When I was packing for Paris I thought “You have to bring that vintage dress!”. The one I snagged from a thrift shop like 6-7 years ago just because.  I’ve never been to Paris and who knows when I’ll be back so when In Paris do the most!  I brought the biggest suitcase on wheels and was determined to fit 10 days( only was staying 7) worth of clothes and this big ass wedding dress in there. To  make enough space, I had an additional carry on for all 10 pairs of shoes because options people options.

Before even booking my hotel I envisioned wearing this dress on a perfectly designed balcony overlooking the city. My room at Hotel  Bienvenue was perfect.  My view didn’t overlook the city, but the view to a greenery filled outdoor terrace was just as good for this over the top adult.  On this particular morning I woke up with what felt like a U-Hual  parked on the left side of my brain.  The kids of today call it a hangover.  The drinks and extra shots the night before with Rose and our new friends “Laurie”and “Tom” from New York was one of the best nights in Paris.  A night filled with laughter and unrehearsed dope chemistry.  I ruled out shooting this dress and made peace that it was a no go because there was no way Rose was going to make it for our 9:00am rendezvous to shoot on my last day here.  I was wrong. Rose came through and I had to pull it together. While putting on my dress and Rose getting B-role I felt some tears filling in my eyes. “Oh my goodness Rose I’m emotional sorry…I never had a wedding” . Writing this now I’m tearing up.  I got married 9 years ago on a cold Tuesday in November.  We went to city hall did the damn thing then went to work.  That was it.  I wore a royal blue with big green polka dot 80’s dress. Having a mini ceremony wasn’t priority with a constantly wheezing and asthmatic 9 month old while we both were  still adjusting to two kids and me  in college full time. Plus if I was going to have a ceremony it had to be right and not rushed.  I’ve been doing things my way for so long that a ceremony became a thing way down the to do list. As  the years passed it stayed at the bottom of to do’s and most times not even  a thought.  This day however I became emotional and I still can’t pinpoint why.  At that moment it hit me that this felt like the wedding I never had. I can say that putting on this dress made me feel like a princess, a beautiful moment in my adulthood and after talking it out with Rose- a reminder of how important a marriage to myself is.  As a Mother and a wife I’m split into a billion pieces over the years and daily looking to keep things sane, run a household and raise children. The well seems to come close to running  dry at times.  They need me, but if I’m not well then my supply of love and support of all sorts is low. I had to fill adult shoes since 16 and have poured into a relationship since then. This day reminded me that no marriage is good enough if we don’t pull through on commitments to ourselves, mental health and goals. We ask people all the time “How’s marriage?” or “When’s the wedding?” , but not enough “How are you doing?” or “How’s your goals and  mental health?”. I want to teach my daughter that marriage and a wedding is cool and all, but you can’t  give what you don’t have, darling.  It is so easy to lose ourselves and sometimes it takes a vintage dress in a  black and white photoshoot in Paris to realize your perspective has changed and evolution is on the rise. 

Cheers Vanessa! To the beginning of the most important  marriage and new season.

Photography: Rose

vintage wedding dress

Vintage boots

Lingerie from Marshalls

Earrings from TJMAXX