So today I met with a dear friend, and sister in our ward, Donna; who is making my dress for me.
It is SO good to go to a place like Joann Fabrics and be with someone knowledgeable enough when looking at patterns and material.
After going through several pattern books, I finally made my decision on the dress. It is going to be gorgeous! Two types of material, a gorgeous trim, it's really going to be stunning. I can't wait.
So now the dilemma, discuss it with my husband, let him in on "the big secret", or play the blushing bride" part and keep the dress a mystery until the special day?
While we've been married, legally and officially for the past seven years, this is a brand new adventure for us. This whole process, which we are treating as if it is our "real" wedding, is truly turning out to be as stressful and daunting as a first-time wedding.
There seems to still be so much to do... arrange a photographer, hair-stylist and make-up, flowers... I am still not 100% set on a colour theme, but do I really need one? There are so many beautiful colours to choose from, how do I choose just one? Buttercup yellow, orange, spring green... goodness me, how does one narrow it down to just one? And looking at wedding sites and magazines just confounds the issue even more, as one colour scheme is nicer than the other, but all are nice.
Then we have to deal with budget... or the lack there of.
Thank goodness for the wonderful members in our ward who are pulling together to help us make this a beautiful day.
As I have explained the premise (in past posts) about why we do this, I have pretty much left emotion out of it thus far. So let me explain the emotion and symbolism with this special day from my point of view...
When I was sixteen years old, I was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while living in Australia. After some discussion, investigation, and much prayer; I came to know that this was the true and living church of Jesus Christ in these last days. The Spirit which came over me was an intense and powerful witness to this fact, and one which I was not able to ignore then, or since. I determined within myself that this was the church, and these were the people whom I wished to align myself with.
At that time, I became very good friends with a girl who was LDS, and she was primarily responsible for teaching me many things about the gospel and life as a Latter-day Saint.
One of the things that she taught me was the importance of temple marriage, and also how important it was that we remain pure until our wedding night. She showed me photos of the temple, (mainly the Salt Lake City temple) and produced a very romantic ideal of eternal marriage and life in the eternities with my eternal companion.
My 16 year old mind was now filled with the romance of meeting and then being proposed to by a returned missionary (of course, he was to be a "return with honour" missionary), and then being led by him to the beautiful temple, there to kneel across a beautiful altar and make covenants to be together as a husband and wife forever.
I held on to this image in my mind, even when I married my first, non-Mormon husband where a temple marriage would not be possible. After he died, my hopes and dreams of my temple marriage started to diminish. But, being one who never gave up, I kept my hope... and my faith, alive.
Eventually, I met my beloved husband Ben. He was a returned missionary... "returned with honour" missionary no-less, and my hope returned. At the time we decided to marry, we were not ready to marry in the temple. But we persevered, and we prayed, and we kept our faith alive.
Finally last year (2009), we made the decision that this was the time for us to make these eternal covenants to each other.
One of the major factors for this decision was that we have, over the years, lost seven babies in miscarriage. The knowledge that there are seven babies across the veil waiting for an eternal family, has pushed us to take the steps needed to make our marriage eternal. Will this help us in our deep desire to conceive and have a baby of our own? All I can say is that faith and determination keeps us motivated. Whatever happens, we know that this decision and this step will bless us in more ways than we can even conceive at this present time.
The covenants entered into when we are sealed in the temple, are not ones to be taken lightly. They are binding upon this earth as well as in heaven... "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven" (Matthew 16:19)
So while I have focused on many of the temporal preparations for this amazing day; the dress, the suit, the flowers, the cake, etc... etc... etc..., the spiritual preparation and focus is even more strong.
And while I have been married temporally for the past seven years, Ben and I are embarking on our eternal marriage; and yes, the nerves, the excitement, and the "blushing bride" syndrome is all there.
This is a most exciting adventure, still tinged with some jitters of the desire for that "perfect day", but what it comes down to is this; at the end of the day, its not about the dress, the flowers, the hair, the cake, or any of those earthly and mundane things, its about Ben and its about me. Its about the eternal covenants that we will make that day. Its about the extreme sacredness of those covenants, and its about the intense love which we share.
But... all this said, I still wonder... do I tell Ben about the dress, or leave a little bit of mystery to the day?