by guest blogger, Bella Gente Bridal, in Tampa FL
We asked our friends and Liz Fields authorized retailer, Bella Gente Bridal, what they would want to tell their brides if they could tell them anything, this was their response.
Eight years ago, is when I can pinpoint where my madness as a lover of anything and everything non-profit started. A recent trip to the beautiful West Coast allowed me to become the sponsor of a little Guatemalan girl, my heart swells with every glace at her picture. Trust me when I say that if I had it my way, it would have been a one-way ticket that was initially purchased, and I would currently be protesting deforestation in South America with Green Peace and saving the orangutans! I’ve always been one of those girls who thought all drinking glasses in the world to be half full, and throw the gender classification out the window darling, ‘cause rose colored glasses would be the perfect finish to every outfit! I admit that I am somewhat naïve, and maybe there will always be people out there who don’t want what’s best for you, but I just smile and ignore them now. I entered college as a fresh faced youngster, delicate to the new world around me. I put my heart and faith into every class project, every student organization, and every open door life decided to throw my way. What I was not prepared for, was the overwhelming sting I felt after realizing those others with the same textbooks as me, the same collegiate sweatshirt as me, did not share my cheerful views. I lost a couple “friends”, even a boyfriend to my eternal optimist bent. They didn’t want to deal with me- found it exhausting to be around someone who couldn’t be realistic, normal.
For a while, I found me questioning myself. I know you brides will undoubtedly do the same throughout your wedding planning. Well, please let me save you the year I lost to questioning myself and hoping to fit into a category acceptable of others… the answer is simple, don’t do it! Now, more than ever, this is the time to know yourself- to be confident in who you are. What you’re really looking for, is a style aesthetic reflective of that amazing person. Look through a couple old photo albums and you’ll find the answer. One of my favorite Beatles’ songs, All You Need is Love, says it all- because on your most important day, love is all that matters. From the heart-stopping love found in those beautiful green eyes standing next to you at the altar, to the unconditional love pouring out from your parents in the front row, love is ubiquitous on this day. I didn’t know a year ago that life would lead me to this bridal consultant position, but as I reflect back on the brides that this job has brought into my life, I cannot deny the feeling of love I’ve found from these amazing girls. Besides, I get to help them live out their childhood dreams about a certain white gown every day, and they don’t look at me crazy when my enthusiasm hits its peak- they scream for joy over the layers of lace and chiffon with me!
Speaking of happy people, I recently stumbled upon what may be the most innovative and heartfelt non-profit project I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering, The World Needs More Love Letters. Hannah Brencher decided to leave love letters to strangers who looked like they could use a boost on her daily train in NYC, and has since brought over 2,000 love letters throughout the globe. Truly inspirational, it has inspired one of my own. Only the third I’ve ever written (I don’t count those intricately folded and overly colored with markers from the 6th grade)…This is my love letter to all of my brides- former, current, and those I have yet to meet or may never will.
You with the superiorly organized wedding notebook divided into sections for color palates, floral arrangements, and wedding cost estimations; yes, you hurling into the elevator with three bridal magazines in hand as you make your way to the next venue location… you are a woman of innate strength and beauty, whether you realize it or not. In this hectic, modern world we live in, you still manage to find time out of your day to coordinate seating arrangements and seamlessly arrange caterer tastings over the phone while answering work emails. Trust me when I say that you girls never cease to amaze me with how much you have it together. Perhaps what is even more important is the trust that you have given me, a stranger you’ve only met a few minutes ago to find the wedding dress of your dreams. Thank you for your faith in me. What starts as a bond over wedding day attire, almost always blossoms into a real friendship. The same kind of love you would see from your bridesmaids standing alongside you in your wedding portraits, it is a friendly love that wishes you nothing but the best and the brightest future possible after the wedding.
I usually ask my brides during the initial consultation for the background on their fiancés, and I cannot express to you how it touches me when I can feel the palpable love between two people that I barely know. One of whom, I’ve never even met! Perhaps it is a way to fill that currently empty position in my own heart, but nevertheless, you add to your bridal consultant’s happiness and you probably didn’t even know it. No matter how many tasks you need help with or how many people you may have to ask for their opinions, never lose who you are. Your wedding is a celebration of you and your fiancé’s love for each other. Don’t let the potential fights over budgets, guest lists, and the need for perfection take away from that. Celebrate life and celebrate your loving relationship every day. Even if the wedding photographer you’ve been eyeing for months ends up unavailable, and it is impossible to afford that gorgeous Marchesa gown that just walked the runway, it is not the end of the world. There are dozens, if not hundreds of people cheering for you to make it to nuptials day- people who you may not know would even care, but we do. We all want you to have the wedding of your dreams, and we are not expecting you to end up on the pages of Platinum Weddings. You are in the pages of the hearts of your beloved family and friends, in the hearts of the bridal boutiques who are proudly showing off your p
ictures to new brides, and in the heart of the very designer of your own wedding dress. Yes, details are important, but remember what led you here in the first place. Don’t feel pressured to compete with anyone else, you are individually beautiful and your gown (and wedding) will naturally reflect that. Keep your head up, and I promise you will definitely get through it!
No matter how tired you are at the end of the day, don’t forget all that you have accomplished. Just like lace, you may be extremely vulnerable and even the smallest tear will cause major setbacks to the overall design, but the beauty lies in the fragility of it. Intricate beading and treads weave throughout the fabric, holding it together- just like the many people you have supporting you in your corner. You will be absolutely gorgeous on your wedding day, period. I’ve been blessed to meet my vegetarian soul mate, my bubbly style sister, my hot yoga companion, and a brilliant Ph.D student to name a few- all of whom inspire me so much every time they walk through the doors. They’ve shown me that love can be cultivated from the least expected places, and that it is more than okay to don my bright pink shades daily. I am grateful that I get to share in a part of your special days. I love you all- maybe it is the flower child in me, but I highly doubt it.
With Much Love,
Thank you to “A” and Bella Gente Bridal for sharing your expertise on the Liz Fields blog. We loved having you! For more bridal gown inspiration and tips be sure to check out Bella Gente’s blog here!