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Portrait of a Dress

June 18, 2013


Don’t you love it when things arrive unexpectedly? Years ago, while at an event organized by my friend, Amy, I was seated next to the incredibly sweet (and very talented painter) Kristina Bailey. After meeting Kristina, I pitched her series of wedding gown paintings to one of my magazine editors and was assigned to write the piece. When the article published, in return (and totally not necessary, but this is just the sort of good soul she is), she offered to paint my own gown.


I’d forgotten all about it until it recently arrived. It’s interesting to me, the painting, showing up when it did. Here I am, knee-deep in mommyhood and everything pertaining to the baby. It is so nice to be reminded of that gown at this stage in my life and marriage. We’ll be married a decade this year. And it reminded me of that day, so long ago when I tried the dress on for the first time.

There is something so pure and lovely about a wedding gown. It’s full of hopes and dreams and such care goes into selecting one. When I looked for mine, I wanted a dress that was timeless. My simple, strapless A-line silhouette with hand-beaded embellishment stands the course of the years, I think. I chose it on a cold wintry day with my former roommates at a tiny boutique in Roswell, Georgia. I loved that gown.

I am not expecting Margaret to want to wear mine on her wedding day. But, what would be pretty special is if we could make something out of it – a short, rehearsal dinner dress, perhaps? I’ve also saved the never before worn wrap that matches the dress. I always imagine it one day being a table runner in a formal dining room used for special occasions.


As for the painting, it’ll eventually live in a dressing room, off a master bedroom (in my dream house). For now, it hangs in our bedroom, you see it just as you pass the hall and it gives me such a smile each time that I do.