October 26, 2009

{Treasured Relationships}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
A bridal gown not only reflects a woman’s personal style, but it also speaks eloquently of families and communities, relationship and history. As a treasured family inheritance, bridal attire is saved to share with future generations: from bits of lace and ribbon to the entire wedding ensemble. (Are you wearing something for your wedding that is a valued family heirloom?)

Through the years, I have visited dozens of popular exhibitions at museums around the world featuring bridal costumes and accessories, revealing an anthropologist-like view into the heart of a particular community. At times during my visits, it’s as though I can feel the relationships infused in the wedding garments: mother-daughter, daughter-father, friend to friend, beloved to beloved, woman to her culture. The universal appeal of these exhibits shows how bridal paraphernalia provides pleasure and memories, contributing to people’s lives long after the initial wearing, long beyond the ceremony’s end.

Relationships are also part of our “treasured inheritance,” and they come in all shapes and sizes: some easy to embrace and other relationships in need of a bit of “mending.” Wedding planning time—the scheduling, the parties, even the wedding day itself—is a perfect opportunity to tend to that mending! Reach out . . . love, listen, forgive, and let go.

...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: Collection of author]

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