Post # 1
Like many Bees I have been on a dress search. I am a 18-24 dress size which can be more than discouraging when trying to find the perfect dress, for less than $300. I am picky and have had some good leads, heck I even went to a Brides Against Breast Cancer Dress Dash last weekend. (Note: I left in tears with no ounce of self esteem left and begged Mr.A to PLEASE just take me to the courthouse in my jeans! He won’t budge on the decision to have an actual wedding, but agreed I can wear my jeans if I must!) Anyway, after coming home from the Dress Dash I received word that a very close friend of mine had lost his battle with colon cancer. Yesterday his wife, KJ, also a good friend, asked if I was able to come sit, have coffee, & help with some service planning. In between our planning she had asked how the dress search was going so I filled in details & she reminded me that she had offered to sell me her dress when Mr.A & I first got engaged. (KJ’s husband offered to preform the ceremony but became very ill shortly after.) She then pointed out that it is sitting in her closet and for a whole $75 she would hand it over to me. (We decided that we will save the remainder of the discussion for after the memorial as it will give her something else to focus on… see below for concerns.)
The dress is gorgeous! I have to giggle because we have close to the same body shape, hair color, height… so much so that even my daughter asked if it was me when I showed her a pic of the dress. There is no bad ju-ju associated with the dress. KJ & AJ were the happiest couple I have ever met, even through all the health/financial issues. They loved each other like no other!
Here is my fear: 1.) Selling a wedding dress after her husband’s death may bring up some deep emotional issues 2.) Would it be hard for her to be at my wedding and watch her dress go down the aisle again? It is more important that my friend be there than for me to have this gown! 3.) She won’t consider taking more than $75 for it… I offered the full $300. Should I purchase this and she still refuses I have no problem sneaking down to the utility board and putting it on her bill!
How should I handle this?
Post # 3
I think it would actually make her feel good to see that the love she had when she wore the dress, is being extended to someone else. I Don’t think she would feel bad at all, I don’t think I would.
Post # 4
I would ask about the first two issues directly. They’re really sensitive and valid questions. Still, I suspect that she’ll want you to wear it.
Regarding the last, if she won’t take the remaining $225, why don’t you consider making a donation in her husband’s name to a cancer research fund, or hospice, or a patient outreach program. You could let her know about it in the thank you card.
Post # 5
i think it might make her happy. and since she wont take more from you what about having it cleaned and preserved and you give it back to her as a gift? and what if instead of doing favors at your reception you donate that money to a donation in her husbands honor?
Post # 6
I think she made the offer because she cares, and because it is a way to something she so associated with love continue on. If you want, you can find someway to make her part of it, like (if she OK’s it) adding into the program something like “the bride is wearing the dress her dear friend KJ wore to her own wedding, making this the second time it has ushered in a marriage filled with love.” If she won’t accept the money and you feel badly about it, you could tell her you’ve donated the remainder to a charity related to colon cancer, as a thank you to both her and her husband for being such good friends to you.
Post # 7
everyone handles death and grief differently. i can give you my perspective if it’ll help, but really it would be best if you asked her directly about the first two issues. the way i feel about the dress i wore when i married DH1…i think i’m going to donate it. i would LOVE to make another bride who might be strapped for cash happy. if i could give it to a friend, that would be even better (but the only unmarried friend i have it would be too small for, and it’s not even close to her style anyway). BUT this is only a conclusion i’ve reached in the last six months or so…i really didn’t feel that way in the immediate wake of his death. your friend might feel differently though…a big difference is that DH1 was killed suddenly and quite unexpectedly, and while death that close to home is ALWAYS a shock, no matter how much time you have to prepare, it’s a little different with long illness than it is when it’s completely sudden. so yeah, ask her. one thing i can guarantee is that she’ll very much appreciate the thought you’re putting into it and the concern for her feelings.
as for your third worry, i like @atalante‘s idea about donating to a hospice or outreach center in her husband’s honor. prayers for your friend and their family…my heart goes out to them.
Post # 8
ooooh! I didn’t even think of donating it! That is almost too perfect!! Sometimes the Hive just helps me find the missing pieces! Thank you ladies! Our Cancer Institute has it’s own donation center, any money/resources that are contributed go directly back to our (my former employer hee hee) patients to cover copay, gas for treatments, & general life expenses… Having a *TaDa* moment! lol
@SandyThePoet: I don’t think that I would either, as long as it was somebody close to me.
@atalante: I think addressing them directly is best as well. 🙂
@MrsJules10: I really like this idea as well. Anyone who knows me knows that it would be right up my alley! Really, who uses/keeps wedding favors? 😉
@bearlove: What a unique idea, I believe you give credit when it is due and that is a fantastic way to do it! Who knows, maybe we can pass it on to somebody else when I am done!
Post # 9
@MrsJules10: That’s a great idea. Even if you don’t have it sent back to her, OP, you should definitely consider donation favors.
I imagine attending any wedding would be hard after her husband’s death, but maybe seeing you in the dress will help her. 🙁
Post # 10
@cardus: Thank you so much for your input, I very much value your insight. So sorry to hear about DH1! *HUGS* I am very very much worried about her feelings. Right now she is so absorbed in planning that it hasn’t really hit her yet. Come Sunday morning when things slow down its going to be rough.
Post # 11
I think since she offered to sell the dress, you shouldn’t worry about it hurting her. I think its also very sweet of you to offer her the whole 300. Its a beautiful dress, congrats 🙂
Post # 12
I think a donation would be lovely. A very good family friend of mine got married a few years ago to her DH. The two of them actually met at the funeral of a mutual friend who had died of cancer. They made a donation to the friend’s hospital in lieu of favors, and they had a moment of silence at the reception. It was lovely, and they were really able to honor their friend. The situation here is a bit different, but I still think it would be the best thing to do.
Post # 13
So to follow up on this post I wanted to let you know that me purchasing her dress didn’t happen… and that is juuuuust fine. 🙂 She had a bride that was interested in it a few months ago that contacted her again and was willing to pay $400 for everything. In my opinion this was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up!
BUT, She and I made our way to DB and I she found my dress! And decided to wear her tiara as my something borrowed.I wrote a post all about it, with pictures, and am happy to say that I am still going to include a HUGE thank you to her & her husband.
Since the original post I am happy to report that she is handling AJ’s passing, & the media attention that came with it, far better than anticipated. The service went PERFECTLY and there are small surprises from AJ that keep popping up. (I am sure they are coincidences but still.) Example? The day before his service she received a pair of footie pajamas and the Lion King on Blu Ray that he purchased for her. *Sigh* I told ya’ll they were the most wonderful couple ever. 😉