The Dress Catastrophe—The True Story of My Wedding Dress


One day a girl made her own wedding dress and then dropped it off for a final press at the dry cleaners. An unknown dry cleaners. It’s just a press, right? Definitely not. Read on.

I had it just the way I wanted it. My groom had nixed my simple A-line design (“wedding dresses should be poofy,” he said), so I had added far too much taffeta tucks and crinoline. But I was so happy with it. This was truly a girly dress to end all dresses.

So the dry cleaners charged me an astronomical amount, but that’s ok. It’s a wedding dress, right?

Then I picked it up a few days later, and went into shock. It was ripped up! See all the little tucks on the skirt? About half of those had been torn out. It looked like someone had stepped on the hem and torn out all the tucks on that side. (And they would have had to step really hard—they were seriously sewed in there!) To add to the problem, they’d tried to haphazardly sew a few back in (in the wrong place, of course) leaving an extra two feet of material on the whole right side of my dress.

I spent this ceremonious moment with two wonderful girlfriends, who are the subject of this week’s “true story” blog—Susan Politano and Tara Finedore. Thank goodness for them! We came back after dinner, around 11pm, and took the dress out of its glorious wrapping and got our first glimpse of its destruction. It was a mess! This bride, who had stayed calmer than everyone, including the groom, freaked out. Who wouldn’t??

After they calmed me down, they each grabbed a needle and buried themselves in the massive taffeta skirt, helping me re-sew all the tucks. It took hours to get them lined up properly, since I had hemmed the skirt to accommodate the tucks, but these girls were soldiers. Plowed right through.


Here’s the best part. All of this went down the NIGHT BEFORE my wedding. Yep, that’s right. That means Tara, Susan, and myself stayed up till 2am rocking out to Christian praise and worship music, giggling like idiots, and sewing tucks into a ridiculously poofy skirt. We started the night super tired, but my friends didn’t stop till the problem was resolved, and the bride relieved.

Truly, truly, amazing girls. I never would have walked down the aisle in a finished dress without them! I mean, really. Who stays up till 2am sewing?? Two awesome friends, that’s who 🙂

The beautiful dress pics on this page are all the artwork of the talented Tara Finedore.


True Stories – stranger in the airport

I post these blogs whenever I happen upon an act of kindness–especially if it has some unique twist. Sometimes they’re people I know, and sometimes just strangers whose kindness I witness. These are the people that represent Jesus to the rest of us, and they think no one’s looking.


Who knew Arkansas Regional Airport would be the site of such an interesting act of love? With only ten or so terminals and one restaurant, the place was nearly empty. But there were two people there who would impact each others’ lives.

I was scoping out the Sudoku books when I caught sight of an ancient man hobbling up to the cashier, holding out a bundle of flowers. They shook in his unsteady hand. The cashier waited patiently as he unfolded his cash with all the speed of thickened syrup. Finally he extracted a bill and placed it on the counter.

“This is a one, sir,” said the youth behind the counter. “The flowers are $18.46 with tax.”

The man took the bill back and held it about an inch from his face. “That there’s a $20,” he said, holding it out again. I couldn’t see his eyes well, but they were glassy blue from what I could see.

The cashier stayed remarkably patient. “Do you have any other 20s?”

The man began to dig through his tiny wad again, but it was clear they were all ones. And there definitely weren’t 18 of them. Finally, the middle-aged man standing with him held a 20 over the older man’s shoulder while the flower-buyer was still inspecting his cash at close range. The cashier nodded, sharing a look with the man, and accepted the money.

“Ok, you’re all clear, sir.” He handed the flowers to the man.

“Where’s my change?!”

The cashier and the other man exchanged looks again, and the cashier handed the older man the change. “All set.”

The older man grumbled and pocketed the cash. I was touched at this son’s quiet actions that allowed the older man to maintain his pride.


After the interaction, I learned my assumptions had been wrong. The middle-aged man smiled and walked back to the shelves, replaced cough medicine and other assorted little items, and left the store. Alone.