Friday, May 9, 2014

HOMEMADE SKIN...For My Best Friend's Wedding :)

At approximately right-before-picture-taking time of the big day, I could be found sitting on the floor in the bridal suite of the Longview Mansion, bridesmaids and hairdressers practically stepping over me as they passed through the opening, my elbows upon the chase lounge, frantically hand-stitching the last few threads around the shoulder of what I now refer to as  homemade skin:)
I was scrambling to solve the more pressing of 2 problems, and it took several weeks of shopping, prepping, and a lot of skill and creativity and especially the help of others to pull it off.

The first obvious problem was that when the bridesmaid's dresses were ordered back in November, I was still 3 months post partum with Isaac, planning on getting pregnant again sometime before the wedding in April, but not knowing that I would be or how much weight I'd gain, or rather how much weight I'd lose from Isaac's pregnancy. Then I did become pregnant again... but that only lasted 2 1/2 months. There was a lot of fluctuation, including a reasonable deflation in my size after the D and C just a month before the wedding.

Needless to say, the dress size we tried to predict I would need was too big. On top of that, there was an alteration shop misunderstanding which concluded in the need for shorter and shorter heels (again, and then again).

Several shoe shopping trips and more $$$ than I wanted to spend later, I was able to achieve the "sweeping the floor" look that the dress was intended for.

However, the combination of my much-too-altered dress combined with my last-minute-find, one-inch heels, while solving one problem, created another and resulted in turning me into a vertically challenged hobbit in Heather's wedding pictures.

See below? Bahaha! Such a hobbit!

A 4 1/2 inch heel increase truly is the difference between a bridesmaid and a hobbit. 
Cracks me up!

Although I was such, next to the taller, heel-wearing bridesmaids--on the bright side, my feet were comfy all day and I came out on top with 3 pairs of new shoes! I'll take it :). Sorry, Scott, for all the shoe shopping sprees, and sorry Heather, for the hobbit in your photos--at least it was a hobbit without a black undershirt or cardigan! ;).

Which brings me to the main topic of this post. 


            -Heather is on left, I am on right-
(We are both naturally opposite of what our hair color currently is.
It's funny how we swapped our childhood hair colors :))

It was my childhood best friend since 2nd grade that was married at the end of April and I flew home to be a part of her special day.

You can see my "homemade skin" in this pic on the left by my shoulder. In some pics it's hard to tell! Which is exactly what I was going for. :) 

It was a beautiful day and I was honored to be a part of it.

Heather knew that with the bridesmaids dresses she picked out that I would want to wear an undershirt, cardigan or jacket to cover my shoulders (because of garments) and kindly told me to wear whatever made me comfortable.

I wear religious garments that are symbolic and representative of covenants I have made with God. I take these covenants seriously and honor them because I am so blessed by them. These blessings are more important to me than anything.

Part of these covenants is to always (except during certain activities) wear the garments. They serve as a daily and constant reminder to me to keep the promises I have made with God, so that I may benefit from spiritual protection and other blessings that doing so provides. Wearing garments is "An Outward Expression of an Inward Commitment" (<---Click for more explanation about this).

I wouldn't give these blessings up for anything! I love standing out with confidence because of it- so that others can see the happiness it brings me. It's a beautiful way to stand out.

I could feel the respect from others as the only one in the limo the morning of the wedding drinking straight orange juice in a wine glass, and later drinking rock candy and sprite instead of rock candy and wine.
I loved being questioned about what I was hand-stitching to cover my shoulders in the bridal suite before pictures. The sparkling cider the bride's family provided me during the wedding toast spoke love and respect to my heart again. I was so grateful for all the wonderful people around me with different beliefs and their acceptance of mine. It was a great opportunity to be an example and share with others what is so important to me, what brings me happiness.

And yet, the most important thing to me on this day, after keeping my covenants with God, was to not stick out like a sore thumb for Heather's ceremony or in Heather's wedding photos for her to look at in the years to come. I wanted her to be the only thing all eyes were drawn to. I wanted to keep a unified look with all of the other bridesmaids.
I wanted to find a way to keep the beauty, elegance, and look of the black dress while still keeping my covenants with God.

In most cases, a simple undershirt or a small cami/jacket solves this problem, but this dress had a long drapey scarf that hangs over the shoulder and extends all the way to the floor. You can kind of see it behind her arm in this pic.
A jacket going over the scarf would be awkward, and an undershirt would totally alter the design of the dress and take away the unity of all the bridesmaids.

I decided a nude undershirt was my best solution, but I wasn't going to settle for just any nude undershirt.
I borrowed nude shirts from friends, went searching in malls and stores and looked everywhere online for the perfect nude undershirt color, which I found does not exist.
All were too creamy, too white, too brown or too gray.

Then, I found a nude shirt with lace on top that was the PERFECT COLOR! It matched my skin tone soooo well! I bought it for it's fabric, hoping that I had the time and talent to make something of it.

When I got to Kansas for the wedding, both sisters and my mom stepped in and helped me with my dress situation, but it was my sister Michelle who ultimately created  out of the fabric from the lace-topped shirt I bought weeks before, this undershirt that blended so well that it looked like my skin (minus pores and freckles):

You can see it pretty well there below. Obvious pictures of it were rare because it blends so well! It was perfect!

How much easier would it have been to have just not worn garments! SO. Much. easier.
Choosing to go without my garments would have solved all the trouble and hours of searching, and borrowing and working on alternatives and effort and stress. But all of that is minute compared to the blessings I receive when I wear my garments and keep my covenants. No event or outward appearance is worth jeopardizing my spiritual protection and blessings. Not even for an hour. How grateful I am for my wonderful friends, both of my faith and those who are not, who love and respect me for the beliefs and standards I hold most dear to my heart, just as I hold those others dear to my heart.

After all was said and done, the most important factors of the day worked out beautifully. For me, I was able to wear my dress without altering the look of it and still keep my covenants and blessings. 

For all, the weather couldn't have been more perfect, the bride more beautiful, and the couple more lucky to have found each other and now be married to each other.
A good time was had by all, celebrating the covenants...
   ...of love,

--End Post--
Photos From the Day


*You can see the undershirt in the pic on the right, 
but it blends in with my back too well to tell, unless you look REALLY closely.
I love it!

Momma and sisters, minus Sarah!

Everyone is super candid in this shot...I love it...haha

To the Maid of Honor!! 
A most excellent friend. So sweet :)

To my new friends!! Ya'll are so awesome!

Cutie pie!

To Heather and Matt! 
So happy for you both!

Could that be the Bride in the Photo Booth?

Oh, yes, my family overtook the Booth. 
There are many more where these come from :) 
probably filing up a quarter of the guest book.

And although I really wished Scott could be there in the Photo Booth with us, 
he still managed to be a part this special day, from afar :)


  1. WOW! What a great example you are to all of us of keeping to our convictions-not to mention sacred covenants! You could have taken the easy route and you didn't, and it turned out SO well! I saw some of your pictures last week on Facebook and I seriously had no idea you had a shirt on underneath! Thanks for being an awesome example!

    1. Leah thanks so much for your enthusiasm and kind words! I'm so glad to have you confirm all that I was going for! Thank you! :)

  2. I love it! I've never been in that situation, but I'm sure I would have been the one with a white tee shirt underneath totally standing out. I love that not only did you do it for your covenants, but you were thinking about her special day as well. I will probably steal this idea if I'm ever in the same situation! Thanks, Steph!

    1. haha that's funny. I've been that "one" before for sure-not in a wedding but actually in my very last post at the masquerade ball I wore a black "T-shirt" under my formal..haha it was pretty ghetto but I didn't care cuz it was just a fun date night, not a wedding! :)Thank you for your comment and nice words!

  3. I loved this entire post :) you looked so beautiful at the wedding! It wouldn't have mattered to me what you wore but being as talented as you are, I'm not the least bit surprised that you came up with the perfect solution! Thank you for sharing this, and I loved seeing all the other photos from the day! I love you chunk!

    1. Heather, I was seriously thrown off by the "Lange". I immediately thought, "Hmmm..who in Matt's family knows me on FB to see my blog? Maybe they saw it bc Heather was tagged in it?" and then I realized that you had already changed your name! It was so weird. How does it fieel? Is it weird to you too? It was weird when it happened to me I remember.. anyway- I'm glad you loved it! And thank you for beings so flexible with me on your big day! You were beautiful AND awesome :) I'm glad it all worked out. I love you too fat!


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