We chattered as we drove, talking about life, love and wedding details. She was glowing. Happy for everything. Happy that we were able to be together for this wonderful moment. Happy that we all could get away from work and have some fun. Happy that we didn’t have to stay in the area and could go on an adventure.
Happy we could get a wedding dress…for free.
The home it’s self was 3 floors high, with a plantation style wrap around porch. Mint green siding and dark shutters with glowing lights from inside welcomed you into a relaxed living space with quaint country decorating. The driveway was practically a mile long. The estate, where both her husbands jewelry store and her mansion sit, along with several barns. Sat on a hillside surrounded by fields. It seemed out of place in the middle of nowhere. The kind of home one would see in the south. Large and lovely.
When I heard about her ministry, I was expecting someone to come to you with outdated or vintage wedding dresses that she would help you make into a dress that worked. Who gives away wedding dresses if they’re actually stylish? I mean REALLY just GIVES THEM AWAY.? I suppose the divorced would. But that was beside the point. I assumed that she would probably just pass off something a few seasons old…or decades, and kind of hope you and a seamstress could make it work.
I was mistaken.
Her basement is a bridal showroom, full of contemporary dresses, all donated from bridal shops all over the nation and individuals who just happen to find them at places like Goodwill each season. After you choose a gown, she sends you off with it, to alter it as needed. The only money you spend is on alterations, if the dress even needs it at all. She specializes in dresses with sleeves and high necklines, but also has a large selection of strapless dresses she insists on showing you how to alter with straps, all the while lovingly telling you how sleeveless dresses are “ungodly” dresses. She refuses gowns donated by divorcees, believing them to be “ungodly” dresses as well, and therefore bad luck.
Despite how some of our theology differs, I enjoyed her. She was lovely, jovial, and extremely helpful. Not to mention a blessing to offer the kind of ministry she does for so little, and out of her own home. She made the experience of bridal gown shopping stress free for my dearest friend, who looked absolutely stunning in the dress she picked.
I even teared up a little. Not gunna lie.
As we were walking out, thanking her again and again for a lovely experience, she asked me when I would be coming to see her. I wasn’t sure how to respond at first. So I simply replied “When he pops the question.” She smiled, and assured me “He’d be a fool not to do it soon.” I laughed.
We all took a picture together with our stylist before we piled back in the car for a two hour ride home.