Why Didn’t You Tell Me A Sailor With A Bridal Gown Attracts A Crowd?


My husband and I planned our wedding while I was still in the military. My ship was at sea and the day before I was supposed to fly off the cods broke down. My last day on the ship was spent pacing the tiny Air Traffic Control room and praying that somehow the planes would get fixed. Hours ticked down to minutes and I was geared up ready to go with bridal gown, bouquets, and all my other gear.

The flight deck bounced up and down when I walked to the tiny plane.  I felt like I was on a rollercoaster as the plane was slung off of the ship like a little pebble. Back on dry land I scrambled to the airport and changed out of my uniform. At security, they decided it would be good if I were the one who was randomly searched. They went through my carefully packed bouquets, the bag with my gown and all of my stuff. Seconds turned into minutes as I heard my plane being called. And then it was over. I ran to my terminal and barely made it on board.

At the second airport, I got my first real meal in two months and had a drink. Okay, I had two drinks. After all, I was in the airport with my boots hanging off my bag, cover in one hand and bridal gown in the other. By the time I went to pay, someone else had already paid my tab for me.  Thank You was scrawled at the bottom of my ticket. With all the emotions of the day running through me already, I have to admit I cried. My first real meal in two months and the kind man sitting next to me had paid for it. I hope civilians know that we appreciate the thank yous. Sometimes it can keep us going.

I gathered up my belongings and walked down to my final plane. It felt like the shortest trip of all, but in reality it was the longest. When we finally touched down I was the last one off the plane. After all, I had to get my wedding dress. On the long ride down the escalator, I started to notice there were way too many feet still around for being the last one off the plane. A semi-circle had formed around my husband-to-be . All of the people from the plane AND their families were waiting to see our reunion. For the first time all day, I dropped my dress and uniform on the ground and ran.

You know when you see it on the movies you think, “oh I wish I could have one of those moments.” Well when it actually happens, it’s slightly awkward. After kissing my hubby and gathering up my stuff, I realized people were still watching us. Like I said, who knew a sailor with wedding dress would attract so much attention?Ashley Flaherty is now a full-time Navy wife, mommy to a six month old son, and a cosmetology student.  Their family is presently stationed at NAS Lemoore, California.Why Didn’t You Tell Me is a weekly feature that gives our readers a space to tell their own story.  If you have a story for us, please submit using the contact button above. All stories must be original and unpublished.

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