Engagement

Finding Your Dress with commUNITY by Anna Whitener

Your wedding will be one of the most precious milestones in your life. It is a time to gather those most influential and important in your lives. It is an occasion to celebrate your love along with the love and support you’ve received along your journeys, both as individuals and as a couple. It is an opportunity to expand your family and acknowledge the examples set for you by parents, grandparents, and other loving role models. It is a blessing to be surrounded by your very own community of people special to you.

However, in the midst of your community, don’t lose sight of the other person who you are committing to sharing the rest of your life with – the one who makes this whole big celebration possible in the first place! Every bride is different, but if you are the slightest bit like me, you are excited to see the details of your wedding come together and want to share with those around you. It is tempting to make your whole community of friends and family your sounding board for ideas, opinions, and approval, even with your dress (gasp!).

I had four physical bodies in the room with me during my first dress shopping appointment. I say four physical bodies, because I also had about five more opinions being summoned via text messages and video calls. Technology is something, huh? I LOVE every single person who was weighing in that day, whether in person or on the other end of a phone, and I respect their opinions, but it was incredibly easy to disregard the own voice inside my head and respond to the reactions I saw forming around me with each dress I tried on. 

Martina Liana Gown

Martina Liana Gown

In fact, I was this close to going with the BEAUTIFUL, beaded Martina Liana gown pictured above that everyone else liked as much (if not more) than I did. I have about as many curves as a square, so this dress did wonders for me!

What steered me away from this beauty was trying on a much simpler gown (I'll share those pictures soon) that made me think to myself “This is the girl Gavin fell in love with.” Does every bride have that "ah-ha" moment? I can't say for certain, but my advice for having that revelatory feeling is to picture walking towards your love at the other end of the aisle. For this one instance, let the voices of your community fade away and focus on simply the UNITY between you and your future spouse. Does the dress fit your style as a couple? Will you still look like you – only the loveliest version of you? Let me help you find “that” dress!

So You Said Yes…And? by Anna Whitener

In improvisational comedy, there is a rule of thumb to encourage a collaborative approach. The thought is that you say “yes” to the person with whom you are acting and then contribute to the direction of the outcome by saying “and” with your own added information. Starting a business has felt (only sometimes comically) very much like improvisation for me. I have known for a long time I wanted to start my own business and went through too many ideas to count – just ask my girlfriends or my now husband (eek!) – but when I had my own wedding dress shopping experiences, I knew I had found my niche.

I absolutely LOVED the way each beautiful designer gown made me feel – secure, womanly, glamorous, bridal, beautiful, and special. However, I didn’t love each of my visits equally. I found the task of finding “the dress” somewhat daunting and without the proper guidance felt very ill at ease and sometimes out of place or looked down upon. No bride should ever be made to feel that way for her particular style, level of bridal knowledge, or budget. I mean, for many of us, this is our first time going through this unique process and we are not quite sure what to expect, right? For that reason, I have decided to bring to Knoxville a unique wedding dress shopping experience where brides can try on the oh-so-amazing designer dresses and ultimately purchase them at sample sale prices, all while feeling comfortable and having fun!!

Since deciding to take this journey 10 months ago, I have continued to say “yes, and.” The result is that I have watched this budding dream of mine blossom into reality. This has only been possible with the love and support of those around me, especially my husband (still SO weird to say!). He has decided to say “yes, and” for the past 6+ years of our relationship, encouraging me to continually move forward and turn my ideas into actions. Ultimately, I have found that commitment, whether it be to a profession, a romantic relationship, a friendship, or any other adventure almost always requires a “yes, and” approach, because really, aren’t we all just improvising?

Now that you have said “yes, and” to your soul mate, I would love to help you say “yes” to your dress!