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Helen's Mulberry Lane Farm Journal

Rachel's Wedding

I can hardly wait to tell you all about Rachel's wedding which happened December 29, 2012.

It is all over now except the wedding dress still hanging in my closet and the crying (I miss her so much!) And wonderful, precious memories of a sweet daughter who has made and continues to make me so proud.

Rachel was engaged on Christmas 2011. She knew pretty much what she wanted in regards to a wedding so immediately she began a wedding binder full of notes, ideas, photos, addresses, etc. Rachel has the gift of organization and planning which made this wedding, at least for me, a breeze.

The talk for the next year was, wedding, wedding, wedding and nothing but wedding. I never tire of it because I love the joy it gives my daughters as they plan their big day.

Rachel and Joey, December 29, 2012.


Gerald and I gift a budget of $1,200 to each young adult that gets married, whether male or female. All of the expenses for the wedding, including gifts, pantyhose, tuxs, new shirts, gas for trips, motels, flowers, food, entertaining guests, wedding dress, earings, make up, etc. all come out of our budget. Whatever we do not spend on the wedding, the remaining leftover money goes to the child. If the budget goes over $1,200, the young adults pays for those costs out of their own pocket. This has worked out well, for the most part. Our experience has shown that a young adult can have a perfectly fine wedding with this amount of money, and when all is said and done they are just as married as the folks who spend, on average these days, about $20,000 to get married.

Weddings are about two lives being joined together before God, not about how to impress our relatives and friends with wealth and pomp.

Rachel had $1,200 just like our other children. She quickly learned what was important to her for the wedding and what isn't.

The biggest challenge and usually the largest expense, at least for our family, is the wedding dress.

The Dress!

Rachel and I kept our eye out for a wedding dress for months and months and months. We looked at all the thrift stores, Craig's list, and eBay. Nada.

One shopping trip, Rachel tried on several dresses at the Goodwill. One was a possibility, meaning work to make adjustments! It was a long sleeved dress which would be great for the planned winter wedding. It had a low neckline (how do you find a wedding dress these days that doesn't expose "the goods"?) but we thought it could be made modest. It was missing a few buttons on the back, but we knew we could buy those. The dress fit her well.

BUT, alas, the dress had quite a few "rust or coffee like" stains all around the hem line.

Rachel tried the dress on. Shoppers stopped by and chatted with us. What is it about weddings that always draws women's attention? We even asked several shoppers about the stains. Did they think we could get them out? We figured, worst case scenario, we could cut off the part that had the stains, and add a new section or something. When I say "we could" in that last sentence we all know that the "we" we are talking about is my daughter-in-law, Esther, the most wonderful seamstress ever!

The price tag on the dress was $80. Did we want to risk $80 if we couldn't figure out the stain issues? I didn't think $80 was worth the risk. Neither did Rachel.

I knew the dress had been sitting there for a least a year. With the stain issue, would the manager come down in price? I called for a manager and asked if she would take $40 for it. I didn't think she would agree, but I explained the stain issue and the risk we were taking. She quickly said, "Yes!".

After another con-flab with Rachel, we decided to go for it.

What do you suppose we did the moment we got home? Rachel looked up on Google "how to clean a wedding dress". Their directions seemed easy and low risk to damaging the dress further, but would it work?

One site said to take the dress and hang it in the shower that had a couple of inches of warm water in the bottom of the tub. Let just the bottom of the dress soak for a few hours. Ta-Da! Magic. Came out absolutely stain free. Our biggest hurdle had been jumped.

Next step was to take the dress to Esther and have her make a piece for the neckline. Esther has some leftover fabric from making her own wedding dress. Esther worked her magic, and we were so pleased with the result. Buttons were purchased and sewed on.

To complete the outfit, Rachel bought a pair of off white shoes for $2 from the Goodwill. She used her sister-in-law, Esther's veil.

And there you have it! I love how God provides, don't you?

Coming up next, Rachel's Wedding, Part Two; Flowers and Bridemaid's Dress.

Stay tuned!


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