“This one is beautiful, Maddi,” my mom complimented me at the shop where I was trying on a multitude of different sarees and lehengas for an upcoming wedding. “But there is no way you’ll be able to manage this without some help.”
Getting dressed with limited finger dexterity and mobility after a stroke is tough. Getting dressed in a three-piece lehenga, mobility impairments aside, is even tougher. Combine the two - putting on a lehenga as a hemiplegic stroke survivor - and you have a near impossible task.
But I would not be discouraged. When I received invitation to attend an Indian wedding in Miami, I started looking for an outfit to wear to the event. I settled on a gorgeous teal lehenga with a white and gold dupatta that made me feel like a princess. It was perfect, minus one small problem: how on earth was I going to put it on?
If you’ve ever worn a lehenga before, you know they are not easy nor a one-person job. Luckily for me, a good friend of mine lived in Miami and graciously invited me to stay at hers for the long wedding weekend. Not only that, but she helped me into my outfit, pinned it into place, and drove me to Key Biscayne for the wedding ceremony!
I love getting dressed up and had the best time wearing my beautiful lehenga with a full, sweeping skirt. Because the skirt was floor-length and a trip hazard, I opted for the comfort of flat sneakers with my brace instead of towering heels. The way I saw it, no one would be seeing my shoes anyways, so it didn't matter what I wore. I know I made the right decision, seeing all the women in heels take breaks from dancing to sit down halfway through the Sangeet.
I was so grateful that I chose to wear comfortable shoes with my brace and that I put myself out there to make new friends at the wedding. What a special opportunity to make new connections and celebrate love. Onward!
Wearing my lehenga to the wedding at The Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne, FL
Making new friends at the wedding (shoutout to Lynne for repinning my lehenga in the bathroom!)