The one thing we learned from the first shop was that Kyra did not want a huge, princess ball gown. She was so tiny that it dwarfed her. As much as I loved one, I had to agree. You didn’t see my daughter, you saw this enormous dress. With that knowledge, we searched the boutique in the city, finding something called a mermaid style dress. The petite woman who helped us, pulled all of the mermaid dresses and pushed Kyra into a dressing room. Bella and I sat on a plush-looking couch, sipping champagne and eating petit-fours. The first few dresses we saw were too big and just too gaudy. The gowns had a clear break from the bodice and the skirt, which poufed out at her knees. She didn’t like that and wanted a more subtle flare, or a the skirt starting it’s poufyness higher, around her thighs at the lowest or at the hips at the highest.
We spent a couple of hours, finding things we liked about each dress, but nothing really stood out. However, the sales woman said that we could create a customized design. Kyra’s eyes lit up and she said she knew what she wanted, or at least, the basis for her dress. They changed back into one of the favorites and we began ‘pulling’ it apart. The first dress was somewhat ornate with a sweetheart bodice. The bodice was strapless, but we added a single strap on one shoulder, with some beading around the arm and the same beading at her waist, moving up the body of the dress. The skirt of the dress resembled a duvet cover, so we nixed that, opting for a simple A-line chiffon skirt, flaring out at the hips. The train was long, something called a cathedral train.
Kyra stood on the podium with her jimmy-rigged, customized dress. Bella was fluffing her veil and cooing over what we’d created. I was trying not to cry. When the sales woman handed Kyra a bouquet, the tears started flowing. “Daddy,” she whispered, turning on the podium and shimmying down. She took my hands, squeezing them gently. “Don’t cry, Daddy,” she sniffled, wiping my tears away.
“You’re getting married,” I said, cupping her face and smiling sadly. “I thought I’d be okay – a tough guy – but, my baby girl is getting married. I’m so proud of you and you are so beautiful.” My voice cracked as I enfolded her in my arms. “I don’t want to lose you, Kyra.”
“Daddy, you’re not losing me,” she said, rubbing my back. “You’re gaining a son.” I laughed, kissing her head. “I may be getting married, but you will always be my daddy. The guy who scared away monsters under my bed, who taught me how to drive, who showed me how to love.”
“I know,” I whispered. “It’s still … it’s real now. You’re standing in your sort of wedding dress, wearing a veil and tiara.”
“Well, it’s not real since I’m wearing a combination of three different dresses,” Kyra snickered, waddling back. “It’ll be more real when I have my final fitting and when I’m walking down the aisle to become Steve’s wife. Just don’t cry then, Dad. You can cry now all you want, but I don’t want tears on my wedding day.”
“Miss Cullen, I need to take your measurements,” said the sales woman. “We’ll get started on your dress and it should be ready by November.”
“Are you okay, Dad?” Kyra asked, squeezing my hands.
“Not really, but I will be,” I answered, kissing her forehead. She hugged me once more before she went back to the dressing room with Bella to get her measurements and finalize the design of the dress. I sat down, trying to wrap my head around all of this. I knew it was coming; that it was a reality, but seeing her in a wedding dress made it more real.
Kyra's dress, with some more bling added
Kyra's engagement ring