The Bridesmaid Dress Series
I used to joke that I was the real life version of Katherine Heigl's character in 27 Dresses. Within the span of 3 years, I was a bridesmaid in 6 weddings--and a maid of honor in one of those.
I've been through it all, y'all.
I've told off snooty family members who were messing with the bride and groom's day.
I've cried when they said their vows.
I've danced to all the songs, stayed up till 2am loading dishes into my car.
I've watched siblings and friends embark on the sweetest journey of their lives.
And I'm so thankful I've gotten to stand up there with them on that beautiful day.
I've also bought 5 bridesmaid dresses and rented another. From short and summery to dramatic ballgowns, I've worn them all. And they're sitting in my closet, taking up space, my own smaller version of 27 Dresses. I don't need them, I won't "shorten them and wear them again." So what's a girl to do?
I actually used one for a photo project a few years back, and my beautiful sister modeled for me.
But even so, there's only so much wear you'll get out of a bridesmaid dress. So last year, I decided I wanted to get rid of them, but I wanted to do something special with them first. I wanted to get one more wear out of them all.
I thought about doing a "trash the dress" thing, but that feels cruel to do to beautiful dresses. I thought about just snapping a photo in each one for memories, but that didn't feel special enough. I wanted to know the dresses had served a bigger purpose than just a photo. I mean after all, a bridesmaid's dress is a pretty special thing to begin with. It's the thing you wore while watching your best friend marry her best friend.
A little bit of brainstorming, and I came up with The Bridesmaid Dress Series. And I'm pretty excited about it.
What better way to use the dresses than tell a story with them. To create a bit of whimsy, to be creative, and also be open, honest, and raw. Vulnerable. It's hard being vulnerable in this way, but it's also exhilarating and fun.
Each dress will represent a struggle. I've identified five (because the sixth dress was rented so I don't have it) lifelong difficulties, and I'm giving them airtime. I'm styling each shoot differently, however I feel that struggle can be personified, and I'm having different people to photograph each one.
But I don't want these dresses to only be symbols of struggle. In each shoot, I'm going to show the difficulty found in each trait--but I'm also going to portray the freedom I've found after giving my struggles to the Lord. It's not a story of "I'm healed from every problem ever," but rather a story of redemption and freedom amidst the hard. And it's a story of how God can work even through our struggles. Beauty from ashes, right?
So here's the breakdown of what you'll see in The Bridesmaid Dress Series:
Purple, for anxiety
Grey, for depression
Turquoise, for shame
Dark blue, for fear
White and pink, for pride
I'm doing this series slowly, so I can really get the vibe I need for each shoot. When I'm done, I'll post the photos in a blog post alongside the story of that struggle in my life. I may even give you some song recommendations to listen to as you scroll through.
Because I want this to be deeply personal, and deeply creative.
If you've a mind to follow along, I'd love to hear your thoughts as you read my posts. What resonated with you, what you were nodding along with...maybe what challenged or confused you. Whether you relate to these things or not, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
First post is set to come out tomorrow, and I'm excited to get this thing started.