Woman gets married in a ruffled $20 party dress: 'I knew our marriage wouldn't be worth the expense of a wedding gown'

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I should never have gotten married. It's easy to say that now that it's been years since my divorce.

However, I think part of me knew before my wedding day that I was making a mistake.

For example, while many brides opt for wedding gowns costing thousands of dollars, I chose an ugly ruffled party dress. It cost a whopping twenty bucks, and my mother bought it for me.

I knew our marriage wouldn't be worth the expense of a wedding gown. A $20 dress seemed just right.

Looking back, there were other signs that I shouldn't have gone through with the wedding.

I was only nineteen years old, and my husband was eighteen. We had been dating for less than two years when we got engaged.

My friends and family thought I was crazy. They begged me to wait, to make sure that this was really what I wanted.

I didn't listen. I felt convinced that getting married would be the best thing for us.

How wrong I was.

The marriage only lasted four and a half years, and it was an utter disaster. We were too young, and we had no idea what we were doing.

I wish I had listened to my friends and family. I wish I had waited. But most of all, I wish I hadn't gotten married at all.

It's easy to say that getting married was a mistake, but it's hard to live with that mistake.

My $20 wedding dress was a sign that deep inside I knew I was making a mistake. It showed that's all my wedding was worth to me, twenty bucks.

What's more, I didn't even bother with a wedding planner. I did most of the work, and I was happy to do it. If it wasn't going to be a perfect marriage, then it didn't need to be an expensive wedding. I cut costs wherever I could.

And in retrospect, I see that as a sign that I wasn't fully committed to the marriage. I didn't want to spend money on a wedding gown because I knew the relationship wasn't going to last.

If I could go back and do it all over again, I would've been a runaway bride. But alas, I was too naïve and too committed to the idea of getting married to see the writing on the wall. Love had nothing to do with it.

So, for anyone out there who is considering marriage, my advice to you is this: think long and hard about it. It's not always worth it in the end. Sometimes, it's better to just walk away.

At least I didn't spend a lot of money on an expensive wedding gown just for it to end up in a landfill or a consignment shop. My $20 ruffled party dress hung in the back of my closet for years before I donated it to charity.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Please share in the comments below.

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