Tomorrow I’m going shopping for a new dress. And not just any dress. But a wedding dress!

Anyone who knows me and has gone shopping with me knows that I love dress shopping. In college, we’d have a winter ball (Back Bay Ball, B^3, whatever you want to call it) and usually two of my closest friends and I would go dress shopping. That was always a challenge, trying to buy something that was cute, yet wouldn’t make us freeze in the February weather. It was also super fun and after we paid for our dresses, we’d usually wind up trying on really frilly, super sparkling, ballgown-type dresses, just because. And we would take pictures of ourselves in those dresses that we knew we would never actually buy, but made us feel like princesses.

Tomorrow, I’m going in with some different feelings. There’s still the excitement and I’m sure it will still be fun. There’s also this feeling of it being intimidating, daunting, scary… I feel this way for different reasons, some good, some bad. I know this is pretty much going to be the most expensive dress I buy. (My prom dress was only $30). This dress will also be seen by more people and be in more pictures that ever before. (Even though you think everyone is looking at your dress at prom…they’re probably so busy looking at their own, that they don’t even notice yours.) The store probably has thousands of dresses and somehow I’m supposed to be able to pick ONE. I’ve talked about, researched, and Googled a lot of the different aspects of a wedding dress…shantung, sweep train, ruching, necklines, beading…the list goes on and on. I have preferences for all those aspects…will I actually be able to find one that has them all? I’ve heard that brides-to-be just know when they’ve found the one. Do you really??  (Though, people also told me that you just know when you’ve found THE one, as in your spouse. And I actually agree with that one. So maybe I will just know?…)

There’s also the good reasons why dress shopping feels so scary. This will be the dress Will gets to see me in on our wedding day. And what girl doesn’t want to look absolutely positively stunning for her REALLY-soon-to-be-husband! And, honestly, the scariest reason is that tomorrow, I think I may actually feel like a bride. Since I got engaged, I just feel like a girlfriend who now gets to plan a big party. Sometimes I feel like a fiancee, since I can actually talk about the wedding and not feel like I’m jumping the gun. But tomorrow, with a dress on, I’m sure there will be a part of me that actually feels like a bride. In a way, it’s like a new identity. It’s like an actress once she’s in costume. The role just becomes more real, more tangible.

Tomorrow, reality becomes tangible.

And it’s scary. Good scary.