Once upon a time there were two sisters, Gina and Dedra. When they were 7 and 15 years old, they were in their room talking about the wedding reception they had just been a part of for their oldest sister, Wendi. While talking about the things they wanted for their own weddings, Gina admitted a fear she had had for a couple of years. She told Dedra was didn't think their Mom, Charlet, would be alive when she got married. Dedra thought this was an unnecessary fear, but instead of saying that, the girls formed a plan that evening. They decided if their mom wasn't there for Gina, Dedra would be there in her proxy. In the same conversation, Dedra said if their mom wasn't there for her, she would ask Wendi to stand in place for their Mom.
It was only 4 short years later, when Dedra got married. The night before her wedding, while the girls were talking in their room, for the last time, they continued the conversation for the 100th time about how Gina's wedding would be. Dedra assured Gina their Mom would be there and Gina assured Dedra, that she wouldn't be. That night, the girls planned a slumber party the night before Gina's wedding, and a trip to Red Robin. Gina also told Dedra, since their Mom made the three older girls' wedding dresses, Dedra would have to make hers.
In 2006, when Charlet got breast cancer the first time, it was the first time Dedra believed their Mom might not be around when Gina got married. The girls continued their plans: Sparkly earrings, eat peanut m&ms on the way to the temple, eat chocolate and caramel inside the temple, Dedra would do Gina's hair.
Charlet went into remission, but cancer beat her in 2010 and Gina was unmarried. Her worry as a young child, was actually a loving Heavenly Father, preparing a sweet girl to be okay on her wedding day, with out having her Mom physically present.
Gina and I have had dozens of conversations about her wedding. We talked about her dress, the pattern, how we'd do her hair, where we would eat the night before the wedding, the music we would listen to while she got ready. We discussed who would be present in the bride's room, what temple she'd get married in, what her colors would be, and so on. While some ideas came and went, there were a few that remained the same, even from the time she was 7 years old.
November 15 Gina called me. She asked me what I was doing the next Friday, November 22. I told her I didn't have any plans and she told me she wanted me in Utah with Dad. She and her fiance had decided to move their wedding up and they already had to temple booked. I, of course, told her I'd be there. There was one stipulation. She and Joe were keeping the wedding a secret and I wasn't to tell anyone. Done.
Dad and I drove to Utah on Tuesday, the 19th. I tailored the front of her dress the morning after we go there, we got her sparkly earrings from the mall and tank top to wear under her dress. We got our toes did, and they are painted the same color nail polish that our mom wore. I tried on her wedding ring before she got to. This was karma. She wore my wedding ring before I did, too. I added the sleeves to her dress on Thursday night and made scarves to match the ties Joe and the Dad's wore. When we were so tired we couldn't stay away, Gina, Dad and I went to Red Robin and ate too much food.
The day of Gina's wedding, we ate tamales and diet Pepsi for breakfast, we did Gina's hair, packed her bag for the temple and met Joe there.
We ate peanut m&ms on the way to the temple and a twix inside. I helped her get dressed and bossed her best as I could.
The ceremony was small and private. There were 7 in attendance including Gina, Joe, and the officiator. Every person who we came in contact with told Gina and Joe how great it was that their group was small. "Sacred things are private," the Sealer said.
Before Joe and Gina were married, while they were receiving instruction, I looked over to where she and Joe were sitting. There was an empty chair right next to Gina, and as I watched her, I could see in my minds' eye, our Mom sitting in that chair. I didn't see her physically, but her outline was as clear as day in my mind. I may have been the sister Gina chose to be there in person, but I know our Mom was there.
Gina and Joe were married by 2:30 that afternoon in the Draper Temple. I was blessed and honored to be in attendance. I love that Gina and I made a plan that we were able to stick to. There are 19 pictures below for your viewing pleasure.
Some of our siblings are not happy about the secretiveness of this event and I don't blame them. I'd be sad if I wasn't invited too. I also know, it would not take me a long time to heal from the initial hurt, so I could then choose to not be offended about the way Gina and Joe chose to start their eternity.
|The car is loaded!|
|Dad, waiting for us at Claire's|
|We put lace over her tank top so it would match her dress.|
|Gina's sleeve and tank top before the sleeves are attached to her dress.|
|Making Gina look pretty.|
A video to watch.
Please note they are wearing black shoes.
They didn't plan this, but they loved that is turned out that way.
I do too.
|Me and my friend Trishelle. Her husband took pictures of Gina and Joe.|
|The 6 of us at lunch after the wedding.|
|The real reason Gina wanted me at her wedding. Because she is controlling and bossy.|