The snow was relentless, causing me to wonder if my February wedding would be snowed out. Regardless, it was pure, white, and breathtaking. They say that at the end of the day, if you are married to the one you love, that’s all that matters.

So many nail-biting issues go along with wedding planning, but lucky for me, I purchased my wedding gown five years prior for $10 at a second-hand store.
What? you’re thinking to yourself. No, you didn’t read that wrong.

The price of the dress does not define the beauty or the sacredness of this gown that’s been like Sleeping Beauty in my closet all these years.

I was 18 at the time and had this obsession with formal gowns, prom gowns, anything that screamed “princess.” Fitting, considering the fact I was treated like a princess from day one. The most phenomenal man in my life (my daddy) taught me I was valuable right from the start. My brother followed in his footsteps, and to this day, he still treats me like gold. I am blessed.

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Back to the dress . . . I was secondhand shopping with my mom, and we’d always get that rush, plowing through bins, clanging through hangers, never knowing what gems we would find. To this day, I have a hard time paying full price for anything—thanks, Mom and my soon-to-be matron of honor, you taught me well.

I always looked at the formal dress section, the wedding gown section. I didn’t date until I was 20, I was a bookworm, a self-proclaimed writer, and my first two years at university were focused solely on journalism. Needless to say, I wasn’t planning on finding a wedding dress that day.

I came out of five years of school with three university degrees, discouraged at the thought of prince charming even existing.

I turned 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and the dress sat in my closet. That gown has secretly seen me through so muchit heard me cry, argue with my parents, talk on the phone for hours, play the guitar, etc. Occasionally, I would peek at it but never pulled it out. I didn’t want to fill my head with notions of love and happily ever afters. I didn’t put it on either, it was sizes too big. I knew high-quality fabric and this dress was it.

I asked for a sewing machine for Christmas when I was 12, needless to say, I was not a virgin to fine fabrics. It looked antique, vintage, so deeply detailed and so pure, white, and breathtaking.

The only person who has laid eyes on it was my mom. I’m so thankful she poked and prodded me to buy it that day . . . “Well you never know, you might wear it someday. You could always save it and use the fabric? You can get it fitted, don’t worry about that.” She’s amazing.

I fell in love with Chad after our second date . . . not the first, the second.

I can’t really explain it, that’s just how it happened for me. Actually, I can explainI embarrassed myself so much on our first date, I never dreamed there would be a second.

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Fast forward, we were engaged and then married on February 14th, 2014. My dress was fitted ($35) and dry cleaned ($30) for a grand total of $75! I am so proud of it, I am so thankful that it holds so many memories that I will carry down the aisle with me as well.

Fast forward, we are married with three kids and my 3-year-old daughter collects princess gowns and dreams of wearing my $10 sleeping beauty wedding dress someday.

And just so you know, after our second date, I pulled it out of my closet and I tried it on. At that point, I knew that someday soon, it would need a night out.

Originally published on WeddingMix

Kali Dawson

Kali is a School Teacher, Pilates Instructor, Mama of two young children and a beautiful 2020 Baby. She is Married to her real-life Superhero. When she's not holding small hands or looking for raised hands you will find her writing fervently about faith and family. To read more, you can find her on Facebook at: Faith, Family, Freelance.