If there is one thing I have been reminded of during the last week it's that we don't do life alone. Our communities and our circles can be concentrated in the same place we are or, in my case, they can extend outside of the immediate vicinity into the places where we once lived and where our friends have moved to. My community isn't just in Tallahassee - it extends to all of the places where the people who love and support me are. So I want to say a huge thank you to my community for your encouragement after last week's post about body image and confidence!
In planning my own wedding I was a little surprised at how quickly all of the focus is placed on the bride and groom. Maybe it is my dislike of being the center of attention or an inconsistent set of expectations with what the process was really going to bring, but I sometimes struggled to understand why my community as a whole wasn't being celebrated more. There are so many people who influence the lives of the bride and the groom that it seems silly not to recognize and celebrate those individuals as well!
As I finalized plans for my wedding and specifically my bridal ensemble it was important to identify and celebrate, in some small way, one piece of my community - the women who have had the biggest influence on my life and my relationship with Kurt. These women are my mom, my aunt Wendy, my matron of honor Gina, and one of my other bridesmaids Mattye (yes, from The LovingKind!). These women have seen me at my best and at my worst and each in their own way have helped me remain true to myself as I have grown into my relationship with Kurt.
So today I'm excited to share with you one final wedding DIY project - the lace hair combs I wore - as well as the approach I took to honor and celebrate those influential women in my community!
As my mom and I considered the overall bridal ensemble, the accessories were both some of the easiest and more difficult decisions we made. There was a lot of visual interest in the lace overlay of my gown and I knew that I didn't want to wear anything that would compete. We decided on a plain veil that would match the tulle under-layers and simple pearl studs that I already owned. Lots of bling isn't really my style so a plain ribbon belt was chosen to define my waist without adding anything that wasn't me.
The difficult decision was what to put in my hair. I have always had a bit of a soft spot for hair accessories (yes, I went through a headband phase in an effort to be a bit more like Blair Waldorf) and I have a variety of vintage jeweled hair clips that my mom gave me years ago that almost made the wedding "cut." They were, however, too small for what my stylist and I had planned for the wedding hair style. Purchasing another clip to match was too expensive and out of reach in the time frame.
It was during a trip home to work on some other wedding details that my mom pulled out her veil for us to look at together. While it wasn't in the best of conditions the lace appliques that were placed on the headpiece and trailing down the veil were largely undamaged. It was the action of her pulling one off and looking at it alone that gave me the idea for turning some of those lace appliques into hair pieces!
At first I was a little apprehensive - wouldn't we ruin her veil?! But my mom laughed as she continued to pull the lace pieces off, saying that her veil had given her so much happiness when she wore it over thirty-five years before and that she was glad I was going to be able to find some happiness from it as well.
What made these combs so special is that my mom's veil was the favorite part of her bridal ensemble. We had joked early in my engagement to Kurt about me wearing the veil because it meant so much to her. While I wasn't able to do that exactly, turning the lace from her veil into something I could wear was a wonderful option.
In addition to the lace hair combs I found ways to have my aunt Wendy, Gina, and Mattye all represented during my wedding day as well. In a way I wanted to feel the confidence these women instill in me on a regular basis guiding me down the aisle. I loved being able to celebrate the relationships I have with these women in my own secret way!
During the ceremony I wore Gina's wedding band on my pinkie. I was a part of Gina's wedding in 2014 so wearing that special piece of jewelry from her meant so much. From my aunt Wendy I wore a mink fur stole that has been passed down in her family for generations. It was the perfect way to stay warm during pictures and the ceremony on our chilly October wedding day and it added something special to my bridal ensemble. Being able to wear her heirloom and family history was very meaningful. I only hope to have something that special to share with a daughter or niece of mine some day!
The final special item I included was the ribbon that had wrapped the bouquet I caught at Mattye's wedding only a month before I met Kurt in 2012. I had our florist use that ribbon to wrap my own bouquet so I could carry the reminder of the fun of her wedding and the excitement of catching the bouquet throughout the entirety of our wedding and reception. Using the ribbon also felt like a good omen - it was bringing love and merriment all the way from 2012 to my wedding day. It was so special to have Mattye serving as a bridesmaid in my wedding because in her own small way her toss bouquet helped facilitate this match between Kurt and I. I loved being able to see her reaction to seeing the ribbon on the bouquet - it was so full of joy and surprise!
These lace hair combs were one of the smaller DIY projects we completed for the wedding but that certainly didn't make them any less meaningful. The steps for making them were rather simple and the entire process took no more than a day. Read below to see the materials and steps I used to get the final result!
Lace Hair Combs
- Aleene's Fabric Stiffener & Draping Liquid (you can find this in just about any fabric store)
- Beadalon Bead Stringing Wire in Silvergold, 0.46 mm size (again, an easy fabric store find)
- Lace applique pieces in varying sizes
- 2-inch wire hair combs (I used black combs so they would disappear in my hair)
- Following the directions on the Aleene's bottle, I stiffened the lace applique pieces. I chose to thin the liquid using about 1 part water to 2 parts stiffening liquid because I didn't want the lace pieces to be completely stiff. It was important to me they remained a bit flexible!
- Once the lace pieces were dry, I positioned them on the wire hair combs. Using the bead stringing wire, I attached them to the combs in two or three places, being sure to not damage the lace in the process. If you don't have bead stringing wire, you could also use regular thread!
- After attaching your lace pieces to the combs, tug a little bit at the lace to make sure it's attached securely. Add any final stitches you might need to, and then you're all finished!
Our communities exist to celebrate with us and guide us throughout the various events of our lives. With them we are not alone, ever! Call them your tribe, your squad, your friends and family, they are your community and I'm so grateful I was able to celebrate mine during one of the most important events of my life.
I'd love to know how you celebrate - in large or small ways - those influential people in your communities? Share your thoughts in the comments!