I got my wedding dress back in May, even before my grandmother passed away. It came to me very easily, without any of the drama or hand-wringing that wedding dresses usually entail.

I knew the store where I wanted to buy it (Jewels on Pacific, in downtown Santa Cruz), because I’d been gazing in the window for years. And as soon as I touched it, I knew the dress that I wanted, mainly because it was named “The Gatsby”, and really, who doesn’t want to feel like someone out of that novel on their wedding day? Also, it was quite simply gorgeous. I felt like a 1930s starlet, getting out of a stretch limo with my fur and long cigarette holder.

Two days later, my matron of honor agreed with me after seeing only two other dresses, and the deal was sealed. Easy-peasy. Dress: sorted. Since that time, it has sat in its bag either at the tailor’s house or at my parents’, unused and unloved, but much thought-about.

Unfortunately, the one thing I hadn’t given much thought to until this past week was how in the hell I was supposed to get away with wearing such a technically challenging dress. I mean, we’re talking backless, sideless, form-fitting cream-colored satin here, people. Which I am supposed to wear for five hours in front of 104 people without falling out of during any of the following activities: dancing, getting carried around on a chair, enacting a legally binding contract that links me inextricably to another person for the rest of my life, for better or for worse… well, you get the idea.

One word: help!!!

Once I realized that I had less than four weeks in order to determine how I was going to avoid major wardrobe malfunctions at my own wedding, it became something of a mission. I put in hours of internet research, assiduously looking at every recommendation for stick-on bras that I could find, and ditto low-rise shaping undergarments that reached below the knee (since it really does show every line from the waist on down to the knee). Good God.

Finally, my future sister-in-law saved me, as she so often does. She not only had all the answers, she already owned most of them, and sent them to me overnight to try on with my dress. Bless her heart! So while I still haven’t found the exact solution yet, and probably won’t decide on it til the day of (and even then will probably just end up going commando), at least I have a little peace of mind. And, as I’m quickly discovering during this pre-wedding countdown, that is more valuable than just about anything. (Don’t even ask about the strange bright red bruise that erupted on my left eyelid two days ago, the likes of which I have never ever had before in my life! Why does shit like this happen twenty-four days before my wedding? Why?)

I figure though that this was like wedding dress karma… I found my dress far too easily, without any of the pain that’s usually associated with the process, so it had to enter in somewhere else. Why couldn’t I just have gone with a nice, simple strappy dress like I’d planned to in the first place??? But oh well.

As I’m reading over this, I realize that the saga of my dress kind of like getting married in general – at first you’re enamored of the whole idea, and you feel glamorous and sparkly all over, like a starlet getting out of her limo.

Then you get kind of used to it, and for a long time you think about it a lot but it’s not at the forefront of your mind.

Right before the wedding arrives, however, it’s very definitely at the forefront of your mind, and you start thinking, “Holy crap! What am I signing up for? How am I going to make this work? It all seemed so easy at first!”

But it comes down to having the right underpinnings – the less glamorous stuff you don’t see is what makes the beautiful stuff you see work so well. Hopefully, when the big day comes around, my undergarments will give me half as much support, comfort, and ease as does my relationship.