Saturday, February 19, 2011

'Running of the Brides'


Yesterday was the annual 'Running of the Brides' at Filene's Basement. Designer wedding gowns are sold at substantial savings to those willing to push and shove and wear funny hats.

I always want to punch them.

My DIL dreamed of wearing a Vera Wang wedding gown. My son will tell you his wife always wanted "a dress by Suzie Wong or something like that, some skinny Asian chick."

Vera Wang had a sample sale in Chicago right after Jeffrey and Connie were engaged and so off we went. Me, Connie and her Mom. Since this was a last minute decision we couldn't get rooms in the same hotel as the sale. Once we settled in at our hotel about a mile away Connie and I decided to go scout out the sale location. It was around 10 PM and the sale was set to start at 9 the next morning. We found the hotel and it looked very very quiet. As the taxi rounded the corner we saw a few people sitting on the street by the side entrance. I'll never forget the taxi driver - "that's those crazy bride people, by 2 AM there will be hundreds of them."

The look of panic on my DIL's face was tragic. The short plane ride from NY to Chicago had been delayed and she was exhausted. Her Mom was already asleep back at the hotel. Visions of waiting for Springsteen tickets danced in my head and I told her that if she got me a folding chair and a blanket I'd join the line.

I've been to Chicago many times and it is one of my most favorite cities. Waiting all night on that line was one of the best times I ever had in Chicago.

After getting my camping supplies at a Rite Aid the taxi took us back to the line. I got out and shouted out to my co-linees - "hey girls, Vera makes plus sizes right!!."

They liked me.

My real story was told quick enough. A rep from Vera Wang called me "that fabulous mother-in-law from NY" - he was a giant teddy bear of a man who had just been dumped by the love of his life and here he was running a wedding gown sale. He had the most delicious twisted sense of humor and we had a grand time together.

I met a lawyer from Boston. A secretary from Wisconsin. A police officer from Florida. There was a young girl there from a very strict family. She had begged her father to let her sleep on the sidewalk. He kept coming down to check on her. I told him I'd look out for her but I think that might have only made him more nervous.

My most favorite line companion was a man (the only one) who was marrying a woman who was divorced with a child. He insisted she stay upstairs with her daughter. He told me she had never had a real wedding and her ex was a bastard and he wanted her to have everything she deserved. He was a sweet sweet man.

We took turns going for coffee and wandering around the surrounding streets. At one point six or seven of us were standing in front of a high rise with arms linked singing "Oprah, Oprah - please come out and play" - I don't know if Oprah even lived there.

At 7 the next morning one of my new best friends called my DIL at the hotel screaming that she had to wake up and come get on line - and bring breakfast for 20. She and her Mom arrived shortly after. With breakfast for 20.

The Vera Wang people were wonderful. My teddy bear buddy knew the line and he kept it organized. It had grown and grown overnight and was now stretched all around the hotel. The relief in my DIL's eyes made me so happy.

We were let in 12 at a time. No pushing, no shoving. Lots of laughter and excitement.

I gave my folding chair and blanket to a homeless guy on the corner.

My DIL got her dress.

That's the way to 'run the brides'.




some photos of me and "my girls" were taken using my DIL's brother's camera but the memory card was lost so I can't share them. the photos here are of the Filene's sale from the NY Daily News

30 comments:

Vol-E said...

Great story, and I hope she knows her mother-in-law is a keeper!!

Happy Elf Mom said...

I'm sure your DIL looked lovely in that gown, too. :)

Cherie said...

That's the most awesomeness of a running of the brides ever. I must confess of a secret obsession of watching "Say Yes to the Dress" when I have access to cable. lol First couple of times it was because there wasn't anything else on, but I could only use that excuse for so long. ;)

Cherie said...

P.S. That and I'm a masochist. I don't know why I'm fascinated by it and "My Fair Wedding". I hold most of that stuff in contempt. Oy! lol

Jackie said...

What a fantastic story - I hope your DIL remembers it. Vol-E is right, you're a keeper! :)

Ron said...

Oh WOW, I wish I had been there with you to experience this!

I freakin' adore anything Vera Wang. Her wedding dresses are exquisite.

Funny you posted this today, because I live across the street from a wedding gown boutique that makes custom designed wedding gowns. Yesterday, I was looking in the window and thinking to myself, "These gowns look so similar to a Vera Wang."

Love that last photo - hilarious!

Hope you're having a great weekend, dear lady!

X

Linda said...

What a great tale and I can SO see you doing this and having the time of your life! I hope your DIL appreciates what a fantastic MIL she has as if nothing else ever proved it, then this sure did.

As for those other fools who jostle and push and shove and turn into animals ... seriously? Why?

DJan said...

That was a totally awesome and marvelous description of the event. You made me feel like I was there on the sidewalk with you! And congratulations on getting that dress! Wow, double wow!

kenju said...

I have always wanted to see that in person (as a fly on the wall). Glad you guys were able to get what you wanted.

Linda Reeder said...

It is no surprise to me that you were the life of the line party! And yes, I would think you scored enough points with your DIL that it should be lasting a long time. Maybe you should drop little hints on the anniversaries of that day.

ladyfi said...

Wow - what a marvellous story! You have a kind heart.

Kay Dennison said...

Fabulous story with a happy ending!!! I love it!!!!

Hilary said...

If anyone could make staying out all night in line waiting for a wedding gown of all things, sound like a wonderful event, it's you. I'll bet the folks who lined up with you remember you fondly. Your DIL is a lucky person.

Mike said...

Waiting in any line for what you really want.

Granny Annie said...

Your story changed my entire opinion of this event.

Scott Oglesby said...

That’s freaking amazing that your daughter in law got a Vera Wang. I feel ashamed to know who that is but even more ashamed to admit WHY I know who she is….

Because I watch Project Runway. – That takes a real man to admit that shit though.

Akelamalu said...

You are a MIL in a million - I hope your DIL appreciates you. x

Au and Target said...

I don't get this wedding thing at all. Sounds nuts to me. All that fuss for a few hours of partying?

Dropped by to say that Au is eating! So relieved.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a GREAT GREAT Story, Dianne....Such a fabulous adventure and such fun, too! You are one game lady...BRAVA to you...! And I love that your DIL got the dress she wanted!!!

Matt-Man said...

That Lora chick in the first picture has a nice rack. Cheers Sexy!!

Mare said...

Loved the story! You are too funny!

Reb said...

Wow! You are the best MIL! And it sounds like VW & staff know how to run a sale too! I would never in my life go to one of those push and shove and grab sales!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Cool Story Dianne...you are a special lady...do you ever remind her, when she is on your nerves, what you did for her in Chicago?

Knight said...

What a fantastic story. It makes me want to get in line somewhere. I'm never buying a dress though. If I get hitched I'm just throwing on a white bikini or something.

HermanTurnip said...

Look at how you've become what you hate ;-)

Excellent write-up! The only time I ever stood out in line overnight was for VIP tickets to a Nine Inch Nails concert being given away by a radio station. There was no Teddy Bear man or holding of hands, but rather several drunks, a guy a hallucinogens, and a bunch of industrial/goth types doing their best to look bored and angry all at the same time.

Let me tell you, that was the best concert ever! Even got to meet Trent.

Gaston Studio said...

Wonderful story of an adventurous spirit. Congrats on POTW!

Out on the prairie said...

I never waited in line like this, it sounds fun. The nice part was no ruthless push and shove.I wonder if you got back with some of your new friends.

ethelmaepotter! said...

I've only heard about this event in short news stories - you made it come alive, and I love it!

Congrats on POTW!

CherylK said...

I think you are the best MIL, ever! Although, it does sound like you had the most fun of all. A perfect POTW!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Catching up -- but just had to toss in a late comment! That is the greatest story! You are one of those wonderful people who can make a wonderful occasion out of anything -- I just love it! What a fabulous mom-in-law you are -- right from the get-go!