Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Wedding: The Dress, Part 1

I absolutely loved my wedding dress. I love that it was my grandmother's dress 51 years before I wore it, I love that she made it herself, and I love that her mother-in-law from Germany helped add the lace details. It was so special to be able to share that with my grandmother.

Before I met Cam I had this vision in my head of a white lace gown that was tight to the knees, had a sweetheart neckline, a long, beautiful train, you get the idea. Then, I went to my grandma's house one day. I was looking in one of her closets for an old prom dress of mine she had let me keep there since there wasn't room in my little apartment and I found her wedding dress. The satin was faded to a beautiful gold, the stitches at the shoulder were starting to pull, and the zipper was broken, but it was lovely! I fell in love with it. My grandma helped my try it on and safety-pin the back closed and took some pictures of me. I could tell she really liked the idea of my wearing her dress at my wedding, but neither of us expected that within four months I would be asking her if I could.

I had my dress altered at Avenia Bridal in Orem, UT. The ladies there did a fantastic job. They were so kind and accommodating, and they took such good care of the dress. Im very short-waisted, so to make the dress fit me they had to take a little bit of fabric out of the shoulders. They took off the lace that would have been pulled into the seams and then reattached it once the alterations had been made with the original beads. I appreciated that so much.

I love the princess seams and the pointed, snow-white-esque waistline.

I'm a huge fan of the 3/4 length sleeves. We were married in November and I was planning on having a very cold wedding. Thankfully, we were blessed with a miraculously warm day (in the low 60's when it had been snowing just a week before,) but I think that even if we'd been married in the summer I would still have kept the longer sleeves.

I love this dress, but I didn't want to transport it across the country to our reception in Michigan, so I wore my "Getaway Dress" (which was my maternal grandmother's wedding dress) at our other receptions. To see my post about that dress, click on the picture below!

Our Wedding

It's been a little over a year since our wedding, and I've been looking back and reminiscing a lot. I was recently the matron of honor at my cousin's wedding and helping her plan and prepare made me think more about our wedding, what I liked and what I would have done differently, and just how incredibly happy I was to finally be married to my best friend!

Having all of these thoughts swirling through my head, I thought I'd share them with all of you! You know, if you're interested ;)

So, starting this week, Mondays will be talking about our wedding, tips for brides planning their own weddings, maybe I'll even do some wedding inspiration posts.

Here we go!

The Dress: Part 1

The Dress: Part 2

The Cake

The Rings

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What Christmas Means to Me

It's Christmas Eve! This is my first year spending Christmas away from my parents and siblings (we're with the in-laws this year and so far it's been wonderful) and I've been thinking a lot about what Christmas means to me.

Christmas has always been centered around family. I love my family and I love spending time with them, but even if I was alone on December 25th, it would still be Christmas.

Christmas is also about giving. I always try to find a way to give service as well as gifts around Christmas. There were a few years growing up where my family was struggling financially and members of our church, family, and neighbors came together to give us groceries, clothes, and toys for Christmas. Even though I was very young, I still remember and am touched by the love I felt from them and from my Father in Heaven those years, and I try to do what I can to pay that forward and help those who have less than I do. Being a college student and expectant mother I don't have much extra financially, but I can spare a batch of cookies, a few hours of babysitting or cleaning, or just a kind note to someone who needs it.

Ultimately, Christmas is about Jesus Christ. He, who was the best example of unconditional love, selfless service, and who gave the greatest gift of his life so that we can be together with our families forever. Without him, we would have none of these things that make Christmas what they are. I am so grateful for him. I know that he lives. I know that it is through his grace that we are saved. I know that he knows us individually and has felt our pain and suffering and that he will always lift our burdens as we ask. I am am so thankful for that knowledge.

I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, full of fun, laughter, joy, and the love of the Savior.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How to Plan a Christmas Program

This year I was in charge of putting together the ward Christmas program. It was a lot more work than I expected and I couldn't have done it without the wonderful people who helped with the readings and music, and of course, the Savior. Overall I think it turned out really well, and I'm excited to keep working on and improving this program.

For anyone looking to write their own Christmas program, let me just say, keep it simple. For text, use the scriptures. For music, look to the hymns before going elsewhere. A pattern that I've noticed in other programs and used for the one I wrote is to have one or two readers reading from the scriptures, with some commentary thrown in if you like, and musical numbers and speakers intermingled throughout as they correspond with the text.

Make sure that you ask people who you would like to participate, especially soloists, well in advance. This way they can have time to practice and feel comfortable with everything, plus it's just polite. Most people can't sightread their way through a complex piece. Give them time to learn it.

If you would like to borrow mine, or use it as a reference, you are more than welcome to! Here it is:

The text I used comes mostly from the King James Bible. The hymns I used can be found here. "Come, Lord Jesus" is from a program that the LDS church puts on at the Conference Center every year called "Savior of the World," and can be downloaded here.

Have a very merry Christmas!