From Toddler to Bride in a Flash

Kristi Leonard Age 3

Kristi as a 3-year-old toddler.

There’s something staggering about the moment your daughter puts a bridal veil on her head to complete her bridal ensemble. In a split second her entire life whirs by in front of you. In that moment you suddenly realize the cute little 2-year-old playfully smearing flour all over the kitchen counter has instantaneously turned into a bride. Bam! Her childhood is over. She’s moving into a new chapter…and so are you as her parent.

It’s not that I would want her to remain a little girl (please, no!). I very much want her to branch out on her own and be a happy, productive and compassionate member of society. I just didn’t expect that one “veil instant” to impact me as strongly as it did, especially since I co-owned a bridal salon for 11 years and had seen that emotional moment played out many times in my store. But those times were different; those brides belonged to other people. This bride was MY daughter.

Well, I’m happy to report I maintained my composure, and with the help of Nikki and Kathy at Princess Bride, and my sister, my daughter selected her bridal gown, veil and jewelry all in one stop. No tears, no doubts. Just giddiness and joy (and my bankcard, of course).

That day we checked off three items from the wedding to-do list…and created one memory that I’ll never forget.

Kristi Leonard Bridal Gown

Kristi in a bridal gown (but not the one she chose).

Kristi in a bridal gown (but not the one she chose).

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