Nick & Ann got married on the 25th of October at Engedi lodge in Muldersdrift. Because Ann is a freelance writer and obviously so much better with words than me, I asked her to write the story of her wedding dress disaster. Enjoy! :)

My wedding day started with a bang when one of my bridesmaids had to rush her husband to hospital. He ended up missing the wedding and she was late for her hair appointment. Not the best start to the day, but, we figured, at least the big wedding day disaster (there’s always going to be one) struck nice and early. How wrong we were.

My husband and I had decided to do our individual family photos before the ceremony to cut down on post-ceremony photos. Lourensia and her assistant arrived, and suddenly it was time to get dressed. I’d chosen a short dress with a zip, no fancy buttons or laces, so it wasn’t really a big deal. Until the zip jammed, that is. Naturally my first thought was, “Have I put on weight? Am I too fat for the dress?”

That wasn’t the case, but it still took all four bridesmaids and my mother to get the zip up. Success! Until I heard my sister exclaim, “Oh sh*t”.  As it turns out, the zip had jammed over four bent teeth, and those teeth had just parted ways. With the zipper pulling further open with every breath, I was now trapped in my wedding dress. The dressmaker was phoned – she was over an hour away with another bride, nothing she could do to help. My mother-in-law tried sewing the zip closed, but the thread, meant more for sewing on buttons than securing a bride into her fitted and boned satin dress with absolutely no stretch, snapped.

I love my bridesmaids, my mom, my friends… But as each of them assured me that everything was going to be ok, I could feel the rising panic behind me like a dark tide. You just can’t disguise that kind of sheer desperation… but bless them, they tried.

Needless to say, panic set in. I finally convinced one of my bridesmaids and another friend to get me out of the dress, no matter what. Breathing was becoming a problem because I was too scared to take deep breaths, and I was starting to hyperventilate. They managed, but the zip came off its teeth. We were in big trouble.

And then my brother-in-law and one of the groomsmen, who’d been sent to the mall 5km down the road to try and find stronger thread, phoned. They’d found a bridal store. Better yet, the bridal store had a seamstress, and she was willing to come to my rescue. My brother-in-law arrived, with the seamstress, and she took charge. I couldn’t look at the dress, but I caught a glimpse of her, shears out, as she furiously unpicked the zip. All of it. She coaxed the zip pull back onto the teeth, and sewed the whole thing back into the dress. In record time.

She had me climb back into the dress that now filled me with fear, and zipped it up. No problems, no snagging. And then she sewed me into it. The teeth were gone, they weren’t going to hold, she said, but she was sewing me in with, what she assured me, was very strong thread. I was still too scared to breath, but my own personal seamstress in shining armour had me securely into my dress in less than half an hour. She was hugged, and cried on, by several very emotional women. Astonishingly, we were running barely five minutes late. I walked down the aisle on time, and my dress survived the entire evening, dancing and all. Our rescue seamstress was thanked in every speech.

I just remember sitting there (wrapped in my sarong as I had nothing else to wear), thinking, “When this is fixed it’s going to be a really funny story”. And it is. But for a second there I really thought I might be walking down the aisle in either my sarong or a borrowed wedding dress.

AuthorLourensia Burger