For those of you that follow my Instagram feed you may remember me posting a “selfie” picture last week. I’m not usually one for pictures of myself, but when I received this image in my inbox I cried happy tears.
You see, my grandmother “Grammy” passed away when I was in high school from colin and ovarian cancer. My Grammy and I were exceptionally close. I spent every summer in the home on the bay that she and my “Grampy” had renovated from the ground up. The home was on stilts, had wooden floors throughout the house and a huge library. She taught me how to waltz around the glass table in the library, have appreciation for every flower she grew in her gardens (that may have been every flower to ever exist in the south) and how to rest under the hundred year old magnolia tree on the corner of their property among so many other things. We picked fresh flowers for every room of the house and I can still smell her almond soap she kept in her bathroom to wash her hands with. The bathroom that was right by the perfect wedding day picture of she and my grandfather walking out of the church.
My Grammy was an exceptional lady who introduced me to The Junior League, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and how to stitch at her quilting club. She truly was a storybook grandmother who I think the Lord for everyday. Naturally when she passed away I was heartbroken.
However, when I got married I knew I had to have my Grammy with me. I thought about asking my Aunt for that large portrait of my grandparents on their wedding day to place at our wedding. My Grammy’s tea length dress, perfect smile and love you could feel pouring out of the image was perfect. The more I thought about it, the more this picture just would’t do her justice. I didn’t have the right spot to place it.
One day my mom and I were talking and I just said it, “I want to wear Grammy’s dress. Where is it?” The look on my mom’s face was stunned, shocked and confused. I knew that her wedding dress had been in the white cedar chest at the foot of her bed for years and that my aunt had it along with the picture of their wedding day. So we called my aunt and got the dress. I am built like my grandmother and the dress fit like a glove. We took off the long sleeves and the bottom layer of lace off the dress, that was it. There was nothing to fix. because it wasn’t broken. It was perfect.
When I put on my Grammy’s dress for my rehearsal I knew she was right there. She was in the perfect lace from over 60 years prior, the satin buttons down the entire back of the dress and the precious lace sleeves we left as cap sleeves. I added a new belt and Badgley Mischka bow heels to match.
Our rehearsal went by so fast! There were so many people to meet and talk to and celebrate with. Dinner went by, and without a photographer there I did not stop to smile for a camera once. It wasn’t until after our honeymoon that it hit me. I have not one picture of me in my Grammy’s dress. Not one picture of the perfect lace. Not one picture with my Grampy. Not one picture of her memory at our rehearsal. I sent out a message to everyone that was there. A few candid shots from iPhones came in, but none you could truly tell the delicate detail of the dress.
The it happened. Nearly 7 months after our wedding my email went off. There I was, in her dress. I can’t think our videographer enough for coming to our rehearsal. This truly is a photo I will hold dear for so many more years to come.
I wanted to share this with you today for a couple of reasons.
1. I wanted to share a piece of me. Hopefully this helps you see how I cherish family, that I gained my appreciation for true love from my grandparents who met at 14, were married at 16 and spent 49 years loving each other.
2. Take pictures. Take silly pictures, candid pictures, posed pictures… any kind of picture. Take them, hold them close and print them off. Hang them up, place them in albums. The images in photos are moments that last for years and years.
3. Cherish the time you have with friends and family. Soak up every bit of love and all of the lessons you can in the moments you have.
So here you have it. The one picture I have of me in my Grammy’s wedding dress at my rehearsal. I love it, and hope you love the dress as much as the story.