Monday, February 7, 2011

Wedding Dress Legends and Lore

As a little Tar Heel girl, born and bred*, I have grown up hearing legends and tales that occurred (or still occur!) in my awesome state.  For instance, the Maco Light story.  Once upon a time near Wilmington, NC, at Maco Station, there was a flagman named Joe (or Charlie, maybe) and the train car he was on got disconnected from the train somehow. As ghosts stories seem to always go, his luck got even worse and to add insult to injury, another train sped up fast behind him. Joe (or Charlie) tried to wave his lantern frantically to avoid collision, but the train hit him anyways and he was decapitated. Surprisingly enough, his head was never found. Now he haunts the tracks as only a head with a swinging lantern. It's true (maybe). Even President Grover Cleveland saw the light (allegedly). You can read all about it here.

We are so scared.

There's tons of haunted houses and historic tales in North Carolina, but one legend stuck out more than the others. I would often hear about a mysterious woman who had an exceptional ability to help brides, especially in their darkest hour. People would mention her name at my childhood church in Wilmington...I heard her name again while an undergrad in Chapel Hill. Folks from both western and eastern North Carolina whispered about the tiny woman with the magnificent skills. I swear, I think she is even more famous than the Maco Light, if you can imagine.

She is best known, simply, as Olga. In fact, if you simply google "Olga raleigh," a site referencing her pops up. Not her site, mind you...she doesn't have one. Because, after all, she is a legend, and legends do not advertise, obviously.

Here are some excerpts from two popular wedding websites regarding Olga.

Olga is, apparently, an alterations genius, angel, and savant all rolled into one. She has five star ratings on every website that references her, and I have never heard or read a negative statement about her, which is pretty freaking remarkable in this day and age of litigious and stressed out folks. What I have read indicates she is mysterious, her home (where she works from) is off the beaten path, and she is inexpensive. I've also heard she does a great job at adding cups to dresses for us less endowed girls.

I called Olga up about ten months in advance, and talked to her a bit about my dress. She seems to think since I just need the straps shortened, boobs cups added, and it either taken in or let out a tiny bit (depending on if I look pregnant or not...I mean, I'm NOT pregnant, but I don't want to look pregnant either, you know?), it should be no problem. Oh, and a wicked bustle constructed. Olga is also apparently a genius with the bustles too! I have already booked Olga for my fittings in September 2011. I have the 10am slot on each of the four Saturdays in September but if I don't need them all, I will auction them off pass them along to another lovely bride, of course.

I can't wait to meet Olga! I wonder if she will make me sign some confidentiality clause or if she will take a photo with me....

Do any legends (real or otherwise) feature in your wedding plans?

*I must come clean. While I was born and raised in North Carolina, I was bred to go to N.C. State (my family disowned me for awhile but things are mostly better now...mostly). I have a lot of love in my heart for the Tar Heels as well as the Wolfpack, but I never root for Duke. Ever.


  1. Ooooh love this story. So glad you were able to get several appointments with her.. best of luck!

  2. Great NC ledgends, haha! I'll have to ask my SIL if she got her alterations from Olga (she and my BIL live in Durham, and met at UNC). Sounds like you really lucked out getting an appointment with her!