Small Town Tradition, Big City Style ~ Grand March

For high schoolers where I grew up, the "Grand March" was a public event that left students pulling out all the stops to impress the crowd. As a young girl I remember attending the event with my mother and cousins and thinking how cool and pretty the older girls were. I thought my time in the limelight would never come -- after all, the upperclassmen in the high school were SO much older than me! Thinking back, I cannot believe how fast time has flown by! I still have fond memories of the occasions that I was part of the Grand March. I hope to attend one again during an early May pilgrimage back to my hometown some year soon.

This dress is very similar to my first flounce down the walk with my escort being a friend and classmate that I'd shared many laughs with. Both of us were in the 7th grade and we were of course nervous, being punch servers at the Senior Prom. We got to be at the dance but did not attend the post-prom party. The dress has been re-homed, many years ago actually, but my memories of it and the night I wore it are crystal clear!

Fast forward about four years and from behind the curtain in the gymnasium of my high school, I emerge wearing my most extravagant number and one that I really did fall in love with. I attended prom that year with my high school sweetheart and I remember everything about the night being wonderful. Splendid. Perfect. I really felt like Cinderella and when I walked out to Louie crooning "What a Wonderful World" I let the words float me down the aisle. It's amazing how getting dolled up can give you the confidence to strut down a runway in a veritable wonderland. I've never been shy, some might even say I was a ham, but when I was all dressed up in my gown I felt like I was a Disney Princess, fresh off the pages of a fairy tale. Several spectators of the event approached me later and told me how great the dress was, how beautiful I looked. The Grand March is a community gathering steeped in tradition and full of complimentary kindness. This tradition is one I hope never fades away.

This dress is very similar to the one I wore, except mine had a halter neckline with a slight mock collar and was made of iridescent denim with bead work on the bodice. An empire waist is always a favorite for me! My dress is still hanging next to my wedding gown in my closet. I'm not one to keep things that have no purpose most times, but I just cannot part with this dress, it seems memories are woven through each stitch.

My final walk down the shimmering be-glittered aisle around paper mache palm trees and pastel balloons, while hearing Shakira of all things, playing through the sound system was to be made wearing a simple yet very "grown-up" gown that showed off my now nearly adult figure in an understated way. I felt more sophisticated and I wanted to look demure but still feel beautiful. I feel like I succeeded. As you might have already read in a prior post about prom reminiscence, that night was a short one for me. Because of this impromptu end to my evening before it had really begun, I am grateful for the Grand March. It's really the 'big event' as the prom goes -- many change out of their dresses before the dance is even over -- having chosen very uncomfortable styles or heavy layered numbers. My fabulous dress got to be in the spotlight, if only for a little while, but made a great impression on the crowd.

I ended up in a lovely dress similar to the one above, but in more of a bluish-purple iridescent color. I loved having all eyes on me -- something I never thought I'd enjoy, especially in full dressed-up regalia, since I'm mostly a tomboy at heart. But, on that one special night, for the townspeople that had gathered, it was almost like the Oscars or the Academy Awards had come to our small town. JJs House has a large selection of dresses for every occasion and I had a really fun time enjoying a blast from the past looking for dresses on the market today that look a good deal like something I wore when it was my turn to take the walk. 

What did you wear to prom? Was it something you'd wear yet today? Does your hometown do a ceremony of some kind for prom-goers to shine?

*This is a sponsored partnership with JJ's House. All opinions are my own and are 100% honest.*


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