Preserving Your Wedding Dress and Your Marriage

     When my husband and I celebrated our twenty-fourth anniversary, we went out to eat dinner. On the way home, my oldest daughter texted me asking what time we would return. I gave her an estimate and asked her why. She just sent me a smiley face so I knew she and the other two young’ns were up to something.

     I had told her that after we came home from our date we would open up my wedding dress. The dress had been professionally cleaned and preserved after our wedding. It had been stored in a box underneath my bed for the past twenty-four years. I thought perhaps the smiley face text pertained to opening the dress. She and I planned to cut a piece of satin and lace from it and use it to wrap around her bridal bouquet. Her wedding was only two weeks away.

     When we arrived home, our three children greeted us at the door. They were all dressed up, which is no small feat for our eight-year-old son. He considers dressy clothes scratchy and every Sunday morning is an ordeal. However, his sisters said he got all excited about surprising us and didn’t complain once. The girls looked beautiful as they ushered us into the house.

     Music filled the room. They had found our wedding video and had it playing as we walked into the den. They must have rounded up every candle in the house (including all the tea lights) and had those lit. Pink roses from our rose bush adorned the coffee table. Chocolate muffins and sparkling grape juice awaited us. Also, there was a unique design of dominoes at the fireplace. Evidently, our son took great pleasure in diligently setting up two heart shapes, each encircling a tea light candle. He couldn’t find the tea light candle holders, but the little silver casing around the candles looked precious to me.

     We all sat down and watched the wedding video. Comments about the eighties' hairstyles came from the girls. Comments about who had hair then, and doesn’t now, came from my hubby.

     Watching the video brought back sweet memories of that day. My favorite part was when my husband sang to me during our wedding. He still melts my heart when he sings.
     The video ended and we enjoyed our muffins and grape juice. Then, the girls and I went to pull the box from underneath the bed.
     I warned them that preserving a dress was risky. Because it was sealed up, how did I know they did a good job preserving it? Had it turned yellow? For that matter, how did I know they even sealed the right dress in there? The dry cleaner that preserved it went out of business long ago. 
     Pulling the box out, I brushed off the dust. We pulled the packaging tape off. Opening the box, we saw another box inside. We removed the tape from that one and pulled out yet another box! This box was trimmed in gold so we knew it must be the one containing the dress. We lifted the lid and there it was—my beautiful wedding dress.

    The youngest daughter begged to try it on first since her sister would be wearing her own wedding dress in just a few weeks. It fit her and she hurried out to show her daddy. She looked gorgeous. 
     I tried on the veil, because I knew if the dress fit her, it certainly wasn’t going to fit me. Yeah! The veil still fits! (hee…hee…)
     Then, the oldest tried it on. It fit her beautifully, too.
     It was a fun and special night. We have sweet and thoughtful kids. We're so thankful for them. It has always been our prayer that God sends them all wonderful, Christian mates.

     Surprisingly, my wedding dress stayed well preserved. Part of that big bow on the derriere will make a nice wrap for my daughter’s bridal bouquet. There’s plenty for the other kids’ weddings if they decide they want to use it in some way. I don’t know if the dress would have lasted a “lifetime” as stated but overall it was well preserved.
     Each of the boxes had interesting messages on them. They made me think of preserving a marriage for a lifetime.

The first box was labeled:

Fragile, Handle With Care-
Top Freight Only

     A marriage is something to be treasured, held close, and protected.
     A spouse’s heart is fragile and should be handled with the utmost care. A marriage becomes strong by building it on the foundation of Christ.
     Top freight means the item is so delicate it is placed on top of everything else, less it suffers damage. A marriage should take top priority if it is to be healthy and happy and if it is to last a lifetime.
The second box was labeled:

Lifetime of Loveliness-A Thing of Beauthy is a Joy Forever

     Well, you and I know this dress is not going to last forever. No matter how beautiful a “thing” is, it isn’t going to last forever.
     True beauty shines through by the Spirit within. I believe this is the kind of beauty that lasts forever.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  Proverbs 31:30

 Then, we read the words:
to forever cherish...your lovely wedding gown preserved
for a lifetime of happy memories
     I don’t know. Makes you wonder if some people think more of the dress than the spouse!
    God presented me with a wonderful man, not a perfect man, but a man who loves the Lord. Because of our growing love for Christ, I think we will forever cherish our marriage. I look forward to a “lifetime of happiness” and “loveliness.”

 “Finally, brothers and sisters,

whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,

whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,

whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—

think about such things.”     

Philippians 4:8