JoJo and I, no matter the time frame we had to plan, or even if we had a budget of 50 zillion dollars, always wanted a small, family centered, non-traditional outdoorsy wedding. And seeing as I am non-conventional about most aspects of my life, it shouldn't surprise you that I am non-conventional as a bride-to-be either.
When I was 14, I went on a mission trip to Chile. Great trip, had nothing to do with weddings, but had a lot to do with dysfunctional relationships of team members (many long stories, of which details don't matter). Up until that point in my life I had no intention of getting married. Most of the time I planned on living in the woods by myself and being a falconer/ raptor rehabilitator forever. But during that trip I decide that I was going to someday get married and that I was going to do things right. At that point I made all sorts of very serious decisions about how I was going to do things and what I would do in the mean time. That included praying for the guy I would someday marry (funny thing: Within months of all this occurring some 15 year old kid name JoJo randomly came to my church and got saved...fast forward 7 years and we are getting married. God is cool like that.).
Upon getting back from the trip I walked into my church sanctuary, which they had renovated in the time I was gone and put up hideous acoustic panels on the wall. At that point I raised my right hand and swore to honor God, and still get married, but not to get married in that building. I am sticking with that. I love my church, but it isn't lovely in photos. From that point on I began planning the wedding I would someday have with the one and only man that God had created for me. It being outside was of the utmost importance. (I know some Christians strongly believe in getting married in a church, particularly in their own, because they want their wedding to be "in the eyes of God." I agree very much with wanted my wedding to be in the eyes of God and that is crucially important, but I do not believe God's eyes are limited to any particular place. I believe in God's omnipresence. My wedding will certainly be within his reaches!)
So my 64 day away wedding will be taking place on my grandparent's farm. When I was 14, I also thought it might be nice to get married in the rain, but since then I have rethought that and have decided, as much as I love rain, not to subject my friends and family to it on my wedding day. JoJo proposed in the rain. That is good
Another part of my wedding that was set in stone from age 14 on was a "retina burnin' white wedding dress." There were a couple years were I joked about wearing my friend's red and black gothic tutu (just because I am fond of rebellion), but I always knew my dress would be *WHITE*. JoJo and I joke about people having to wear sunglasses at the wedding. Long story short, I put a lot of effort into earning a white wedding dress. Its needing to be white was a non-negotiable.
And guess what? A couple Saturday's ago my mom and I went second-hand wedding dress shopping (as we are expert thrifters!) for *7 hours* and at our last stop, Savers, we found a BEAUTIFUL dress, very close to my size, in a style that suited me, for $69.99. It was used, but in lovely condition and it was made in the USA (I refused to buy a dress from a big name bridal store because I try to avoid supporting any company that isn't fair trade and uses sweatshops in their product manufacturing.) And $70 beautiful dress? It was WHITE. God is so good.
I wish I could better describe it to you, but you will have to wait until after the wedding for pictures! No dress-info leaks allowed!
This post is getting long and overwhelming, so I will cut myself off now. There will have to be more posts telling of all the thrifting, DIY-ing and preparations that have been going on in planning this wedding. (*more posts over HERE on my mom's blog) Originally, 3 months seemed like a horridly short amount of time to pull a wedding together, but God, as usual, is being faithful and again and again we are being surprised by His goodness in helping us to make this wedding happen. I am trying to remain calm and not sweat the small stuff. (will the flower girls shoes, or the sauce we serve on chicken have any long term effect on my marriage? No.) No bridezilla's allowed. Big picture, the wedding doesn't matter. The marriage does.
Between all the planning and prep, as well as full time school and part time work, I am getting more and more excited. Stay tuned for more updates!