Scenes from a Catfight

We sent Boston Daily intern Jule Onufrak to the front lines of The Running of the Brides this morning, hoping she would return neither hoarse nor scratched nor beaten. She had the stamina to file this report.

By 8:45 this morning, Hynes Convention Center is eerily quiet–until I reach the second floor. Turning the corner to one of the exhibit halls, I’m suddenly faced with a mass of shouting, running women, some writhing their way in and out of wedding gowns. “Plus size over here!” one woman screams, immediately on my left as I enter the room. The initial rush happened at 8, but the chaos is by no means over. Racks and racks of plastic bag-encased wedding dresses fill the room, and scurrying among them are the brides-to-be and their mothers, friends, wedding party members, even fathers and fiancés. It’s hard to spot your friends in the crowd, so most groups have matching T-shirts, which read things like “Operation Wedding Dress” and “Get Out of My Way!” (the latter is written above a picture of a threatening bearded man who looks suspiciously like Che Guevara). Many of the groups have brought their own mirrors. “Need a size 6!” another woman shouts, shoving her way through the discarded dresses cluttering the floor. “I can’t go back empty-handed,” one sweaty man is overheard saying to a potential trader. “I’ll get smacked.”

Wedding dresses are strewn in piles around the room. In the spirit of we’re-all-in-this-together, most women have tried to keep the dresses make-up free and neatly placed back in their plastic covers. But the early timing of this event means that many women probably have not showered, and many have been running around like mad for the past two hours. This will hopefully not be how these brides smell on their wedding day.

After about four laps around the room, I’m unable to face the prospect of fighting my way through another aisle, and I have no choice but to head out the door. Giddy brides and their teams leave with dresses in hand, and those who have not yet been so lucky head back in with fresh coffee for round two. I guess all’s fair in love and (wedding dress) war.

Julie Onufrak