Friday, January 29, 2016

Brides Who've Been There: 8 Tried-and-Tested Beauty Tips

I'm taking a blogging break to soak up our sweet Lily Grace (and, let's be honest, to keep my head above water through this beautiful newborn chaos), so I asked some of my married friends to contribute in my absence.  Over the next few weeks, they'll be taking over to chat about wedding planning, bridal beauty and style, and sharing stories about their newlywed days.  

I asked them to share their best bridal beauty advice.  Here's what they recommend for letting your outer radiance reflect the inner throughout a day of crying, photos, and dancing.  Tl; dr: waterproof mascara!

Airbrushed makeup!  I'm not a beauty or accessory girl, but I will say the airbrushing was awesome!  It felt super light, lasted forever, and just looked so much more natural overall.  If at no other time in your life you spring for something extra, that's what I'd recommend.  - Lauren

I had my makeup professionally done, and then didn't worry about it again.  - Leslie

I wore waterproof mascara on my wedding day, but I didn't cry, so it wasn't really necessary.  It was just a huge pain to try and take off on my wedding night!  -Sylvia

If you hire someone to do your makeup, always do a trial run and take a picture of it.  It gives you a relaxed couple of hours with your makeup artist to hash out the details, and you can see how the makeup will feel for the rest of the day.  A great day to schedule this is the day of your bridal shower--just sayin'!  And side note; fake eyelashes can be super comfy!  I was afraid of them, but when expertly applied they add just enough drama.  - Andi

bridal beauty advice, false eyelash advice for brides, makeup artist advice for brides, bridal makeup trial run, when to do a trial run of wedding makeup, wedding day makeup, wedding day beauty advice, catholic weddings, catholic brides, advice from catholic brides, catholic wedding blog, catholic bride blog, blog for catholic brides, catholic wedding site, catholic marriage site, catholic wedding planning, catholic marriage prep, captive the heart
Andi rockin' the false eyelashes
Put deodorant between your legs to help prevent chafing.  You'll thank me later when you're sweaty and dancing up a storm at the end of the night.  - Emily  (NB from Stephanie: If this weird but genius tip didn't give it away, Emily's a serious runner!)

Definitely waterproof mascara--I'm a big crier, but I didn't anticipate how many times I'd find myself in tear again and again throughout the day: walking down the aisle, seeing David for the first time, exchanging vows, listening to toasts, and all the rest!  The cheap kind at the drugstore works just fine, if you're not picky (I'm pretty sure I used the $3.99 Maybelline Great Lash).  Also, comfy shoes aren't a beauty product, but they are so important for the reception, at the very least!  I bought a neutral gray pair of TOMS to change into and it was the best decision, especially because I could easily wear them afterwards.  I still wear 'em today, two and a half years later!  - Hannah

Target's ELF line--very inexpensive and it stood up to everything throughout the day!  I also love Rimmel's eyeliner; it's easy to apply and doesn't smudge.  Genius.  - Amanda

Waterproof mascara!  My favorite is L'Oreal Voluminous.  I've been using the non-waterproof version for over 10 years!  - Sheena


And you?  Tell me; what's your best recommendation for beauty products that can stand up to an entire wedding day's worth of events and emotions?  Also, past beauty posts, if you missed them:


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What I Would Say To Him: Guest Post from Carolyn

Catholic breakup stories, advice for breakup from Catholic perspective, catholic love stories, catholic weddings, catholic singleness, the cross of being single, young catholic writers, young catholic women writers, the YoungCatholicWoman, catholic heartbreak, catholic weddings, catholic wedding blog, catholic brides, catholic bride blog, catholic marriage prep, catholic wedding planning, catholic femininity

A few weeks ago, I posted a piece from a friend who's borne deep sadness and regret in the wake of getting a divorce and seeking an annulment.  Truly, there is suffering and, God willing, redemption in the brokenness of a marriage that has ended.  

For today, maybe you're reading this from another side of heartbreak; the side of having not yet found the man you'll marry, and the cross of loneliness and dashed hopes.  My friend Carolyn, a gorgeously poetic writer if there ever was one, shared this with me and blew me away.  Maybe you, like me, will recognize pieces of yourself in her wake of a breakup and, like her, will find your peace in the divine lover of your soul--read it all the way to the end--the one who is always, always beside you.

Hey.

I know it's been a while and you think that I may have healed, and you could be right I guess, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I have the strength to become friends again.  Not yet anyway, and I can tell you why.  But first, you need to know how much I miss you and still love you, but it can't be simple anymore.

Why?

You left me when I needed you most.  I must have checked my phone every five minutes up until the plane took off.  Sweet man, that silence was crushing.  I never felt so much like nothing to someone, and i'm sure that was largely because I thought you were everything.  I thought the world of you, sir.  Yeah, that was dumb.  I know that now.  I made so many mistakes, in when I told you, how I told you, but not how I felt for you.  That love will never be a mistake, and that love is still so alive.

I admired those hurricanes you contained, the worlds behind your eyes, and those secrets in the creases of your face.  And yeah, it's effed up that we were our only friend in that small town tucked in the valley of the mountain.  That little place that was founded by my ancestor three hundred years ago, and where I spent Saturday morning brewing your black coffee at the cafe where I worked.  Where we would go out late at night to diners or drive to the nearest city for concerts.  We were safe there.

And now look at us.  After we fell apart, we are not both suddenly living in the same city far away from that small town, and so different from where we became friends.

I'm not going to try to understand our Holy on this one, but because of this, you suddenly want to be friends again.

But what if you leave again.  I don't have the time or the money to fly off to Uganda to allow myself to break.  To hide.  To sit with our Holy and stargaze at foreign constellations south of the equator for hours on end, crying softly with a baby in my arms.  I'm in this foreign city now, where you grew up in the shadows of these skyscrapers.  I'm no longer in my childhood neighborhood where you stole my damn heart.  This city is nearly as foreign to this small town heart as the wilds of Uganda.

Sweet man, how can I believed that if I let you back in my life, you will stay?  And how can you expect me to be close to you again and not be scorched?  How do I know that you won't hurt me again?

I'm okay.  I'm lonely here, yes, and I can't sleep most nights, but this feels right.  Living here.  Don't worry about me because I'm going to be fine.  I'm surrounded by good, wholesome people.  But can you please just answer my texts when I ask if you're happy?  They aren't a trick question.  For once in my life I'm being simple.

But you need to put your fight into something you're passionate about now.  Remember how Eve was all dumb and took on too much, thought she could handle the world on her own?  How I did?  And how Adam was literally right at her side, watching her fall, unmoved, hesitant to act, unwilling to fight?  He saw that she was hurting herself, that she was falling, and he did nothing.  God works through the man and rests in the woman, but we got it backwards, you and me.  Just like they did.

You made it clear when you left that you couldn't find any fight in you.  To keep me, I guess.  It will always hurt knowing this, sure, that I may just never be worth it for you or to you.  Not worth your time or the effort.  And I get that you are worn, but I'm not just here at your convenience.  Hey, I know you need to put your heart first until one day you make that vow on the altar, but sweet man, I have to do that too, and I'm not strong enough to see you just yet.

I learned something in Uganda, though: now I know that I love you enough to let you go.  Not enough to stop praying rosaries each night for your heart, not enough to stop writing your name in my journal, not enough to check chapel tears or this sap or this gnawing in my stomach, not enough to stop gazing at some of those nearby skyscrapers and try and guess which one you may be working gin now.  But enough to let you go.  I can do that.  I promise.  But just let me.

Let me, or fight for me.  It's that simple.  And you don't have to decide right now, but don't drag me into your uncertainty anymore.

I love you sweet man.  And because you don't feel the same, I'm not sure you would have anything to say in response.  If you could say anything.  I'm tired of guessing at your silence, so instead I'll let your silence speak for you.  So go do great things, one of which will not be pursuit of me.  But please just allow me to let you go.

But in this paralyzation, He moves.  It's a rumble at first, but it quickly escalates.  He roars to life, unafraid to show the distance He would go to keep me, to fight for me, to tell me I'm wrong…to save me.  He breaks, through all of this brokenness in a great clamor, a whirlwind, a dashing avalanche.  He tears down the temple wall, cracks through the earth, damns the serpent.  He shivers and shatters and splinters from the depths of His grave, rallies a legion of seraphim, performs out mighty wonders, damns the chains, and in my sweet man's silence, He thunders: YOU ARE WORTH DYING FOR.

Carolyn blogs for and edits The YoungCatholicWoman, "a place of feminine insight into the joy, companionship, frustration, heartache, and autonomy on this beautiful road to Calvary."  They have a sweet magazine and are planning a mission to Costa Rica, and you're invited!  Visit her here.  

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lily's Birth Story, Part 2




When last we left off (read Part 1 here), I was on my way to the hospital after about 14 hours of denying I was in real labor or that it was time to get out the door. Around 4:45 p.m. on November 13th, my contractions, which had been about the same in their overall mildness the whole time so far, yet closer and closer together, started to have more of an edge, and I decided we should get going.  When Aaron was born, I definitely cut the whole "labor at home as long as you can" thing way too close, and was so not eager to repeat that hellacious car ride.

We live only about 10 minutes from the hospital, but dude, nothing like a contracting uterus to make 10 minutes feel eternal.  Like I said, my contractions were getting sharper, and the difference between moving around through them and being strapped into my seatbelt through them was noticeably awful.  I braced my arm against the car door during the two contractions that hit during our ride, while Andrew rubbed my shoulders with his non-driving hand.

Walking into the hospital, much like leaving our apartment, was weird--in both of those cases, I knew that next time I walked through the doors I'd have my baby in my arms.  We made our way pretty non-eventfully up to Labor and Delivery, where we did all the paperworky things.  I only had to drop to the floor once, which I consider an improvement on the last time I was there for Aaron's birth, unknowingly fully dilated, in serious pain and crying in frustration because I thought pre-registering meant I'd get to skip the reception desk. Then we headed into triage.

Try-age.  Tree-age?  Tree-ahj? Anyway, triage was entirely new to me, since the last time I'd come to the hospital in labor I got whisked right out of there into a delivery room.  I got gowned up (side effect of getting there in earlier labor than before: still having enough self-awareness to care about gown buttlessness, at least for a awhile) and checked, and was deemed 6 cm dilated and mostly effaced--I can't remember the number.  Even though so much time had passed, at that point, since I'd felt those first twinges in the middle of the night before, and even though I was standing there in a buttless gown with contractions 3 minutes apart, something about the midwife saying "you're in good and active labor, then," was what made the whole thing finally feel real.

The midwives at my practice, like most, I expect, use intermittent fetal monitoring to allow women to move around during labor, but their rule required 20 straight minutes of continual monitoring to get a read on the baby's heart rate.  I could do 20 minutes, I thought, after coming back from the bathroom, but after the wrestling match that was Tara, the midwife, trying to attach the monitor around my belly in a position that gave a steady reading (Lily's heartbeat kept dropping off the radar, and even though I swear I was trying not to move around so much, that sucker just did not want to stay put), I ended up being on the monitor for about an hour.  I fully admit it might've been my fault--every time a contraction came, all I wanted to do was stand up, lean my elbows on the bed, and sway.  But I tried to cooperate while Tara left us to our own devices; we prayed for a safe and easy delivery, and I snuck some trail mix and drank some coconut water.

Oh coconut water.  Forever are you conditioned, for me, as the taste of childbirth.  I bought some to bring to the hospital with Aaron, too, but as my labor picked up, the thought of even a sip of water, anything besides just getting through the contractions, was unbearable.  I arrived in Labor and Delivery extremely dehydrated and needed an IV, and didn't have any of the water until after he was born and I guzzled a whole bottle.  Since that was another experience I didn't want a second round of, I'd  been trying to stay hydrated all day, and once we were in triage Andrew kept encouraging me to drink up.  I didn't feel terribly thirsty, but I knew I should, and I'm thankful he kept passing me the coco.

After we finally got the monitor situation out of the way, I was free, and we moved to a delivery room.  Slowly.  I had to stop and grip the wall twice on the short trip down the hall, and when we got there, I just kept doing the ol' lean and sway, which more and more I'm imagining as looking like a pale, laughable impression of twerking but...let's just not.  "Do you want to try the tub?" Tara asked.  There was a tub!  I'd been so eager to try laboring in the water last time, but hadn't gotten to the hospital early enough, and if things were to be believed, labor tubs are theee best.  "Sure," I said, but told her that at the time, I still wanted to be moving around.  She pointed out to me how big the tub was, though, and that it took a while to fill, so she'd start it for if I wanted to get in later.  For now, she said, keep my legs and hips far apart  and make wide movements to help Lily descend.  Sure enough, a few contractions later I got hit by a wave of fatigue.  My body was shaking (who knew labor shakes were a thing?), and my elbows were raw from all the weight and movement I'd been bracing against them every few minutes.  The nurse attendant wrapped a warm blanket (like, warm from a warmer--that thing was clutch) around me and asked if I wanted to try leaning on a birthing ball.  I agreed, thinking the cushiness of the ball would help offset some of the weight I'd been leaning on, but ended up hating it.  With all the shaking going on, I couldn't stay balanced on the ball!  I got back on my feet until the tub was full and prayed I could keep going.

The tub, you guys.  For me, the rumors were true!  I feel like "game-changer" is so overused, but if anything changed my labor game, it was that glorious tub.  I wasn't expecting to feel the amount of relief I did when I got in!  The warmth and the weightlessness were just what the doctor--well, midwife--ordered.  And there were jets.  It's so funny; I'd read in my Bradley birth book about the mother's emotional map during labor. The typical pattern is that she is relaxed and chatty early on, grows more serious, silent, and focused as labor picks up, and nearly always experiences a moment of doubt and inability right as she's about to transition.  Up until getting in the water, I'd been well into the serious phase, but amazingly, though my contractions were getting fiercer and fiercer, I found myself laughing with giddiness in between them and having a conversation with Andrew about tattoos.  Tara said I could stay in the tub as long as I wanted, until I felt like I wanted to push, and left us alone in the bathroom.  Even though things were getting pretty rough, this was my favorite time.  All afternoon, Andrew had been stroking my hair, holding my hands, or rubbing my back every time I moved through a contraction, with the most radiant smile on his face.  "I'm not smiling because you're in pain," he said, but because I'm so proud of you, I love you, and because you're doing this for our family."  I've heard people say they fell more in love in the delivery room, something that didn't happen to me last time (with Aaron's birth, my presence of mind was too far gone, I think), but darn if we aren't shameless cheeseballs and we both did feel it this time around.  During the times I was able to relax in the water, I was so happy enjoying those moments alone with him, ready to meet our daughter.

I'm not sure how long I hung out in the tub--and literally, I started hanging on the faucet, using it to support my weight, for each contraction---but I do know the water was cooling off by the time I got the urge to bear down.  I yelled to Tara that I wanted to push, and she helped me out of the water with another warmed blanket in hand, which probably would've been cozy except for the fact that I'd stubbornly worn my sports bra into the tub and it took forever to dry.  I climbed up on the bed and did my hanging move on the headboard (the bed was at a right angle), vaguely wondering how long this would take and what was going on in the amniotic fluid department.  I was confused by having the urge to push, because as far as I knew, my water hadn't broken yet; I didn't even know if pushing was a possibility in that state.

After a one or two pushes that mostly consisted of me shrieking, Tara told me in a loving-but-no-BS way to stop screaming and make lower sounds to channel my energy into getting the baby out.  She was awesome, I could tell she meant business, and I didn't want her frustrated with me, so I tried to keep a lid on it…I chalk it up to my authority-pleasing oldest child ways.  And then, I felt a huge amount of pressure, along with a massive gush.  Oh, that's what was going on with the fluids.  I steeled myself for what I thought would be a marathon to come--with Aaron, I pushed for four hours and was so exhausted and in pain.  Up until then, this hadn't been, you know, the most pleasant experience of my life, but it certainly wasn't awful.  So imagine my surprise when Tara said, "she's got so much hair!"

The fact that Lils was already crowning came as a complete shock to me; I'd had no idea she had been stationed so far down.  It was enough encouragement to push again, with the fleeting thought that this might not have to take four hours after all, and then Tara and Andrew and the nurses were all yelling that she was almost there and just one more, and at 6:58 p.m, Lily took her first breath of air.  I was so surprised that she was already here, having still been inside me, water bag and all, about 7 minutes earlier, that I stayed there, still clinging to the back of the bed, and just looked down at her.  "Get her!  Say hi!" the nurse said, breaking my daze, and I picked up my baby girl and snuggled her for the first time.  She seemed incredibly tiny, and I wasn't expecting to hear she weighed 8 pounds and 1 ounce!  I guess that's perspective for you, since I'd spent the last 38 weeks hanging out with a 25-pound two-year-old.

Lily cried for a few minutes and cleared out her little lungs, and she nursed while we waited on the placenta.  The nurses wrapped another blanket around both of us, and Andrew and I stared at her in amazement while she busied herself getting her colostrum and pooping on my arm.  Andrew cut the cord, I pushed out the placenta and got the dreaded uterine smashing, and Tara checked for tears.  I didn't have one, but she was concerned with how much I was bleeding.  I got hooked up to a pitocin drip to encourage the contractions that should've stemmed the bloodflow, but when it didn't slow my bleeding down, Tara wanted to try suppositories.  Four of them!  I told her I'd rather go through labor again.  "The alternative is that if this keeps up you could bleed to death," she said.  Um, okay.  In they went, Tara applied some pressure, and eventually everything calmed down.  When it was all over, she said I'd lost around 40 CCs of blood, which is approaching, but not a full-on, hemorrhage.  God bless the suppositories.

Because of the blood loss, we hung out in the delivery room for about two and a half hours, which I hear is longer than normal, but which also gave Andrew the opportunity to run across the street from the hospital and bring back Chipotle.  He ordered double steak for mine, he said, because I looked so pale from the bleeding!  I don't know how much iron it restored but being able to eat dinner around a normal time of day, after a day spent delivering a baby, was awesome, and so was going to sleep (at least for the few hours that a new baby and constant nurse visits allow) around 11 p.m.  The normalcy of ending the day in a semi-normal way--as normal as it can be on the first day of your baby's life!-- combined with the quick pushing and no tears, made a huge difference in how I felt, recovery-wise.

It's things like that, the timing and the recovery, that amazed me so much about Lily's birth and arrival into our lives.  For now I'm content in Camp Hospital Birth, but even having had a natural, intervention-free birth with Aaron (save the IV for hydration), that experience had been physically and emotionally miserable, and even without interventions I felt so bewildered and exhausted by the whole thing that I felt things were just sort of happening to me and struggled to bond with him right away.  The difficulty of his birth, combined with a lot of nursing complications and rookie parent lack of sleep, took a huge toll on Andrew's and my ability to treat each other with love or, you know, basic good manners.  I'm thankful we emerged on the other side purified, determined to be nicer and more forgiving (gradually getting more sleep helped), but I prayed for most of Lils' pregnancy that even if our lives were shaken up again to that degree, that our will to love and to forgive would be stronger this time.

I'd prayed, too, for a couple other things.  First, I asked the Lord not for an easier or less painful birth necessarily, but for more presence of mind during my labor.  Second, I'd been anxious about getting to the hospital on time, since I knew most babies come faster after the first, and because it had been so difficult last time when we got there so far into things.  And amazingly, thanks entirely to grace, every single one of those prayers for a more peaceful birth and gentler transition for our relationship was answered.  I felt so humbled to realize it, not just in the sense that any grace comes to me completely unmerited, but because I sincerely questioned whether I was worthy of them--motherhood has broken and restored me over and over again, and so many days end with me thinking I could've done more for my kids, been a little more present, a little more patient.  Never have I been more vulnerable, but never have I been more humbled by the little souls God has entrusted to us, in all of their adorably hilarious, sometimes frustrating, always loving fullness.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Brides Who've Been There: 7 Ways to Pray With Your Husband

I'm taking a blogging break to soak up our sweet Lily Grace (and, let's be honest, to keep my head above water through this beautiful newborn chaos), so I asked some of my married friends to contribute in my absence.  Over the next few weeks, they'll be taking over to chat about wedding planning, bridal beauty and style, and sharing stories about their newlywed days.  

Today, they're shedding some light on their married prayer lives:


We are not experts in this area, but the things we do consistently are praying with our children before they go to bed, praying for our own intentions before we go to bed, and on the weekends we do the Scripture readings for the day and have prayer time in the morning after breakfast. Before we had kids we shared a holy hour at our parish Adoration chapel. It was at 2:00 a.m, and it was a very cool and unifying experience to get up in the middle of the night and go pray together. We're not able to do that now that we have little kids, but sometimes we go to the Adoration chapel together as a family...for about 2 minutes! - Anna

catholic couple prayer, catholic couple prayer advice, prayer for catholic couples, prayer for married couples, prayer for engaged couples, prayer for catholic married couples, prayer for catholic engaged couples, catholic prayer life, catholic love stories, catholic bride advice, catholic weddings, catholic wedding blog, catholic bride blog, blog for catholic brides, catholic wedding site, catholic marriage prep, catholic wedding planning, captive the heart
Anna, her husband Alex, and their two sweet babies, Johnny and Trixie
We started St. Bridget's 12-Year (yes, you read that right) Novena not long before we got engaged. We still pray it together nightly, as well as sharing any special intentions we have. We also try to incorporate various Scripture readings and discussion into our prayer time. - Amanda



This has been a struggle for me, as I find it hard to pray out loud or with someone else. Before we start praying, we often discuss things we need to pray about, like what's going on at my husband's job, things that are coming up in our lives, or friends and relatives who need prayer support. Sometimes, we've used short devotionals together, like Gary Chapman's Life Promises for Couples (I wrote about it hereor Emerson Eggerich's The Love & Respect Experience (and about that one here). We've often also prayed set prayers together, like the Rosary, novenas, or other prayers written by saints. - Bonnie


We pray together before meals and at bedtime.  For the sake of entertainment, I'll tell you about our routine...We rotate who leads prayers throughout the day.  So, if I lead at breakfast, my husband will lead at lunch.  At bedtime, we each prefer to sleep facing one side or the other, so we rotate that too. Whoever prays at night gets to face their preferred direction for that particular night!  It rotates every day, and we poke fun at each other when one person gets gypped out of "their night" due to travel schedules and such.  Yeah, we're weird.  It's okay. - Lauren

 I wish we actually did more of this. We pray with our children and do our personal devotions separately. This is why I love date nights, because we can actually pray together--just the two of us. - Sarah

catholic couple prayer, catholic couple prayer advice, prayer for catholic couples, prayer for married couples, prayer for engaged couples, prayer for catholic married couples, prayer for catholic engaged couples, catholic prayer life, catholic love stories, catholic bride advice, catholic weddings, catholic wedding blog, catholic bride blog, blog for catholic brides, catholic wedding site, catholic marriage prep, catholic wedding planning, captive the heart
Sarah, Derek, and their kids!

We go to Mass together. We sing hymns together. We read and discuss scripture and theology and papal homilies--often one of us reads aloud while the other does dishes. We pray evening prayer sometimes on big feast days. We pray with our babies when we tuck them in at night. We made our wedding vows holding a crucifix in our hands, and we have that crucifix on our bedside table and kiss it before going to sleep. - Rachel


Learning to pray together as a married couple is something that takes time to develop a strong routine. My husband and I have many different ways we like to pray together: read spiritual books, go to Eucharistic Adoration, or pray the Rosary. But one particular way we pray together has been most beneficial and life-giving to us as a couple is our nighttime ritual of "the dailies." I have wrote about here, but I'll give you a quick run-down right now: every night we give each other two affirmations, we share 2-3 feelings we felt over the past day, and then we pray over each other. We always start and end our "dailies" in prayer; so if I start my husband Jim will usually close, and vice-versa.  It's been a unique and life-giving way or us to incorporate the spiritual and emotional parts of ourselves into drawing closer together and to God. Try out the dailies!  It's been life changing for our spiritual relationship together! - Patty

Your turn!  Nearly five years into married life, consistently praying together, rather than on our own and never speaking of it, is still something Andrew and I are always trying to be better at.  Share your devotions and the ways you pray together in the comments!

catholic couple prayer, catholic couple prayer advice, prayer for catholic couples, prayer for married couples, prayer for engaged couples, prayer for catholic married couples, prayer for catholic engaged couples, catholic prayer life, catholic love stories, catholic bride advice, catholic weddings, catholic wedding blog, catholic bride blog, blog for catholic brides, catholic wedding site, catholic marriage prep, catholic wedding planning, captive the heart




Friday, January 15, 2016

Brides Who've Been There: 10 Gorgeous Gowns and the Stories Behind Them

I'm taking a blogging break to soak up our sweet Lily Grace (and, let's be honest, to keep my head above water through this beautiful newborn chaos), so I asked some of my married friends to contribute in my absence.  Over the next few weeks, they'll be taking over to chat about wedding planning, bridal beauty and style, and sharing stories about their newlywed days.  

I asked them today to share some deets about their wedding gowns and how they chose them!


People often describe me as old-fashioned.  I love old movies, could listen to “old” music any time, and cherish many values of days gone by.  In fact, I often say I was born in the wrong century!  Knowing this about myself, I wanted a dress that was classic; something that wasn’t too trendy but at the same time didn’t make me look like a grandmother!  When planning my wedding I loved everything lace – lace-wrapped votive candles, lace invitations, lace around my bouquet...so it made sense that when looking at dresses I gravitated toward lace.  I originally found this beautiful, strapless, A-line dress that fit comfortably, and the lace just took your breath away.  I knew, however, that I personally did not want to wear a strapless dress, especially in church, so the store showed me this slightly off-the-shoulder lace jacket that hit at around my waist.  They added a beaded belt to the mix to accentuate my waist where the jacket hit.  When I walked out in that ensemble and my mom saw me, and when I saw myself in the mirror, we both started tearing up.  I used to watch Say Yes to the Dress and would scoff at the girls who cried when they tried their wedding dress on.  I’d say to myself, “Really?  It’s a dress people; get a grip.”  But there I was in the bridal store, tearing up because seeing myself in that dress I felt comfortable, it screamed "me," and I could just see myself walking down the aisle to Chris.  It was like it all came together.  When you feel comfortable and like yourself in anything you wear, you feel more confident and that shows!  Finding a dress that fits your personality as much as it fits your waistline is just as important. - Tiffany


lace wedding dress, catholic wedding dress, should catholic brides wear a strapless dress, strapless dress in church, lace jacket for wedding gown, say yes to the dress stories, catholic weddings, advice from catholic brides, catholic wedding blog, catholic bride blog, blog for catholic brides, catholic marriage prep, catholic wedding planning, catholic brides, captive the heart
Tiffany...
lace wedding dress, catholic wedding dress, should catholic brides wear a strapless dress, strapless dress in church, lace jacket for wedding gown, say yes to the dress stories, catholic weddings, advice from catholic brides, catholic wedding blog, catholic bride blog, blog for catholic brides, catholic marriage prep, catholic wedding planning, catholic brides, captive the heart
…and that gorgeous lace. 
Mine was a fairly typical 80s-style dress, with a full skirt and lots of beading.  It was ivory taffeta and was originally long-sleeved, but I had them shortened.  I had had a subscription to Bride magazine since I was a sophomore in college (before I was even dating my husband), so I had plenty of time to look at dresses and figure out what I liked! My senior year, my roommate and I went dress shopping every Friday (we arranged our schedule not to have classes that day).  After all that, the dress I ended up with was basically the one I first tried on. - Leslie

It was a classic A line strapless dress with pockets and a kimono-like bow in the back! - Sylvia

I'm really proud of the money we saved on my wedding dress. On a whim one night, my mom called  asked if we should jump in the car and head to David's Bridal to "just look" at some dresses, since I hadn't started yet and wanted to get a feel for a few before buckling down to actually buy one. We went in with my sisters, and I only tried on a total of 3 dresses before I put The One on! It was originally listed for $250, but because of some tiny flaw none of us could find (including the bridal consultant!), it was marked down to $99.  I knew right away it was the one for me! It actually came as two dresses - a short dress with an attachable long A-line skirt on top, which I just kept on the entire night. It was a sweetheart neckline, strapless, with a poufy-but-not-too-poufy skirt. We added a flowered belt and the look was complete. And for only paying $99, it looked and felt as beautiful and elegant as I had ever imagined! - Hannah

catholic wedding dress stories, how to save on your wedding dress, strapless wedding dress, sweetheart neckline wedding dress, 2-piece wedding dress, wedding dress with belt, flower belt for wedding gown, catholic weddings, advice from catholic brides, catholic wedding blog, catholic bride blog, blog for catholic brides, catholic marriage prep, catholic wedding planning, catholic brides, captive the heart
Hannah and David
It was tea length, A-line, with an organza layer on the outside, cream and ivory colored. It was the first one I tried on! I knew that I wanted a tea length dress because our wedding was small, not very formal, and also in December with yucky weather. I knew I wanted an off-white shade because I have a warm skin tone. I was opposed to wearing strapless, but all dresses are strapless, so I bought a very pretty lace jacket and wore that the whole day with the dress. - Rachel

I got married in 2009.  My wedding dress was sleeveless, with a fitted bodice and a full (not puffy) skirt. It was covered with a gauzy material and had lace at the waist and hem. It also had a simple ribbon around the waist that tied in a bow and hung down the back of the dress. I was in. love. with that thing.  I had actually seen it on a website a couple of years earlier -- before I'd even met my husband! A friend of mine was getting married, so I'd spent some time (too much time) indulging my own marital fantasies, looking at wedding dresses online. From the moment I saw it, I was struck. The dress had lovely details but it wasn't fussy. It was simple, but not boring. It was soft and feminine.  In late 2008, when I was engaged, I found that I compared every dress I tried on to that dress. So finally I called around to bridal shops to see if anyone still carried it. One of them did, I tried it on, and I was sold. Literally. - Julie

It was a big 'ole ball gown.  I initially wanted zero bling, but then I tried on my future dress which had beading everywhere on the bodice and my mind was changed in an instant.  - Sheena

wedding dress stories, catholic wedding dress stories, ball gown wedding dress, beaded wedding dress, catholic weddings, advice from catholic brides, catholic wedding blog, catholic bride blog, blog for catholic brides, catholic marriage prep, catholic wedding planning, catholic brides, captive the heart
Sheena, her hubs Anthony, and the dress
My gown was a Priscilla of Boston Platinum Ball Gown. It was huge and sparkly.  The very first day my maid of honor and I started working at a bridal shop, she looked at it and said, "That's your dress, Andi." She was right. I went gown shopping with my parents when we visited Houston for Thanksgiving and after trying it on and seeing their reactions, I knew it was the one! And by that point I had tried on several gowns at work doing weekly bridal fashion shows, so I knew exactly what I wanted! - Andi

Ironically, I wanted an ivory non-strapless dress and I ended up with a strapless, white dress. It was chiffon and had a little bling on it and it just fit me perfectly. I felt like a princess! - Emily


Once Jim and I got engaged, one of the things I was most excited for was to shop for my wedding dress with my Mom. I always knew and had a picture of what I wanted. Growing up, I had a deep love for old movies and elegant Hollywood actresses like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. I swooned for many years of Grace Kelly's exquisite wedding dress and knew I wanted something similar with lace, modesty, and elegance. I actually ended up only trying on maybe 10 wedding dresses at two different shops. I ended up picking one with simple beading, lace, and it made me feel like a modern day Princess Grace.  What really helped me in picking a dress was not taking a lot of people with me to shop; I just went with my Mom which was awesome time to bond as well as it was easier to not have so many extra opinions. Also before you go shopping, have a good idea of elements of what you would like to see in your perfect dress. And be sure to go in with a set price point! Know ahead of time exactly what you can afford, and be sure to stick to it! - Patty

wedding dress stories, catholic wedding dress stories, modest wedding dress, lace wedding dress, Grace Kelly wedding dress, Grace Kelly-style wedding dress, wedding dress shopping advice, catholic weddings, advice from catholic brides, catholic wedding blog, catholic bride blog, blog for catholic brides, catholic marriage prep, catholic wedding planning, catholic brides, captive the heart
Patty, giddy to have found The Dress!
How about you?  Brides-to-be, what are you looking for in your dress, if you haven't found it yet?  If you have, or if you're already married, I'd love to hear the story behind your gown!



LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...