Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Grace Wedding ~ Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

Before I got married the first time, my dream wedding took place in a meadow in the middle of summer. I was barefoot, wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt, and carrying a single red rose. My hair was my veil. There was sunlight. And the ground was dry.

Clearly, my dream wedding did not take place in Oregon.

Jeff and I got married in the dead of winter. Mild Oregon winter, yes, but winter nonetheless. So I couldn't go barefoot. Or get married outside. And no one had seen the sun for months. Plus, Jeff comes from a much more formal culture than I do, and he wanted a formal wedding. So we had one.

Here's me trying to look formal. And nearly tipping over from the effort. But Jeff looked great. He had tails on his tux. And some sort of really special bowtie thingy. And a vest, I think. And way more hair than he has now. Not that he doesn't look great now. He does. He looks better now, in my opinion. I like his thug look. He's the toughest.

My flowers turned out just like my decorations. Not what I had pictured at all. I wanted each bridesmaid to carry a single red rose and each groomsman and usher to have a single red rose boutineer. I told my florist that. She got the single red rose right, but she surrounded each one with baby's breath and greenery, and then tied the whole business together with black ribbon, presumably to match the bridesmaid dresses. I was genuinely shocked when I saw my flowers on my wedding day. What part of single red rose was unclear? I guess to a florist, there's no such thing as *just* a single red rose. Maybe when I said, "I want a single red rose," she heard, "I want the main flower to be a single red rose." Or something. It will always be a mystery to me.

Furthermore, for my bridal bouquet, I asked for 18 red roses bound with a white ribbon. This is what I got instead:

There is absolutely nothing about this bouquet that remotely resembles my style whatsoever. It's not horrible, but it's not me.

I liked my dress, though. My family went dress shopping with me, and I remember I was standing on a platform at a bridal shop when my sister walked up to me with that dress in her arms and said, "Here. I found it." She had, too. I liked the pearls on the straps, and the design on the front, and the fact that there was no train. It was a very simple dress. Simple lines. I still have it.

I also liked the veil. My mom hand-sewed all the pearl edging, and the veil turned out to be very beautiful. Apart from one exception. When I pulled the veil out of storage recently, I discovered a truly hideous plastic rhinestone applique. At first, I didn't actually believe I had really worn it at my wedding. I had to go look at the pictures.

What IS that thing?! And why is it so pointy?! It looks like a decorative Chinese throwing star!!! What in the sam hill was I THINKING?!?!?

And last but not least, the final element I wanted to redeem from my original wedding getup was my makeup. I like the way I do my own makeup, but for some reason, I had this idea that I needed someone else to do it. So I asked someone else to do it. She was learning to become a Mary Kay consultant and showed up with this whole array of colors I didn't like and a passion for experimentation. Passive Becky let her choose how to do the makeup and lied about it looking great. Assertive Becky regrets that. And again, it doesn't look super horrible. It's just not my style.


We did not renew our vows in summer, so I could not go barefoot. I thought about going barefoot indoors, but instead, I found some super duper cute shoes at J.C. Penney and snatched them right up. They were my Something New.

I love them. Lots. And you can see my jeans, of course. This is my favorite pair, and I really wanted to wear them, but they had a paint stain on the cuff. Carrie suggested I cover the stain with a bit of lace, so I found this bit at Joann, and Jeana sewed it on for me. Isn't it so cute? Now my favorite jeans are even favoriter. They were my Something Blue.

Early on in the Grace Wedding planning process, I decided I wanted to wear my original veil. Sans the Chinese throwing star, of course. Instead, I found some pearls at Joann and stitched them to the comb. Happy.

Also, from my original wedding you may recognize my necklace, and you would recognize my earrings if you could see them. The earrings, necklace and improved veil were my Something Old. Which is cool because they came from a vintage bridal shop. So they actually are old.

Because I wore my original veil, I decided against a t-shirt. I just couldn't quite see them together in my head. Instead, I opted for this blouse I found at a consignment store. It came with a collar which I hated, so I bought some lace, and Jeana took the collar off and lace-trimmed the neckline. You can't really tell in the above pic, but it looked cool. The slim-you-down camisole underneath was my Something Borrowed. From Mary.

The blouse came with the eyelet cuff, and Jeana sewed the collar lace above the cuff and along the bottom hem to tie it all together. I replaced the blouse's plain white buttons with pearl buttons I found at Joann.

The back of my hair looked super gorgeous at my first wedding, thanks to Kiersten, but the veil hid most of her artwork. This time, I wanted the veil and my hair to be a team. Jeana spent a ridiculously long time curling it piece by piece, and then she took two chunks of long hair at the base of my neck, made two braids, and wrapped them on top of my head like a headband. Way cool. Here is a closeup of the braid, which also shows you my earring you couldn't see before, and my makeup that I did myself and liked very much:

Here is the back:

And here is the full effect:

I have enough hair that I was able to keep a significant portion in back while bringing enough forward to frame my face. That's happy.

When we told the boys we were going to renew our vows and they would be participating, they got really horrified looks on their faces. Why? They thought they would have to Dress. Up.

Horror. of. horrors.

We quickly assured them that they would not have to dress up, but indeed they could wear jeans and polo shirts. I have never seen two more relieved boys. Handily, Walmart had kid-sized white polo shirts on sale for just a few dollars, and my darling children strutted around comfortably in them for the entire evening.

It's a good thing their clothing was comfortable because other parts of the evening weren't. Like having to pose for pictures. Holding a girly pillow. Ew.

Awww... their best behavior... how sweet...

But seriously. Best behavior can only be maintained for so long.

Jeff wore a white polo shirt and jeans as well, and he left me a day's hair growth on his face because that's my favorite look for him. That rugged handsome look with the long, spectacular goatee. Love it!

And finally, I'm so excited to show you my bouquet. The florist and I had a really long, detailed conversation in which I made sure she knew exactly what I wanted. No baby's breath, no greenery, no tulle ruffle, no long trail of ribbon, no nothing. Just simple. Eighteen roses, bound by a red ribbon.


This gives you a little idea of the ribbon detail.

And here you can see what a great job Carrie did on my nails.

You can see my pearl bracelet as well, and I want to tell you why it's significant to me. I don't usually wear bracelets because my arms are so hairy that a bracelet doesn't really seem to match in my mind. But I saw these pearls and decided to go for it. As it turns out, the bracelet didn't draw as much attention to my hairy arms as I thought it would. In fact, instead of showcasing something I find ugly about myself, it added beauty. I'm very glad I chose it.

And I'm very glad I chose him.