I'll admit that I'm just using this as a bit of a filler so that I can wait until our anniversary to post the wedding stuff...when you're done with my story, head over to Rachel's for more Meetings, Marriages, and Memories!
While the common trend in weddings is to hire a wedding planner to organize the event, my tight budget wouldn't allow me to pay someone to do tasks that I am more than capable of doing myself. Jay and I new that we wanted to get married in Cades Cove, a section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, most of the other details still had to be worked out.
We settled on a reception location - it was love at first site. When we first saw the Lodge at Hidden Mountain we fell in love. It had a rustic charm that matched well with the Missonary Baptist Church yet it still offered a classic elegance that every girl dreams about for her wedding. We had to change the Wedding date, because the room was already booked, but we decided that it was well worth it. Not only was the location perfect but the price was well under that of ordinary hotel conference rooms! With this location we don't even need table linens. The pounded copper would be a crime to cover up! Center pieces will be our only decorative cost for this facility.
As we were booking the room, the Lodge event staff gave us an informational packet to help us along in the planning. Included was a list of catering choices. We weren't limited to that list, but it gave us a head start on who had been used in the past. From this list I found my Chef. She was able to give me what I wanted for a very reasonable price. In addition to that, she was very likeable. I realize a good personality doesn't have any effect on food - but it does make the planning process a whole lot easier and more stress free!!
In addition, she gave me another wonderful tip to make my wedding even more beautiful. She is currently planning her daughter's wedding, so she is full of helpful ideas. She suggested, since the cups at the hall are plastic, she suggested that instead I use mason jars. Brilliant idea, since it works perfectly with our theme. Its just another way to dress up the table without spending a lot of money.
The problem? I don't have 200 mason jars. I called my grandmother, but she has started canning less and less as she gets older. So I resigned myself to the less decorative plastic cups. I just couldn't justify spending $100+ on jars that wouldn't be used again.
Then God dropped the solution in my lap. At my church, there is a couple that my family has fallen in love with and they have adopted us as their own. My mom called one evening while I was at Jay's house and told me that I needed to call my "adopted" grandmother. She had mason jars she was taking to the Goodwill and she just wanted to check to see if anyone in my family wanted them for canning.
I immediately called her and let her know that I needed them. "You don't can…" "No, but I have a perfect use for them." I went on to explain how I was wanting them, but I couldn't get my hands on any. No doubt this was a blessing from God.
The bridesmaids dresses process couldn't have went more smoothly. I was stressed at how we were going to go shopping when my sister, who just had a baby 2 months ago, insists that she's not trying anything on. And anything that fits her now better not fit her by the time the wedding gets here. (She's really not a diva, just hormonal). My cousin (and only other bridesmaid) suggested that we all meet up and shop for dresses off the rack. I had decided that I would be okay if my bridesmaids didn't have the same dress.
While I don't believe that God cares about trivial things (my mother and I have argued about whether or not God cares about the kind of curtains she has in the bedroom - long story), I do believe that God loves His children. Like any good father, He wants to calm our fears and anxietys. To my family who's "spiritual gift" is worry, He constantly has to remind us that He's got it all under control.
Lesson learned this time via TJ Maxx. God answered a prayer though a discount clothing store. Sounds ridiclous huh? But as I walked toward the dressing room I saw a tea length purple halter dress. Not exactly the shade I wanted, but definitely the perfect style to fit the body type of my bridesmaids. My biggest concern for my sister was finding something that would allow for her breastfeeding body. This empire waisted dress was perfect. I called both the ladies and asked what size they would need. Each requested a size up. For the price ($25) they could easily have it altered down to fit them if need be.
I'm quite convinced that this qualifies me for best Bride of the year. Sure, they will probably never wear this dress again. Let's face it, for $25 who really cares. And we all really know that they would have never worn a $150 dress again either.
I can only say that God has now used this blog to remind me of His goodness. Funny, when I started writing...um...rambling I thought I was going to focus on the potential groomsman crisis (none of Jay's cousins were available for the job). But the Lord instead reminded me that its not about the dress, or the tux, or even who is standing up with you. This is the day I will confess my love for the man of my dreams before God and my family, and will make a convenant to always honor that love. As long as God's invited, I've got nothing to worry about.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Phillipians 4:6