I think every little girl dreams of her wedding day in some aspect or another. Growing up there always were items in our home and my grandparents that had been passed down through generations. Whether that was a pair of pearl earrings or an antique bed that had been my grandfathers in the 1920s, these types of items were always there, holding stories of our heritage. Because of this, my dreams for my wedding day included heirloom pearls and parts of my mother’s wedding dress. Sadly, her dress was long gone when it was time for me to get married.
As I became a mother, the idea of having my wedding dress available for my daughter to use, or at least see became rather ingrained in my legacy loving heart. I wanted so strongly to hold on to items that would allow our children to physically see and touch their history that I forgot that legacy and love are not found in the things. They are found in the words, in the stories, and in our actions. It took something unimaginable happening to remind me of this.
We recently relocated to a new city and while we have moved frequently, we have never lost a whole box before. The moving truck had been delayed for two weeks and we were very excited to have our home put back together again, even if they were delivering it on our wedding anniversary.
The day was extremely hot and a bit stressful, as moving tends to be. The driver finished unloading the truck and he and Jason were going through final paperwork, only to realize that there was one box missing. I briefly overheard them discussing which one it might be, as they slowly searched through the house to find it. I asked Jason which box it was and could tell it wasn’t good. It was my wedding dress.
Losing my wedding dress was one of the best things that could have happened to me. Nothing can be better for a person when they are asked to examine their heart and their beliefs about things and people. I loved my dress! I felt like a princess in it and was devastated that they had lost it. Initially, I kept telling myself that it was in one of the larger boxes and that they had miss placed it or miss labeled it.
Later, I became angry and heartbroken. Angry that I hadn’t gotten more portraits in it to really tell the story of who I was then, who we were then. Heartbroken that my daughter had been robbed of the option to ever really see that dress. Later as the week progressed and I came to realize it was no where in the house . . I finally broke down and cried in Jason’s arms.
Losing my dress wasn’t some epic event. It wasn’t the end of the world but it did sting. So, I cried and my husband did what he does best. He fixed it . . with his words and his kind heart. He said, “I will go to the ends of the earth if it means finding that dress for you again.” Then he slowed danced with me in our new house and reminded me that having that dress or not having that dress didn’t alter his memory of me walking down the aisle. It didn’t alter the joy filled stories we would tell our kids about how we met.
Losing my dress made me examine where my heart was. So often we get so wrapped up in what dress we will wear or the perfect color palette for our day and we forget that love isn’t found in the things. Love is found in the moments when we are at our ugliest and at our worst and our spouse comes along side us and loves us anyway. Love isn’t created because of a perfect wedding or flashy proposal. Love is found in the ordinary and the every day.
The depth of his willingness and commitment to find this thing that I had lost served as a reminder of what should look like. I may have lost my wedding dress but I fell in love even more with my husband because of it.
Over the past week I drove up to Virginia to photograph a wedding. I had an opportunity to stop by our old house and pick up some of our mail. On a whim I asked our landlord if they would just check the house for me to see if my dress was there. I didn’t think it would be. After all the moving company said they had it on the truck. What a shock it was when the landlord called me back to tell me they had found my dress. It doesn’t change my viewpoint but it was an unexpected blessing for them to find it a month later.
Copyright 2020 Meredith Ryncarz Photography LLC