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Tara's Take: Running of the Brides

By: Tara Wheeler
By: Tara Wheeler

While everyone was glued to their TV's waiting to see what gown Kate Middleton would wear as she became royalty, I was some royalty of my own: 3 Miss DC's all lined up at the crack of dawn for the Running of the Brides!

While everyone was glued to their TVs waiting to see what gown Kate Middleton would wear as she became royalty, I was some royalty of my own: 3 Miss DC's all lined up at the crack of dawn for the Running of the Brides!

Kate-Marie Grinold (Miss DC 2008) is one of my very best friends. I'm a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding so I couldn't miss the action when she decided she wanted to try to find her dream dress in the "Running of the Brides" at Filene's Basement in Washington, DC last Friday. I finished anchoring the WAHU FOX 27 News Thursday night at 10, got in my car and headed up to stay with Kate-Marie in Georgetown. I got in around 1am... She woke me up at 4am to get in line.

Delirious.

We grabbed a caffinated beverage and marched our happy selves to Filene's and as we approached the store, Kate-Marie exclaimed "Ooh! I think we might be the first ones here!". False. We rounded the corner and saw women camped out by the hundreds. We took our spot in line and hunkered down for the 4 hour wait.

Insane.

This was the same morning that many people across the nation woke up extra early to see the royal wedding. All of the girls in line were on their phones checking the web for pictures of the fairytale bride. I was super excited to see that I was right on with my prediction of what the princess would wear. I guessed she would don a more modern version of Grace Kelly's wedding dress. I'm sure several brides tweaked their styles after seeing Kate Middleton's perfect dress, but Kate-Marie stayed strong and knew exactly what she was looking for.

With Miss DC 2006 and Miss DC 2008

A little about Kate-Marie... she's very Type-A. She had made us all notebooks with pictures of the type of gown she was looking for so we would know what to grab when the doors open. As pageant girls, we know a thing or two about gowns so we figured we'd be prepared... This turned out to be a total waste of time because as soon as the gates unlocked it was complete madness and every strategy we had went out the window. Women were losing their minds, plowing each other down, and grabbing as many dresses as they could hold without even looking at what they had.

We decided to split up and I tried to sift through the gowns for a "white-white" dress; one of the descriptions in the notebook. As I moved through the gowns, I saw them disappearing quickly. I couldn't come back to home-base empty handed so I grabbed the only two white gowns I saw in front of me... then everything else was gone.

When I found Kate-Marie, she stood, shaking, hands clasped and empty saying "I got overwhelmed!". It's OK, I thought, I've got two. We looked at the sizes: 26 and 18. Kate-Marie is about a 2 or 4. Fail. The other girls had better luck, each getting 5 or so options for Kate-Marie to try on, but none were winners.

Then, we realized we could trade our gowns with other girls... but there was way more strategy involved than we could handle. For example,  one woman had already decided she didn't like a gown in her pile, but it was exactly the style Kate-Marie was looking for. We asked if we could trade her for it. She didn't like our size 26 offering, so she wouldn't let Kate-Marie try out the dress. Really? Just because you didn't find your gown, you shouldn't prevent someone else from getting their dream dress. Bad romance karma is heading her way.

In conclusion, none of us had the aggressive and combative personalities needed to successfully run with the brides. We didn't find Kate-Marie's gown, but we walked away with smiles flashed and a great story to tell at the wedding!

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