I said “Yes” to the dress! Such a surreal and exciting time of life.
I was confident that I wanted to go to Ashley Grace Bridal because one of my good friends, Kim, went there and brought me a long and the experience was phenomenal. Ashley Grace Bridal is in Forest, Virginia. They have a great selection of dresses and the people there are unbelievable! They make you feel like a princess. Such sweet, kind, genuine service!
I was a little nervous about going and I’m not sure why? I think there’s such a big anticipation to know what dress you will choose.
It was just my mom and I who went and it was such a sentimental time. The reason I just had my mom was because we had a planned trip already so we decided it would be fun to stop there to make the trip exciting. It ended up being really great because I am pretty indecisive as a person, or I value my loved ones opinions that sometimes I can make a decision based off of that. With it just being my mom I was able to share exactly what I wanted, what I was thinking, and what felt the most “me.”
My bridal consultant was named Lauren. If you decide to go to this boutique, even if you don’t have Lauren as your consultant, please try to meet her, she’s the kindest person. She really took the effort and time to listen to me, serve me, and celebrate with me. Another one who accompanied us and helped me was Karen. She is an intern, and she was so great too. She had a peace about her that made her very easy to be around.
The owner of the store is beautiful inside and out and genuinely celebrated with me when she saw me in dresses. She even seemed sentimental towards me, even though we don’t know one another, which proves she’s called for that job!
So- on to the dress picking. I sort of knew what I wanted but didn’t have anything really burned into my mind. However, I knew I wanted to try one dress on for sure because I loved it. So we gathered around 10 or so dresses and I wanted to try that one dress on first. I tried it on and I LOVED it. The rest of the time I kept looking back at that one. I couldn’t get the one out of my head. It was so me and so beautiful. It was also the very first wedding dress I ever put on and it was the one!
I tried on lots of different styles because you might as well see all the options before you fully commit. I’ve never struggled with commitment, which shows with how long Luke and I have been dating, haha!
Two days later I asked my dad, sisters, Luke’s mom and sister, Alleigh, Zoe and one of my closest friends Callie to please come see me say “yes” to the dress. It was SO special for me.
This dress feels like both Luke and me. I cannot share why I feel this because it could give away some things for Luke, but when people see my dress I will share why I feel this!
I think it began to hit me with the significance of preparing myself for Luke. Finding the most beautiful dress, preparing myself emotionally and spiritually, it’s all a process. And I am not perfect just ask my family and Luke, haha! I will never be fully prepared. I am a sinner, flawed and broken, but thankfully neither Jesus or Luke see me as that. And through all of that, Luke still loves me a whole lot and challenges me to be the best I can be.
But I have also been encouraged thinking about my relationship with Jesus and what it means to be the Bride (Church) and the value of a relationship with Christ.
Luke loves me as I am. But because I love him so much I want to be sure that I present myself in a way that shows him how much I truly love him. Luke would love me just the same if I walked down the aisle in my ripped sweatpants and old, large, ugly T-shirt.
At times I thought Jesus wouldn’t love me the same if I didn’t try to make myself perfect. But what I am learning is that He actually loves me just as I am. But because I love Him so much, respect Him, and want to serve and glorify Him, because of who He is to me…I want to prepare myself in a way where He sees I am giving Him my best. I’m not sure if this is making sense but it was just a revelation I had.
If you are not in this season that I am in, but you want to be, just know that God’s timing is not our own, and His timing is truly beautiful. If all of our stories were the same or we tried to fit into a mold, life would be very boring for all of us. Society has molds and cookie cutter ways, or goals that are placed on us, but God’s ways are different than our worlds. Waiting can be difficult and at one point all of us go through a season of waiting. If you feel like you are going through that season right now and want encouragement, refer to my past blogs, I have written quite a few about this. But also, just know that when the time does come whether that be now, or years from now, God knows the best time.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
For those who feel they don’t desire to get married but still see the beauty in this symbolism, know that the way you prepare yourself for Jesus is even more significant than an earthly bride or groom. That experience is worth more than any other and therefore you are experiencing something so beautiful and holy, and that experience of preparing yourself for Christ cannot be topped. It does not mean that marriage here on earth is the only way to experience such an intimate moment. God gives us an experience like that times a million, so no one misses that. We get to experience this if we accept Him and follow Him, and desire to love Him in a personal way. The love we get in return through Jesus is far greater than any earthly groom or bride could give. Singleness is a gift to some and some are called to this, so do not let people’s comparison or views shape who you are.
Be encouraged to know Jesus sees you and loves you the way you are, but there’s something so special about preparing yourself in a way that shows how much you love Him. It’s an unselfish approach, not wanting to fulfill your own desires or wishes but truly wanting to present yourself in a way that shows how much you love Him and respect Him.
“Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”’
I hope this has encouraged brides, brides-to-be, those who desire this, and those who feel they are called to be single. Regardless we all have the opportunity and ability to be fully loved, understood, and our lifetime to prepare ourselves for Christ.
Thank you for reading,