hoped I’d find a different dress.

I tried on three. People oohed and awed for each one, and I just kept thinking of MY DRESS, under the steps in my parents’ house.

Finally, she gave in, and we got it out so I could try it on. It was almost a perfect fit.

Next came the hard part, finding a dry cleaner who was able, and willing, to clean an heirloom wedding gown. We drove almost an hour, and then I held my breath for a week, hoping the dress would turn out okay. The only thing they couldn’t get out was a single footprint on the dress’ train, left from a relative that was no longer with us. To me it was perfect.

My mom tried to talk me into wearing a higher heeled shoe than I had chosen (I found white Easter sandals with mini pearls in the girls’ section of Payless.), but eventually I stood on a chair while she painstakingly pinned the dress’ hem and then carefully stitched it to the right length.

Finally, a few days before the wedding she pressed the dress, using a brand new white sheet she bought just for that purpose. She was a nervous wreak the entire time. Me? I told her it didn’t matter what she did to it, I was wearing the dress.

And then, it was time to walk down the aisle.

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