Nina’s Bridal Shop is the setting of Revived Hope. It’s a full-blown wedding dress shop, so let’s talk about weddings gowns.
The main character in Revived Hope is Melanie, and she never thought of owning a wedding gown store. She’s a wedding consultant working out of her home and her dream is to have an office. But as a single mom with a daughter to support, she also works part-time at Nina’s Bridal Shop until she becomes the owner. How did that happen? Hint: It’s in the first chapter.
RING THE BELL
Bridal gown shopping is something I love and I find bridal shops magical. When my eldest daughter got engaged, I teared up stepping foot inside that enchanting place. We visited a few stores, and my sisters joined us. They got pretty choked up too. I couldn’t help but give thanks for God’s goodness during those touching times.
Another time, my best friend’s daughter was getting married, and I was honored to be invited for the gown shopping. When she found the gown of her dreams, we all cried, and she rang a bell, letting everyone know this was the dress. I used that image in the book too.
Two of my daughters-in-law live in Japan and they had bought gowns online, so seeing them for the first time in those dresses held an extraordinary excitement as well. But I was incredibly blessed when two of my other daughters-in-law invited me to join them at bridal shops with their mothers. I wasn’t in town for the purchase, but they were going for final fittings and asked me to come along—another teary moment. Yup, I cry easily.
LACE, TULLE, AND SATIN
One thing I love about bridal shops is the racks and racks of gowns. Because I’m crazy about fabric, lace, and frills, and I sew, I go on sensory overload. All that shimmering white and ecru is so exhilarating and I used that inspiration to write part of this scene.
All that tactile stimulation doesn’t stop in the shop. Our family loves to sew, and my mother was a seamstress, so creative additions and changes are the norm. Although I don’t like doing alterations, and I’m terrible at it, my sisters often come to the rescue. They work magic with beading veils and fine hemming.
One sister refashioned a women’s bridesmaids’ dress to a girl’s size to fit our youngest daughter. She did such a remarkable job that it looked exactly like the others.
I count my blessings, as I relish those wedding gown memories with my sisters, They bring back sweet memories of my mother. She made my gown precisely to my design. I sketched it out, and she fashioned it from two patterns. She reworked a muslin mock-up three times until I was happy. We sure miss her and I am so thankful for the gifts God gave her. I still have my gown and all the sewing memories that went with it. Interestingly, my aunt beaded my veil, as my sisters did my daughter’s.
SOVEREIGN GOD, FAITHFUL PRAYERS
All this talk of gowns and weddings is nothing without a Christ-centered marriage. Only God holds hope of a promised fulfilling future together. But, not without difficulty, and we must remember that God uses trials to build faith and trust in His love, as well as in the marriage. Those trials can be at their height during wedding planning and execution! As wonderful as that day is, that couple and their families are not perfect, but Jesus is. They need our persistent prayers to help sustain them long after that happy, hectic day is over. My son has encouraged couples in their struggling marriages with the fact that he witnessed their vows, their promise to God, and one another. His words offer the hope of perseverance, endurance, and love for the long haul.
My husband and I were on a rocky path during our first six years of marriage. It is totally by the grace of God that we’re still together…and the prayers of an older couple we met when we were first married. We’d lost touch, but by divine appointment, this couple’s grandson and our son landed up on the same T-ball team, 25 miles from where we’d met, and ten years later. My husband was the coach, and when this couple found out we had dedicated our lives to Christ, they cried. They had never stopped praying for us, and they had been burdened that we weren’t saved. Ten years, this faithful couple prayed for us, and for our marriage. I’m so thankful that they never stopped praying for us. God’s amazing love.
On Fridays, I pray for marriages, both generically and by name. Thanks to eight children and their spouses, I’ve had to tape extra pages in my prayer journal for all the wedding couples! But how can I not pray for those joined together in holy matrimony under God? It’s a volatile world we live in, and marriages are constantly under attack. If it wasn’t for Jesus’ grace and the faithful prayers of our friends, I can’t imagine what my life would have been. Seriously, I shudder.
A FAVORITE WEDDING STORY?
Would you please share a favorite wedding memory or story? Everyone loves a wedding and I hope you’ve enjoyed my memories. I’d sure love to hear yours.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaways via the link below. Today, the prize is a signed paperback of Revived Hope, and I’ll also send a deleted scene from the book….a wedding scene that I loved writing, but because of word count, I had to cut it. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Please join me tomorrow for our last On Location and giveaway. The deadline to enter all giveaways is October 26th at midnight, so please go back and enter those you may have missed. Thanks for reading. I’ve enjoyed sharing!