It is tough for me to pick a favorite wedding memory. I feel each one deeply for different reasons. However, I will share one that saw me through the start of it all.
I had a bride, her mom, mother-in-law to be, father-in-law to be, sister, brother, husband to be, and sister-in-law to be, all come for something customized for the wedding whether it was an alteration, a custom bow tie or a custom gown.
I have known them since childhood. Unfortunately, when we were in high school, my client lost her father to brain cancer. Her sister and brother lost him too, and her mom lost a loving husband. Only a few years after losing their father and husband, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. This family has fought and been through things most couldn’t endure.
The bride got engaged to her high school sweetheart and they came to me to help bring their visions to life for this very special celebration. They have been there from the start. When I was just starting out, I was taking consults at my kitchen table. They sat with me there as we started to sketch. The first to come to life was the mother of the bride’s gown. A true survivor and warrior sat in front of me as we designed an elegant gown together. The beading in silver and black swirled and weaved in the shapes of breast cancer ribbons. You wouldn’t know this looking at it, but if you knew her, you knew the symbolism. With custom you can personalize anything and everything. Their first series of fittings took place in my first and current studio. We got to build up the inside of the gown to accommodate for her single mastectomy. The customization didn’t stop here.
We discussed embroidering a breast cancer/brain cancer ribbon into the inside of each of their gowns over the heart. We did just that. We even placed it on the pocket square of her brother. In addition, after speaking about the possibilities with embroidery, I was able to lift her dad’s handwriting off of a previous sentiment, digitize it, and place it in each of their gowns. Knowing how much this meant, I decided to place it on a ribbon for the bride to wrap around her bouquet so dad would be there with her as she walked down the aisle saying “I love you more”.
For me this was an emotional project and one of my favorites to see how creating something was able to bring them together. It was able to bring the life of a loved one missed, present. Despite what they had been through, they celebrated the life they have and the love in and around them. Design became a unifying force with this project. I am forever grateful for their faith in me, and for showing me first hand why I do what I do. It’s more than just a dress.