Chapter: Wedding Dress Blues

Renee was not picky or demanding by nature, so she trusted James and the planner to do a good job. The only thing Renee wanted to do was pick out her dress.

"Baby, pick your dream dress out. Don't look at the price, just find your dream dress and buy it," James tells her as she walks out the door with Calleigh, Beth, and Piper.

She did need opinions since she never really wears dresses. She could count the number of times that she wore a dress on one hand. That's since she was in preschool. She was far too rough and tumble and physical to wear dresses.

Walking into the dress shop, Renee was overwhelmed. Calleigh and Beth gently lead Renee to a chair to sit down.

"Our friend is looking for a dress. She has no idea what she wants. In the last thirty-three years, she had worn a dress a total of four times. She is a combat veteran with PTSD, so go slow. Don't push her. Her back is all scarred from being a P.O.W., but her fiancé loves the scars and loves it when she wears open back. She is not sure. So when you see her back, don't mention the scar. It's hard to ignore it, but please try," Calleigh whispers to the attendants.

When they heard that she was a combat vet, they all wanted to help her. They wanted to help her find her dream dress.

"Okay, Sweetie, lets first figure out the color you want." The lead attendant says to a nervous Renee.

"Well James will be wearing is Marine Dress Blues, his Best Man and all of the Groomsmen will be wearing either there Navy Dress Whites or Marine Dress Blues, so I know the bridesmaids dress colors. Red and Navy blue. Piper, Sweetie, you will have a Navy blue dress since we redheads can't wear red dresses. I have no idea what I want for my dress. I guess white. I don't think other colors would go with Marine Dress blues."

"Okay, do you want a tight dress or a looser fit."

"I definitely want a looser fit. The top can be tight, but the bottom needs to be looser."

"I do want to change to a shorter dress for the reception, so trail length is not an issue. I have a white satin and lace tea-length dress for the reception."

"White A-line. Do want lace or other embellishments on the dress." The attendant asks Renee with her friends there. Renee didn't know, so she asks Calleigh what she thinks.

"I say as long as it's not too out there, it doesn't matter." Was what Calleigh tells her.

"I know I'm a hard one. I just don't know. It's a miracle I'm still alive. With how many times I almost died. I'm a Marine, C.B.P. Agent, and an MDPD canine officer. I've been shot, stabbed, or drugged so many times I lost count. Whatever you think would look good on me. I am very small, so no matter what, I'll probably need it altered." Renee says to the attendant.

"It's okay, Sweetie. Let's just see what we are working with here. Stand up so I can get an idea of height. I'm guessing 110 pounds. I can see you are very muscular but tiny. Let me see you are five feet tall. That would put you in our petite size. We can get any dress you like in the petite size, so don't worry about that." The attendant says as she scurries off to look through the dresses.

The attendant was in the back, searching for the perfect dress for Renee. It took a little bit longer than normal, but she found four that might work.

Gently she leads Renee to the dressing room to try them on.

When the attendant saw Renee's back, she understood why her friend warned her. The attendant could also tell that Renee was comfortable showing her scar since she didn't say anything when the attendant saw it.

The first dress was a chiffon floor length a-line. It looked beautiful on her. Renee was not sure, and she wanted Piper and Beth's opinions. They knew James best, so they would know if he would like it. Renee really wanted James to like the dress. She shyly walked out to where her little group of friends was. She had left Echo with Piper when she went to the back.

"Piper, what do you think, Sweetie?" Nae asked her soon to be daughter. She never thought of Piper as a stepchild but rather a child. Renee had been involved in Piper's life the entire time.

"You look beautiful, Nae. Close your eyes, and can you imagine yourself walking down the aisle in it." Piper tells Renee. Piper was always wise beyond her years.

"It doesn't feel right. I know when I find it, I'll know." Renee quietly tells her attendant.

"Sweetie, why don't you come back and look. I'll take you to your size, and you can look for yourself if you like." The attendant tells a nervous Renee.

"Can I?" Renee asks the attendant with great anticipation.

"Of course, you know what you like. You do have one of our dream figures since every dress will look good on you." The attendant gently guides Renee to the back.

It takes a while, but she sees a dress that catches her eye. When she saw it, she made a beeline for it.

It was a white satin and lace floor-length a-line. The dress had a tight top and a loose bottom. The waist had some embellishments, but they were very subtle ruching and a tiny sparkly belt.

When the attendant saw the look in Renee's eyes, she knew that Renee had found her dress.

Gently the attendant took the dress to the changing room to help Renee put it on. When the attendant laced up the dress and stood back, she could see tears in Renee's eyes.

Renee's group of friends were floored when she walked out in the dress.

"You look amazing, Nae. Daddy's gonna love that dress. It even has an open back." Piper squealed

"Sweetie, you're gorgeous," Calleigh says encouragingly.

Renee then looks at Beth. She has known James the longest. Locking eyes with Beth, Renee could see tears in her eyes.

"Sweetheart, you are simply stunning in that dress. Who picked it out?" Beth tells Renee with a casual question.

"That dress was entirely Renee's pick. I let her in the back, and she found it," the attendant tells the group of friends.

"Echo, what do you think?" Renee asks her canine. Echo looked at Renee and barked once.

"I want this one, how do we do the altering?" Renee asks the attendant.

"It doesn't look like they need to do anything. It fits perfectly. Come in the back, and I'll pin it where it needs to be tucked, and you come back for a second fitting. Then you take the dress. You can leave it here until the day before the wedding," the attendant answers Renee's question.

With her dresses picked out, they just needed to find their bridesmaids dresses while they were at the dress shop. They picked those out while they were there. Piper was allowed to pick her dress out first. She picked out a floor-length Navy Blue chiffon dress with a halter top. Wanting to match Piper, Calleigh picked the same dress. Nae wanted the dresses of the other bridesmaids to be a close match, so Nae picked out a red version of Piper's dress.