I first met Dee last year when she had a bit of pre-Hawaii-vacation sewing for me to do. I liked her right away - she's got this great combination of no-nonsense-physical-therapist meets imaginative-fun-loving-kayaking-fantasy-geek vibe going on.
So I knew when she called me up a few months later to tell me that the Hawaii vacation "took" (part of the point of the getaway had been for her to spend a bit of focused time getting to know that handsome gentleman right there) and that she wanted to talk wedding party garb, that it was going to be out of the ordinary and it was going to be fun.
At our first design meeting, Dee came with the idea for the bridesmaids fairly well-set. Since all of the lovely ladies were down-to-earth women who were comfortable in who they are and none of them were particularly girly, Dee wanted to have them in laid-back, flowing garments instead of the usual cocktail dresses. The reception was planned for a wooded area next to the river, and she didn't want anyone held back from enjoying themselves by having to worry about finicky clothes! After scouring the local fabric shops, we decided on wide-legged linen pants in a tobacco brown and mandarin-collared tunic vests a crinkly, sheer sage over simple chocolate tank tops.
The bridal fabric was a bit more difficult to settle on, until a magic moment when we held a lovely light embroidered sheer over a soft, flowing white pongee. Dee actually jumped up and down and clapped her hands like a delighted little girl (and then recovered and gave me her more standard high-five.) It WAS pretty stuff, very lightweight and cool, and was the unexpectedly perfect thing to use for the design we'd developed.
Dee doesn't wear dresses all that often herself, so her primary considerations were that it be comfortable, fitting her athletic and outdoorsy personality, but also - she admitted - she wanted to feel a little bit like a princess. Maybe an elf. She had come to me with the basic idea of a sleeveless tank dress with a boat neck and a keyhole back. We tweaked it a bit to work with her jewelry and the fabric we'd found, and the end result made us both smile.
(Their getaway car was a kayak. As in, they actually paddled away from the reception. How cool is that?)
Congratulations, you two!
Photos all courtesy of Wendy Sue Tipton.