Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wedding Dress Project

My wedding dress was the most beautiful dress I have ever worn, and honestly, ever have worn since. It had gold beading and intricately sewn flowers and paisleys all over the bodice. It's thin spaghetti straps glistened with crystal beads, and the skirt was a gorgeously simple taffeta silk that hung to the floor. It was - and still is - an exquisite piece of clothing. And it hangs in my closet having only been worn for fittings, pictures, and one amazing evening almost nine years ago.

I also have another gorgeous white dress hanging in my closet, one that was supposed to be my wedding dress. It was my debutante dress, bought with the idea that I would wear it for my debut and then save it for my wedding day. My father had taken me dress shopping. I had a magazine with MY dress featured in it, and I begged him to pay a ridiculous amount of money for this dress, convincing him, promising him that I would indeed wear it again when the right man came along. I was twenty years old. Five years later I had found that man but I had changed, matured, moved on. So when I pulled out that precious white gown from my closet at home, I sighed. I sighed because deep down I knew I had promised to wear something that I did not want to wear again. And I didn't. And my dad just shook his head. My precious parents, there are not words for how loved I have been.

Both of these dresses have been in my bedroom closet of my parents' home for many years. There has not been a reason to need them, yet I haven't been able to bring myself to get rid of even one of them - until now. My church, Church of the Apostles (CotA), has strong ties to Rwanda. A few months ago, a woman by the name of Cookie Richardson told me about a wedding dress project that our church was going to support. Women in Rwanda rent their dresses for their wedding day. In the Kibungo Diocese there is not a rental company located in a central place for brides to be able to rent a dress. SO, CotA is teaming up with another church in St. Louis to collect enough dresses to start a wedding dress rental business. The business will allow women in need to earn a sustainable living while providing dresses to brides. What a blessing to all! Now I have a place for my dress to go, women with seamstress skills will be employed, and brides will get to wear the kind of dress they have also dreamed about since their childhood. How creative and nurturing is our God!

All this said, I am now asking for help in supporting this project. Cookie Richardson is heading up this endeavor and needs many different kinds of donations. A group called Mother's Union has significant presence in Kibungo Diocese and has helped in the writing of an initial business plan. Please see the list below, and if you feel so called to help, please let me know!

Needs include:

Wedding dresses
Accessories - veils, pieces of fabric, headpieces, undergarments for the dresses, etc.
Flower girl dresses
Bridesmaids dresses
Space Saver bags (The ones you suck the air out of with a vacuum cleaner)
Monetary donations to help in shipping costs
Monetary donations to go toward sewing machines that can be man powered with a pedal when electricity is not available
Old suitcases for missionaries to carry the dresses to Rwanda
Prayer, always prayer!

If you want more information, I have a more extensive summary I can send you. God bless!


  1. Hey! I will totally check my closet at my mom and dad's house when I go back to visit. I am pretty sure I have a lot of old bridesmaid dresses:) What a wonderful thing to do!

  2. Thanks Allison! That would be greatly appreciated. Just imagine what the women in Rwanda can make with those dresses!

  3. i need details on this b/c i have several things to give you. i know amelia will never wear my dress. :)