The Port, The Pity and the Perfect Wedding Dress

I found my wedding dress this week. But let’s not overexcite ourselves, I’ve found three dresses–and one I actually took home from Macy’s.

This one:


I know I look pissed in all of these photos, but I guess I just have resting bitch face.

But I returned it.

And now I’m sure I found the one. Like put-down-the-deposit, buy-a-veil-off-of-Ali-Express -sure. (Because who in their right mind pays $300 for a piece of gauze and some glitter?)

In fact, when it comes to the grunt work of planning this wedding (if there even is such a thing) we’re pretty much done.

Over the past few weeks–we, meaning mostly my wedding planner–have booked the venue, the caterer, the D.J, the hotel rooms, the make-up artist, sent out the Save the Dates, picked out table setting and chargers, and got the quote from the photographer.

But seriously, I was like shit in a blizzard before Joni (my wedding planner) came on the scene. I was having visceral panic attacks just trying to decide on a place for the ceremony. She came in like a storm of Xanax and hot cocoa and lowered my blood pressure back to human levels. My mom is determined to make this a stress-free day for me and so far the plan is looking pretty solid.

Wedding dress shopping has been the most fun. We really exhausted the local industry here. I have tried on dozens of gowns. Long, short, lacey, satiny, halter, sweet-heart, strapless, old-hollywood, modern, classic, sexy, matronly, modest, and more.

I’m keeping the winner a secret until the big day of course, but….

Want to see the losers that were in the running but didn’t quite get the gold medal?

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This one was from David’s Bridal and had my mom kvelling. But I wasn’t sure about the strapless. I mean–gravity and all has prevented me from wearing that kind of dress, I wasn’t sure I was willing to take the risk on my big day.

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This one was so different–I think I almost loved it just because it didn’t feel like a giant taffeta hairball.

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Yeah, this one I was over before I’d even stepped out of the dressing room.

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I had such a bad experience at Alfred Angelo’s. I tried on three dresses but they kept bringing me styles I said I didn’t want. And the saleswoman coughed all over me. Yuck.

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This one came VERY close to being “the one.” It was so beautiful and dreamy looking and it felt like wearing a nightgown. In the end, another dress beat it out–but it was close. I bought the dress from Belissima Bridal in Deerfield Beach. (And bonus–my dress came with a free tux rental for R.J!)

So let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

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I have a giant, taped, plastic tube sticking out of my chest. Since it has finally healed and I’ve been able to use it to give myself treatments every day–I feel so much better and I’m actually really grateful for it now. Having it accessed 24/7 is kind of inconvenient since it’s so high up on my chest that I basically have to wear a turtleneck to hide it. So I’ve just felt  like–screw it. It’s there. It stops me from blacking out with dehydration. It’s a bigger-than-vanity item. It stays.

The saleswomen at each of the shops had different reactions to it. Some would totally ignore it and not say anything. Others tried to bring me dresses that exclusively would hide it from sight. Others asked questions and told stories of their own family/friends who had something similar.

Some of them would straight up ask me, “What is that? It’s not going to be there for the wedding day, is it?”

At first I said no, but the more dresses I looked at, I thought maybe. The plan originally has been that I’ll do an IV the morning of the wedding, de-access the port so there’s nothing there. Then have a home-nurse come to the hotel in the morning to re-access it. But if I had a dress that covered it? Maybe I could avoid the hassle of trying to schedule it and get a nurse to come out and dealing with the concern that maybe I’ll need a treatment on my wedding night and won’t have access.

The seamstress who ended up selling me “the” dress had her own take on it. She had been telling me all along that she could alter the dress anyway I wanted it–take it higher, take it lower, close it in, pull it out–and as she helped me slip into gown after gown she did ask about the port and I told her honestly why it was there and that I wasn’t sure if I’d keep it in or not on the day of.

“If you need it, you should,” she said. “Don’t even worry about it. I can do something.”

And she left the room and came back with a beautiful white rose with feathers and diamonds.

“I can make a cover for it, it’ll look just like part of the dress.”

She positioned the rose to show me in the mirror what it would look like. And seeing that brought me so much peace. Having the option covered, just in case I did need it that day–  It’s not like I don’t know what it looks like. Sometimes when I’d try a dress on I could focus for just a split second on it before ignoring it. But I know it’s there, and I know that every saleswoman was thinking: why would she have me bring her a dress that showed that ugly, weird thing?


I got a lot of pitying looks from the other brides in the dressing rooms. My mom even told off a saleswoman who said, “I feel so bad for her, having that thing on her chest during her wedding.”

My  mom told her straight up: “She’s got a job. An apartment. A fiancé, and she’s getting married. I don’t think she needs pitying.”

Which is pretty much on the mark. I have a central line, not a ghetto tattoo across my chest with Lil Wayne lyrics. I didn’t accidentally shave off my eyebrows or lose my hair to an unfortunate straight-ironing accident. This thing didn’t just grow on me overnight, I asked for it–to make my life better.

You will meet all kinds of people in your life who you might look at and think: shit that is awful how does she not curl up and die of humiliation?

Well, it’s kind of hard to curl up and die in your perfect wedding dress.

Haters gonna hate.

Haters gonna hate.



  • GP1

    The last time I looked my phone said it was 2015.Do bright beautiful people still care what other people think ? All I know is that if your happy I’m happy.Love ya !

    • D

      Congrats so much!!! It’s nice to see someone who has chronic illness find joy and purpose! You are a beacon for the rest of us. I have it no where near as bad as you, and am a total pansy!! Good for you for chasing your dreams and i hope your wedding and the rest of your life together is thrice blessed and very happy!!

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