The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Simplify -- Say No to the Dress


Our Goal

A simple and beautiful house
that the Lord can use as a peaceful haven
for my family and others.

Click here to find out why/how I started!

The dress is the centerpiece, if you will, of a wedding.  Besides the vows and rings, it's probably the most important part, some would argue.  It's what people see first, what stands out--there's the bride, here comes the bride.  For us in the Christian community, the pure white of the dress symbolizes the bride offering a pure self to her groom, with her father giving her away to this new union.  It's a sacred and beautiful ceremony, and the dress plays a large role in that.

I regret only one thing about my wedding dress:  I never tried on a single dress.  As her wedding gift to me, a friend made my dress.  So the two of us went to the fabric store, looked at patterns, and I picked one that I thought was super pretty.  Then she took me shopping for all the extras--lace, edging, buttons, ribbon...

Although I loved my wedding dress, and felt so beautiful in it, I do wish I would have gone to some bridal gown shops to at least try a few on.  I had no sense of style (I still struggle with it!), so I just went with what I liked in the picture on the pattern envelope.  It would have been fun to go try a few on, but the regret is small, because I am practical, as I said, and I can't go back and change things.  I guess I can look forward to trying on mother-of-the-bride dresses!

So, you're wondering why this is in a Simplify post.  Well, I said "yes" to this dress when I was getting married.  That was 28 years ago (wow).  This dress is not quite old enough for the vintage category, but too old to be in the contemporary stylish category.  And since I've been decluttering our stuff, it was time to say "no" to my wedding dress:  I'm not keeping it any more.  The memories are in my heart.  Since I'm a photographer, I decided to plan a little photo shoot of this once-fashionable dress.

I tried to make it out to The Morton Arboretum during spring, when the trees were blooming and flowers were popping up.  But, the weather didn't cooperate, and our schedule didn't cooperate, and...  I never made it out.  One last spring-y day before it was supposed to rain then turn cold, I decided to go to my special place (for that is what it will be some day) in my back yard.  I have a bench back there, and somehow, the dandelions and weeds were fitting for this last trip down memory lane.

While I took pictures, I focused on the details--the ruffled hem, the beading in the veil.  I remembered that amazing day I walked down the aisle in this dress, feeling as if I were on the edge of a new life--which I was!  Feeling beautiful, and blessed, and set apart for my new life with Fernando.

I focused on the love with which Mary Beth stitched every stitch and paid attention to every detail.  I remembered how she made a flower girl dress with the leftover materials, and how my niece Suzie looked so adorable in her little dress.

These new images will help me remember those things and more, as the years slip by and details become fuzzy.  Even if these images never make it into a hard-copy photo book, I'll have them, and the memories they spark, for the future.

Once, I said "Yes!" to this dress, and joyfully wore it, and fondly kept it for the memories of an amazing day.  Now, I'm saying "No."  It's time to give it away.  But I remember that I'm giving away only the physical dress.  I get to keep every memory--the dress, the day, my family, my friends, my new husband--forever.  I'm so thankful for pictures to help me remember!

Back to life,

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