Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Wedding

Let me be the first to introduce you to Mr. & Mrs. Kwazulu Natal!  I am sooo very happy for my oldest daughter and her new husband as they start their life together with plans for the mission field.  But, as a mom, I'm waffling between letting go and being proud of the young woman she's become and missing my little Goosie!  I guess that's the reality of loving my girls so much.
She was a beautiful bride! 
She's wearing a gown of her own design.  When I was a little girl, there were two elderly spinster sisters who lived on the family farm in the country until they died.  Before old age and cancer got them down, they would dress up in vintage dresses (I really wish I knew more about the history of these dresses!)  and go out to tea or the Community Center for a picnic.  When they passed away, their pretty dresses were up for sale at their estate auction.  I bought two of them for my girls, who were just young at the time and loved to play dress up.  They took good care of them and eventually out grew these vintage treasures.  When Goosie was planning her wedding, she asked if I thought it would be okay to use the dresses to make her gown.  I thought it was a great way to bring new life to something that would otherwise be forgotten in the closet!  So she sketched a few designs and talked to a local seamstress about her ideas.  We found some handkerchief fabric that matched the vintage cloth and she picked a pattern for the bodice form.  After another trip to the seamstress, she knew what Goosie wanted and she set about bringing her idea to life!  Goosie bought a few vintage doilies or scarves to overlay the top and create cap sleeves and a beautiful, sheer but lacey neckline. 
The back of the vintage skirts were dressed up with a bustle style flounce, made from the handkerchief fabric.  

I'm a heel.  I am not the visual that my daughter is and has always been.  She kept me up to date with all the developments and I had this picture in my mind of what she wanted her dress to be like.  When I saw it for the first time, all I could think of was that it didn't match the picture in my head...and my response matched my confusion.  I was afraid that it wasn't what she wanted and she was afraid to tell the seamstress.  Don't get me wrong, it was beautiful but it caught me off guard.  Plus, she grabbed a nude slip instead of a white one and the dress looked like it was two colors.  Now, I should have trusted both my daughter and the seamstress not to send her off with a mismatched dress, but hey, like I said, I'm a heel...albeit a frazzled heel from all the wedding prep, but still.

When she put it on at the church for the wedding, I saw just how wrong I had been.  She looked like an angel!  And in my defense, the white slip made a world of difference in the color!  But my initial reaction was't what she had hoped for and I'm afraid she thought I didn't like what she'd designed.  My apologies for taking the joy from that moment by my awkward response.

See how lovely she looked!



She chose neutral colors for her party with the bridesmaids being in dresses of their choice that they could wear again, accented with wood and leather.  The fellows were in gray slacks and white shirts with leather shoes and belts and a silver tie to match the groom, who was wearing a gray suit.


Of course, her little sister was the Maid-of-Honor.  She took her responsibility seriously from throwing a fabulous shower, even when I had to go out of town for an emergency two days before, right up to the bachelorette and bridesmaids parties.


When my girls were small, I had a little craft business that included floral arrangements.  We found some beautiful flowers and set about putting together the bridal bouquets and coursages, etc. 

If you read here often, you know that we're kinda a repurposing, upcycling sort of family.  We wanted the wedding to be beautiful but thrifty, her own boho sort of style and yet not something that folks might think of as shabby either.  So we, of course, turned to pinterest for ideas!  After searching and making a plan, I went back to my roots a bit by creating some floral decorations from fresh leaves and some leftover bridal flowers.  Here's what we came up with...

The doors were repurposed from 20+ years of storage in the groom's family's barn.  I made the garlands from fresh salal leaves and my old garland machine that I finally figured out how to use!  We had the obelisks and decorated them to match.  The curtains were borrowed from a friend who had them from her daughter's wedding.  The large candle holder was a perfect find and we used some old wooden ones I had here at home to go with it.  The lace tablecloth was crocheted for me years ago by a dear friend and neighbor who was like a grandmother to my girls.  The wooden table was a family heirloom from Mr. Wood's mom.


In the gym, she had the idea to move the bleachers to form a 90 degree angle with their table being in the corner surrounded by their attendants.  In order to make it a little more candle light, the fellows suspended two old wooden extension ladders above the bridal party tables and the rag curtain we made for the shower hanging behind the bride and groom.  A matching salal garland hung from the curtain.  The ladders and garland were lit with strings of round lights that made a nice little glow for them.  There were also battery candles in lanterns hanging from the bridal party tables and one on a shepherds hook behind the bride and groom, opposite a salal kissing ball.


 They were seated at a small metal patio table that I borrowed from my mom.  Tables for family were lit by candles centered in salal wreaths.  The other guests had the option of standing or sitting in random seating groups in order to make visiting easier.

A friend of ours is a radio host.  He and his wife made the reception unique by providing PA for all events and also setting up for karaoke which didn't take off as well as hoped but still made for some fun.




The bride used extra ribbon from invitation accents to create wands for the little girls to wave as they exited and there were bubbles for the rest...however, we had so much fun and there were so many folks there to celebrate with us, that the crowd had thinned a lot by the time they left the party. 


 The end of a beautiful celebration of love that we were blessed to share with so many friends and family.

With lots of help, we had all this torn down, packed up and hauled home within a couple hours.  We could not have done this without the help and support of some wonderful people who made all this possible in so many ways. 

Congratulations to my Dearest Goosie and her Ben! 

I got to be the mother of the bride and gained the son I never had!  Mr. Wood and I are very proud!


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Much herbal love,
   
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4 comments:

  1. Everyone and everything looked just perfect!! Wish we could have seen the wedding in person! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much. It would have been great if you could have been here to celebrate with us...in my mind, you'll always be a part of our church family.

      Delete
  2. Beautiful family and pictures. Loved the story behind the dress. Congratulations to you all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by to read my thoughts! :)

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