From Weddings

Looking for Love

My church, Hope Creek, started a new series called Love, Sex, and Dating. I know what’s going through your head: “Hear we go. ‘No one should come before me and God. No sex before marriage. And, do not become ‘unequally yoked.” Yea yea. I’ve heard it all before.” I thought the same thing when I heard the name of the series, but, because I connect with Scott’s messages so often, I was curious to know, “What perspective will he bring? What new information will I learn?”

Scott is one of the most gifted speakers of theology I’ve heard bridging the, often seemingly enormous, gap between Christian doctrine and daily modern life. To be honest, the “rules” in Scott’s message were the same…and they should be. God’s hope and purpose for humanity and his law that stems from His love for us hasn’t changed. We’ve changed. Our world, our culture has changed and is changing daily. So, the way we understand love, sex, and dating…that is the thing that should continue to evolve.

If you know me, you know I’ve become pretty cynical about dating, love, marriage, and babies. I think it is a combination of heartache, unfulfilled expectations, the constant flow of Facebook status updates on the issues, the shrinking list of single friends friends without kids, and an overall change in thinking on many of the topics: “Do I really want kids, or did I always just assume I would have them?”

One of my unfulfilled expectations that has left me a hopeless romantic is finding the “right” person. I’ve had my prospects, all of which haven’t panned out, obviously; and I’ve even thought for a couple potentials, “He’s the one God is calling me to. I know it.” Scott said it best in His introductory sermon to Love, Sex, and Dating:  “Stop looking for the right person, and start becoming the right person.” This isn’t a change in Man’s need for fellowship, this is a change in our understanding of how we approach and prepare for fellowship. This uncomplicated statement stops us from looking to our unknown future and probes us to exist in our known present.

Needless to say, my understanding of dating, love, marriage, and babies is still evolving, and my heart is slowly beginning to thaw out.

A little inspirational love for your day…

linus+danielle • rainy barn wedding from Paperback Weddings on Vimeo.

Top Photo: Bleubird. There are many more photos from this INCREDIBLE wedding here. I hope my wedding day is a huge celebration like this one with those nearest and dearest to us.

You can listen to podcasts from the series Love, Sex, and Dating here.

Fine China for Rent?

If you want your event guests to eat off of mixed-matched fine china, do you buy 100+ plates, dessert plates, tea cups, tea saucers? If you purchase them, are you looking forward to bringing home stacks of extra dishes? Will you ever use them in such massive quantities again? The answer to all three questions is, “No!” Luckily, some clever lady friends of mine started a fine china rental business in the Triangle. China Dolls (cute name, don’t ya think?!) rents out random assortments of dinnerware sets for your wedding, bridal shower, birthday brunch, tea party, or any other reason you find to get dolled up and eat good food. The china is delivered to your event site – even placed and styled if you would like (or you can leave that to the caterer or wedding planner)  – and picked up after the festivities are over. GREAT idea don’t you think?

In the process of working on their web site, Nancy Spencer and Leslie Rowe needed photos of their lovely dishware. I was honored when asked to be the stylist for the photoshoot! The two moods I wanted to create were classy-formal (pearls, debutantes, and champagne) and feminine-rustic (wood, mason jars, and burlap). The wonderful thing about mixed-matched china is it goes well with several styles. It adds vintage elegance to a formal setting and a fancy delicacy to a rugged tablescape. Here are some “in-progress” shots from the photoshoot. (Please forgive the quality of the 5-year-old Canon Powershot that hit its peak in late 2007 and has since been begging for retirement. I’ll post the professional shots by Gretchen Mathison when they’re edited.)

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I’ll let you know when the China Dolls website goes live!

Top Photos styled by Naturally Yours Events, shot by Melissa Hayes Photography