The Day My Wedding Dress Tried to Kill Me

Wedding Dress


Do you still have your wedding dress? I do.

I never got it together to have it professionally packed and hermetically sealed or whatever it is you are supposed to do with a wedding dress. So, yeah, 14 years later my wedding dress is in one of the bedroom closets. It’s in a hanging bag, which, while a halfhearted effort at preservation, is still an effort. I consider the fact that it’s not stuffed in a hefty bag with some old towels and stashed in the basement a win.

My daughters came across it not long ago and wanted to try it on. I of course obliged. Their small frames were enveloped in the satiny folds, as I pinched the back together helped them each to the mirror to look at themselves.

And then, excitement shone in their eyes as they cried, “Mommy! You try it on!”

Well. Okay. I could do this. After all, how much could my body have changed after three kids? (I’ll pause while you finish laughing.  Um, okay, you can stop now.)  I went into my room and closed the door, so I could make a grand “Ta-Da!” entrance. Stepping into the dress, I pulled it up and put the straps over my shoulders. “So far so good”, I thought. “And it still fits in the waist! Yay me!” I said to myself smugly.

And then I reached behind be to pull up the zipper, I got it halfway up and… it stopped.

“Hmmm. It must be jammed,” I thought.  I pulled the zipper back down and started over again.  Again, I got it halfway up, and it stuck.

It was then I realized that the dress was pulling so tight across my ribcage, and the zipper was gapping so much in the back, that there was no way I was going to get  it zipped up.

Had my ribcage expanded? Is this a thing that happens from carrying children? I’m about the same weight I was before I had kids, but just shaped… differently.  More like a russet potato. After a couple more fruitless attempts, I realized I wasn’t going to get that zipper to pull up no matter what I tried. But, since denial is my specialty, I had another bright idea.

What if I zipped up the zipper all the way, and then pulled the wedding dress over my head? Ah ha! Surely I could just slip into it, pull it down, and voila! It would be a little tight, but I could certainly handle that for a few minutes.  Yes. That was the way to go.

After zipping it all the way up I lifted the heavy garment over my head, and went in headfirst. Layers and layers of fabric cascaded around me as I wiggled my way upward, upward. I stretched my arms toward the armholes. Stretch, reach, wiggle.  Almost there.

And then I wasn’t.

The downward progression of my wedding dress had come to an unfortunate halt.

And I was now firmly stuck in it, my head somewhere below the bodice, with my arms pinned straight upwards.

“Um,” I thought. “This… this is a problem.”

I jumped up and down, hoping the momentum would help the dress move downward. No such luck. I was stuck tighter than ever.

Without the use of my arms, which were still pinned upwards, I couldn’t pull the dress the other direction and go back the way I’d come in. I also couldn’t reach the zipper to free myself.

I started to pant inside the heavy lace fabric I was now wedged into, partly because it was becoming warm, but mostly out of rising panic.   Did I mention I’m claustrophobic?  Fun times.

“Eeerrrggghh! Mmmmmppphhh! Aaaaaggggh!” Hop hop hop. ”Oooooooof!” Arms in the air, I performed moves reminiscent of the inflatable dancing stick man outside of the local muffler shop.

I panted. I sweated, my face mashed against the lining. I pictured my kids bursting into the room to find my lifeless body on the floor, stuck half in and half out of a wedding dress, and clad only in Target brand underpants.

My husband would be widowed. My children would be motherless. “What happened to your mom?” They would be asked. “Oh, it’s a really sad story,” they would reply. “She smothered to death trying to prove she was the same size she was when she was married.” My demise would forever be a moral to a sad tale of vanity gone wrong.

No. I would not allow my children to find me this way. “YOU WILL NOT WIN, YOU HEAR ME?” I shouted, er, gasped, because I’m positive I was dangerously low on oxygen. In mere seconds, I would have been walking toward the light in that damn stupid wedding dress.  In a burst of strength and adrenaline, and possibly a split seam or two, I managed to angle one arm just enough to grab the fabric and pull myself free.

Once I recovered from my ordeal, I hung the dress back in the closet. I haven’t gotten it back out since then, but every once in a while I like to walk by it, and whisper threats of stuffing it in a Hefty bag in the basement. You know, just to show it who’s  boss.


  1. LOL. Loudly. And Repeatedly. And then some more. Sorry. 🙂

  2. I love a little jack-assery in the afternoon! That was awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This would happen to me. Definitely. Except that I haven’t tried my wedding dress (also hanging in a bag in the guest room closet) since having my son, so I can still enjoy the delusion that it fits. After reading this, I think I’ll just never try it on and tell people it fits perfectly.

  4. Holy crap! This is outstanding! So funny! I’ve been tempted to try my wedding dress on again, but like you, I think there’s been a shape shift that might not make it possible.
    “I pictured my kids bursting into the room to find my lifeless body on the floor, stuck half in and half out of a wedding dress, and clad only in Target brand underpants.” I can’t stop giggling about this.

    So great! I will be back for sure!

    • My poor children. Can you imagine? Just thinking about that scenario gave me the oomph I needed to get me out of the thing!

  5. Haha. I don’t fit in mine either, but instead of too tight, it’s too big. I was pregnant when I wore it.

  6. God, you make me cry with laughter!! I LOVE this blog so much!! Thankfully, mine is preserved or whatever somewhere in my father’s attic, so I can totally pretend it would still fit even though I know it would not! ;)-Ashley

  7. Oh my word, you are funny! Instead of this post being a cautionary tale to me, I am feeling a bit challenged to see if my wedding dress still fits. Thankfully, it is sitting in a closet (potentially bag less) at my parent’s house 4 hours away. I have been saved from a potential panic-stricken situation and/or major hit to my self-esteem. But I don’t need a wedding dress to get stuck in a dress:

  8. Ha! Fortunately, my mom did have my wedding dress sealed & preserved because I’m sure if I ever tried it on again I would certainly risk getting stuck myself! 🙂

  9. OMG! I laughed all the way through this. I’m almost tempted to try on MY wedding dress now. You’ll come rescue me if I need the Jaws Of Life, right?

  10. Oh wow did I love this. I think my favorite part is that you compared your current shape to a russet potato. Why is it that even if we get back to our pre-baby weight, things just don’t line up in quite the same way?? I’m really glad that things turned out ok and your kids don’t have to tell tragic tales about your lacy demise.

  11. Oh, the russet potato look. Ha!

    That’s why I gave my wedding dress away a week after I got back from my honeymoon!

  12. Hahaha a similar situation happened to me, only I was fully aware I wasn’t the same size I was before I had a baby, but still attempted to try on my old size of a shirt that wasn’t mine. I got so stuck that I had no choice but to rip some seams to wiggle out of it. I have never got out of a dressing room as fast as I did that day.

  13. Sparkling74 says:

    I made a dress one time without a pattern and got my arms so stuck over my head, I had to get help. It was really scary feeling like could not get out and my arms were falling asleep. I live the image f your grls finding you killed by your wedding dress!

    • It happened to you too? Ooooh… wouldn’t that make a great show on TLC? It could be called When Clothing Attacks, or maybe Killers in Your Closet: The Deadly Side of Clothing. I think I’m on to something here.

  14. Ha! Would LOVE to have seen a video of that “attack!” Very funny!

  15. LOL! I remember this beautiful dress, seeing you trying it on at Hannelores in Old Town and looking stunning while wearing it the day to married Jack in Nantucket after a hurricane went through. Good memories for a day like today.. I just stumbled across your blog today. I love that you’ve created it. Look forward to reading more of the old and new and laughing out loud- Tracy

    • I was just talking to someone today about that hurricane. Manager: “Well, unfortunately since boats and planes aren’t running, some of the food hasn’t made it over to the island.” My mom:”Um, how much are we still waiting for?” Manager: “All of it.” Yeah. Fun times. Probably not the best idea I’ve ever had, to plan a Nantucket wedding during hurricane season. Glad you like the blog. I’m having a blast writing it!

  16. Angela McKeown Momopolize says:

    This is so hilarious!!! I don’t think I could get my dress beyond my thighs…so I think I’m safe from harm. 😀

    • That’s good. Just think about all of the unsuspecting women out there who don’t realize their wedding dresses are just lying in wait, lulling them into a false sense of security. They’re sneaky that way.

  17. Such a good post. I was squirming in my seat, literally, when I was reading about you being stuck. My own claustrophobia in full effect. Can’t wait to read what you write each week!! 🙂

    • Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! And I’m sorry I aggravated your claustrophobia. Looking forward to checking out your stuff as well.

Speak Your Mind