Blended Lives release week of fun

Blended Lives release week fun

Starting 2/22/22

Here comes the bride!

There is a time, in almost every young girl’s life, that she dreams of her wedding. How it will look, what will be worn, and who will be there. Blended Lives mentions not one, not two, but three weddings. So lets talk about the center piece of almost every wedding – the gown. ( You thought I would say the couple, didn’t you? ) Now, I know that the gown isn’t the center piece, but it is definitely the thing that starts the process in wedding planning. You can doubt me if you like, but after working in bridal for a decade, I am here to tell you, the gown is the sun in the solar system that is the wedding and everything else is the plants and moon that revolve around it. In blended lives, Beth and the girls go wedding gown shopping. So this week’s release fun, the authors will be talking about the moment they found their wedding gown.


My gown

I married young. In fact, I graduated in June 1999 and married the following October. My husband proposed in October 1998 at the football game between our schools. The surprise in the proposal wasn’t the timing but in the manner in which he did it. That said, mom and I started shopping for a wedding gown the summer before my senior year. My husband and I had discussed beforehand that we would get married shortly after I graduated high school because we had already been together for 4 1/2 years.

Between senior pictures, summer drama project at the community theater, school, drama club, FCASS – Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Students, homecoming, and friends I was dress hunting. And boy was it a hunt. A couple of years ago, my mom and I were trying to figure out how many wedding gowns I had actually tried on throughout the course of three months. Being raised in the bridal industry, I kind of knew what I wanted but unfortunately, it made me look like a five-year-old girl playing dress-up in her mother’s wedding gown. It didn’t give me the grown-up look that I desired and wore me instead of me wearing it. ( Rule #1 in wedding gown shopping – make sure the gown looks good on you and amplifies your beauty instead of the other way around.) Anyway back to the dresses. Because of my upbringing, my mother and I knew where all the bridal shops were within a 50 mile radius of our hometown. We made a plan when we went into each store that we would never try on any more than 10 gowns. Some bridal salons we visited more than once. Other salons we went in and walked out without even trying on a gown. In total, we estimate that I tried on 100 wedding gowns. It’s excessive I know but the first 15 were of me trying to fit my body into a style it wasn’t going to work for me. (Rule #2 in wedding gown shopping – just because you like the style doesn’t mean it will fit your figure.)

Have you ever had those moments that you plan and plan but things never fall through until God says it’s time or other things fall into place first? That’s what happened with my wedding gown.

By the time my husband proposed I had tried on so many wedding gowns that I was done. I think I even uttered the words, “can we just wear jeans and a T-shirt?” Of course, that wasn’t gonna work because I am a very traditional girl and I wanted a big wedding. Lol. Two weeks after my husband proposed, I was home feeling a little under the weather and extremely overwhelmed. It being my senior year my mom let me play hooky that day. The only thing she had going was a bridal alteration at the local bridal shop. One I had visited several times. Well I was in the middle of watching the prices is right and eating my Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, my mom calls me from the bridal shop. “Are you feeling up for trying on one more dress?” My answer was not really. She said, “well you need to get down here because they just pulled a dress out of a box for stock and it’s exactly what you’re looking for. So get down here.” Or something along those lines. My mom is a  no-fuss no-argue kind of parent.

So I quickly got cleaned up and made my way downtown. The sales consultant, who would one day become my boss, met me at the door and ushered me to the back room. It was elite treatment for sure for such a small town. She had even steamed the dress before I got there so that I wasn’t trying on a wrinkled gown. Upon entering the dressing room I was met with the most stunning ballgown I had seen in the three or months of dress hunting. 

I’m sure you would like to hear that it was beaded and ruffled. It was not. I have a bit of a simple style but I still like to look feminine and beautiful. The style of wedding gown I have been looking for originally was something that hinted at Martha Washington’s colonial attire. The sleeves with the bell at the end, the full hoop skirt, a bit of an apron effect – all the things that made colonial gowns gorgeous. And all the dresses that I had tried on we discovered the sleeves were not my friend but the tank top style was. This dress had everything except for sleeves. It was beautiful embroidery in Rose, mocha, and beige, the satin was thick and soft in the loveliest candlelight color, it had the apron effect with a little ruffle and a little bow in the back, and it had a really long train that I knew would be beautiful once it was bustled. Before I even put it on I knew that it was the one. I wish I could tell you that I cried but I can’t remember.

When I stepped out of the dressing room and I approached the viewing pedestal, I looked at myself in awe. I had finally found my dress. My mom called my mothers in law to be and a couple of my aunts and they soon rush down to the bridal shop. Everyone was in tears, smiling their approval, and it was the first time I felt a sisterhood with this group of ladies. 

Wanna see the dress? 


Blended Lives

Blended Lives

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Wedding bells are ringing on the islands, but more than romance is in the air.

Seth Mikels experienced a fulfilling marriage with his wife until her sudden death left him alone to raise their two daughters. As they approach their teens, it’s obvious that they need a woman’s influence. He’s not looking for love, but he could use the partnership of a wife. Between his handyman business and playing Mr. Mom, time is fading fast.

Sarah Reid has spent the last four years caught in the middle of one island drama after another. Following the most recent fiasco, she hopes to find refuge on Sparrow Island with her two little boys. Climbing bills and a dwindling bank account leaves her no choice but to sell out and move to the mainland. Enter Seth’s handyman skills and an unexpected romance.

With Beth and Scott planning their own Merriweather wedding (complete with a Momzilla), will wedding bells ring out on Sparrow, too?

Read the next Sparrow Island novel in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

The Giveaway

Melissa Wardwell: February 22

Kari Trumbo: February 23

Rachel Skatvold: February 24

Tabitha Bouldin: February 25

Carolyn Miller: February 26

Chautona Havig: February 27

Sandy Barela: February 28

Blended Lives Release Week

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