…That’s me. Or is it?

In case you missed my first three instalments:

Part One – The Husband

Part Two – The Groomsmen

Part Three – The Letters

Today, I want to share a little part of my story as a “bride” with you all.

My make-up was done by one of my beautiful and oh-so talented best friends, Chloe.

My wedding day, the day I married Johnny, was absolutely one of the best of my life. What a commitment, surrounded by so many people who have supported and come alongside us. Vowing forever to Johnny was, honestly, the second clearest decision of my life (next to following Jesus)!

My hair was done by the amazingly talented and kind Melissa.

And this morning was definitely one of my favourite ever mornings.
If you know me, you know that I sleep VERY well. Nothing really prevents me from it. I don’t remember the last time I had a bad sleep… except for the night before my wedding. It might have been the POURING rain smattering on the roof and against my window, or sleeping in a double bed with my best friend, but… none of those variables have ever kept me up before.

No, I was insanely, unbelievably, unstoppably excited and joyful.

The morning, surrounded by my best gals and parents, was peaceful and wonderful. We coffee’d, breakfasted, and got all done up. I was overwhelmed by the loving presence of each one of my bridesmaids, my mom, and my dad.

Nothing could keep the joy and happiness of the reality of what was happening hours later out of my mind. Nothing could separate me from the love of my God – same today and always, thank-you Jesus!

You see, weddings in our modern, western culture have become like events, losing their meaning and actual reasoning.
It’s an industry in itself, and, the moment you get engaged, you’re pretty much bombarded with all of the things you “should” have at/before your wedding.

It can be hard to decipher what is noise and what is Truth.

For current brides, here is my advice:

-Trust your own gut. It is very likely that thousands of people will shout opinions your way. I’m not going to say it’s “your day,” because I believe that no day is “anyone’s” to claim but God’s, and He gets all the glory, honour, and praise for our wedding day… but, the decisions about the cake, florals, dress, and everything in between are YOURS & YOUR FIANCEES.

Lean into Jesus. Christians – your wedding day will without a doubt be stunningly beautiful. It will be your favourite day. But Jesus would be smiling just the same if you got married in a ditch. Just remember that when any decision seems overwhelming. Ask the Holy Spirit for His eyes and words.

-Have fun! Many people told Johnny and I that wedding planning is “stressful.” I rebuked those words – we had a blast!! Engagement was so much fun, but, of course, being married and doing life together is 1000 times MORE fun.

I guess this is the post in which I’ll tell you about my dress!!

Christina Wu from Ballett’s Bridal
About a month before our wedding day, I discovered that my wedding dress no longer fit – I’d gained 30 pounds! This photo means a lot to me…you can see where the buttons were supposed to fit. Read all about that here.

Wedding dress shopping was SUCH a blast.

My girls and I went to three different stores, and I liked many dresses, but didn’t love many.

One day, while at a beautiful friend’s engagement party in Niagara Falls, my wonderful friend Bethany had the thought to visit one of our other good friends, Autumn, on her second day working at a bridal store in Niagara.

Knowing they were closing soon and not at all expecting to try on a wedding dress, we went to visit beautiful Autumn… and I pulled a dress I loved. It was EVERYTHING I’d ever dreamed of in a dress… and the price was practically unbelievable.

The store owners and Autumn INSISTED that I try it on… and I cried instantly when I was in it. It was this weird, “This is my dress” moment.

Finding the dress last year – 30 pounds ago, too!

I never knew that in the span of a year, the Lord could accomplish so much in the way of confidence in who He made me to be – definitely a little curvier than I was in the photos above, and with my natural brown hair… and a PERIOD, for the first time in 7 months, four days before the wedding.

I’ve got a really cool story about all of the jewellery – coming to a future post soon about my amazing momma!
And, of course, I’ll have to write my heart out about my wonderful dad, too.

Oh, Jesus… you make all things work together.

My biggest advice ever, bride-to-be?

Know your Father. Learn Him, seek Him, spend time with Jesus, the Son of God. Ask Him to be with you. Listen for His voice. Give Him your heart and all of your thoughts. READ the WORD that He’s so graciously given us!

As a “bride,” I couldn’t help but think very often about the REAL bride – the Church of Christ. The bride whom Jesus is returning FOR.

I pray that, rather than spending my time and thoughts on my appearance, on overanalyzing, on ME – that I, as part of the body of Christ, would EVER be fixated on HIM.

I am so blessed to have committed to doing just that, serving God, for the rest of my earthly life, with my amazing husband.

This commitment is what being a bride is all about.

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