Heart of Haiti campaign to shine a light on the "trade, not aid" program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.
I picked out and purchased my wedding dress before I even had an engagement ring on my finger. That may sound a bit presumptuous, but it did not seem that way at the time.
Unbeknownst to me then, Eric, the man in my life (who is now my husband!), was planning to propose to me just a few weeks later. All I knew was that we were in love, our relationship was moving fast, we had already decided we were a perfect fit for each other, and that we'd be married before the year was out.
We had met around Thanksgiving of 2007, began dating in January of 2008, became engaged on May 16th (Eric's 30th birthday), and were wed on September 28th that same year. It was quite the whirlwind romance, and it continues to this day, a little over 3.5 years later.
That day, in early May 2008, I stood in David's Bridal with my mother and best friend, Beth. I had my eye on a certain strapless gown, with practically no train and a simple beaded bodice. Here I am, walking down the aisle with my dad, in my lovely dress.
My mother had her heart set on a different dress for me, one more "fairytale princess"-esque, with a long lacy train and lace detail all over. I was not too keen on being covered in lace, but I tried it on anyway to see. Although Mom was in love with that dress, I still wasn't feeling it. The other dress that was more demure and simpler was more my cup of tea.
I went against my mother's preconceived notions even further when I opted out of wearing a veil of any kind. A veil just didn't seem to suit me or the dress. So there I was, shucking tradition once again! (On a side note, I found my wedding shoes once when my mom and I were out at Payless Shoes, for $7.00. That's right: seven dollars. They are these perfect little white satin ballet flats. I still have them and wear them occasionally in the summer!) Hooray for finding great deals when planning a wedding on a tight budget!
Of course, once I had found my perfect dress, we posed for the mandatory mother-daughter pictures, mom teary-eyed and carrying a tissue throughout the store.
After finding my perfect dress, the real adventure began: finding my mother's "M.O.B" dress! I tend to see something I like, decide it's perfect, and I don't typically change my mind afterwards. I make the decision and stick to my guns. My mom, however, changes her mind as often as the Pacific Northwest weather changes from dreary, to rainy, to sunny, and back again, and sometimes it's a mixture of all three, as if it can't decide what it wants to be for that day. My mom's decision-making habits are sort of like that. She flip-flops and changes her mind frequently. And that is certainly not a bad thing; it's just a way that we're different. She needs to see all the options before making a decision, and I typically do not.
Because of this, I think my mom may have tried on more dresses than I did! And who could blame her? She wanted to look perfect for my Big Day. And honestly, I was so darn happy with my dress, she could've worn almost anything and I would've thought it was fabulous!
My mother & father gladly took the reins of wedding planning and lovingly planned a magical evening full of splendor and practicality. My parents had the brilliant idea to seat the wedding guests at round tables for the ceremony, and just let them continue sitting there for the reception, which meant there were no awkward tables to move around before the reception began, and no long pauses in between wedding festivities. My parents helped it be a seamless evening full of love, beauty, and fun. As always, my dad ensured my wedding day was logistically seamless and smooth, and as is her habit, my mother ensured that the night was draped in beauty.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom, and thank you for helping my special day be truly lovely and beautiful.
**Thank you to Macy's Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart" promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.
What is Macy’s Heart of Haiti? Heart of Haiti is
a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social
entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s.
Already, Heart of Haiti has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti,
providing financial benefits for an estimated 8,500 people in the
Each item is
a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from
raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and
stone. The collection features more than 40 home decor items including
quilts, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and paintings and is made almost
entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags,
cardboard, oil drums and local gommier wood.
Heart of Haiti products are available online at Macy’s.com.