I ended up having the WHOLE day off today because of snow (a lot of times one of my schools I teach at will be canceled, but not the other). I should be doing something productive, as it's almost noon and I have lots of things I COULD be doing. And instead I'm sitting here in my pajamas wearing my new shoes to try to stretch them out. Speaking of which...does anyone have any fabulous shoe stretching tips I don't know? I dampened them with water before I put them on like my mother said, but I wondered if there was another magic trick.
So I had this whole post typed out about something entirely different, and I just deleted it in favor of talking about the sense of community our wedding is already developing. I've had SO many people tell me that they'll help us. I was frustrated about the lack of decent bridesmaid dresses, and I've already had three seamstress friends offer their talents as a wedding present (well, only one said "as a wedding present", but I sure as heck am not gonna let the other two ladies get us something else if we end up doing the sewing route). And I'm leaning more and more towards accepting their offers...that way the dresses would be the colors I want, the style I want, and they'd be tailored to fit each of my girls. And since I love sundresses so much, how cool would it be to have all my bridesmaids wearing pretty blue sundresses in my wedding?
The cake is also taken care of; Scott's mom volunteered that right off the bat. Like, seriously, the next time I saw her after we were officially engaged, she asked if she could make the cake. Of COURSE I said yes; on the practical side, that means free cake for us. On the community side...it's something that will honestly be even more special to her than it is to us. She wanted so badly to help out when Scott's brother (who recently passed away, for anyone who didn't know) got married, and his wife was very adamant that everything was done by a professional. It really hurt our shared mother-in-law's feelings, I think. And the thing is...she IS a professional. She runs an ice cream store and bakes cakes to sell all the time, so it's not like she doesn't know what she's doing. She and her sisters made the cake for her sister's wedding last month; it was beautiful, and I'm so blessed to be entering into a family of such warm, wonderful women. The aunts have already volunteered to help us make the food!
Of course my mother is helping make my dress, which is very special to me, as one of the few things my mom and I bond together with is sewing. If I bought my dress of the rack, I would probably resell it or even give it away (A Practical Wedding has dress giveaways sometimes from bride-to-bride, and I think it's a wonderful gesture). But since my mom and I will be making it together...I'm definitely going to keep it. Maybe one day one of my daughters will want to wear it. I would have loved to have worn my mother's wedding dress...but in true DIY fashion, it was a white prom dress borrowed from a friend with some alterations made to make it look more wedding-like. So it was given back. Plus it would NEVER in a million years have fit me; my mom is a tiny bird of a woman and her little 19-year-old self weighed 90 pounds on her wedding day. I'll have to post some pictures of their wedding sometime.
So, I'm happy with all the volunteers we're getting for this wedding. I haven't even mentioned them all here. I'm going to keep hoping that even more generous souls pour out of the woodwork, partly because yes, that would save us some serious cash. But honestly, I'm not INCREDIBLY worried about the money; my parents have offered to help, and as long as we keep it reasonable, I don't feel bad about them contributing. Most of the reason I'm so happy for volunteers is because I really, REALLY want this wedding to be a community effort. I want the guests to feel like they had a hand in making the whole thing happen. It's like watching a stage production, in a way; I enjoy them when I'm walking into the theatre without having had ANY hand in the show, but it's a much richer experience when I can go, "Oh, I made that costume! Oh, I did his makeup ten minutes ago backstage! Oh, I helped paint that wall!"
Because no matter what wedding magazines want us to think, the wedding is NOT just about the bride. It's not really even just about the couple. It's about the marriage, and a good marriage should begin with a whole lot of love and support from those around you.