“Writing is my therapy. Everyday moments inspire my words. I love to take Godly principles and apply them to everyday living.” Dr. TC
On Saturday, I will be walking in my first bridal expo! I am modeling a beautiful dress that can be found at Classics Bridal & Formal Wear in Jacksonville, NC. I am excited about this opportunity for 2 reasons: First, I have purchased dresses from this bridal shop over the years, more than once, for some of our ministry banquets. Secondly, I LOVE everything that has to do with weddings!
Why do I love weddings! Partly because I had such a great experience. Secondly, because as a Marriage & Family Therapist, I have witnessed how sharing positive wedding/honeymoon memories has actually saved marriages. With the ups and downs of marriage, there needs to be something to hold on to, something stable…a positive memory to remind you why you married your partner…a memory that instills hope, re-establishes connection, and gets you excited about your future. Wow! The power of a positive memory!
As a model, I actually would love to book more bridal fashion work at some point in my career to help display the physical and spiritual beauty of marriage. Being a therapist, I recognize that not everyone’s marital union is marked with “joy”. However, I still maintain my passion for the experience and I often reflect on my own experience of wedding bliss.
One of the biggest takeaways from my own wedding I like to offer to pre-marital couples is…DON’T STRESS (as much as possible)! I can not tell you how stress-free my wedding was. We had an elegant union on 12/31/2010 at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC, my alma mater. It snowed the days prior to the wedding, but on the day of our union, the weather was a cool, comfortable day in the 60s, with a hint of snow on the ground. Gorgeous! We were able to get outside, take wedding photos, and have some fun on the lawn in serenity and peace. The day was perfect!
God showed up and showed out in the planning of our wedding. It all started at a bridal expo…like the one I will walk in on Saturday! I was on the hunt for ideas when, there it was! The most perfect cake I’d ever seen! It was a gorgeous Carolina blue (Go Tarheels!) 3-tiered cake with elegant REAL broaches to adorn each layer of the cake. It was something out of a magazine! I stopped at the table of Tier Bella to have a taste of the samples and my tastebuds instantly knew Tier Bella was going to be apart of our special day. I grabbed her business card and later set up an appointment to pick out our wedding cake.
Now, up until this point in our wedding planning, my husband-to-be was a passenger in the planning processing, although I kept trying to get him to ride shot gun! He did reluctantly agree to come to the cake appointment with me. We put in the address and followed the directions to a beautiful neighborhood in our local area, when the GPS chimed “you have arrived at your destination” in front of a gorgeous home. In that moment…I saw a little glimmer in my husband’s eyes like, “This is alright!” (He loves comfortable settings!) We knock on the door and lo and behold Rebecca (I won’t share real names) from the expo greets us and welcomes us into her at home baking business with chocolate covered strawberries and other items from her kitchen. We sat down with our goodies, bridal magazines, and right in front of us was the Carolina blue cake that drew me in from the expo!
My husband at this point is in Heaven! He’s munching on strawberries, laughing, sipping his cool glass of refreshing water, and just living it up as if we were at our cousin’s house. Before we started to thumb through magazines, I pointed out the cake that caught my attention from the expo to my husband. My husband says, “Wow, that’s it. I want that one!” 👀 “Are you serious?” I thought. Rebecca looks stunned as well at his “matter-of-fact, this meeting is adjourned” tone to his decision. Of course, I didn’t mind because I LOVED the cake, but I was at least going to look at a couple more options first! 😂 Whelp, one thing to know is that once my husband sees something he wants, it’s a done deal! We simply spent the rest of the time with our cousin Rebecca (😆) deciding the color of the fondant to match our wedding colors.
Now…getting back to my point of having a STRESS-FREE wedding, in front of the cake display was a perfectly paired wedding invitation adorned with the same broach! Of course, my husband asks, “Who made that?” We found out that Rebecca’s neighbor/friend two doors down was also a creative genius! My husband, who is now driving the car, tells Rebecca to call her. She did, and Susan (not real name again) comes over in her gym clothes to meet us impromptu! We share good conversation with our now other new cousin, Susan. We left our cake consultation booking Rebecca for our cake, Susan for our wedding invitations, and Susan and Rebecca handling all the food & venue for our rehearsal dinner. A few weeks later, the dynamic duo offered to be our wedding planners for FREE, charged us a reduced fee on all of our flowers and decor for the wedding (beautiful displays of red roses everywhere!), and throwing in a surprise wedding cd of our favorite songs as a second party favor for all of our guests! Did I say STRESS-FREE!
Now…I know God’s favor made all these provisions possible for us and helped develop the most perfect day. But, I will say my own experience has also helped guide me to help other couples plan the most stress-free wedding of their dreams. I have helped couples learn to find ways to manage their anxieties, de-stress whenever possible, plan with enjoyment, laugh through the challenges, and focus moreso on creating positive memories they will need to come back to later in their marriage!
So…I’m modeling a wedding dress later today. I’m excited. I’m honored. I’m happy to be a married woman who can relate to all the couples that will visit the expo tomorrow seeking ideas for their own weddings. If I could send a message to the attendees it would be, “Intentionally decide to make the memory of your wedding/honeymoon be the most important part of your planning process. After all, this one day could be the one thing that saves your marriage for years to come! Dr. TC
So I’m staring at myself in the mirror, face mask drying, still taking in where I am at this very moment in my life. In just a few short hours I will be walking in a show in the heart of New York City🗽, one of the fashion capitals of the world. A few short months ago, November 2019, I was preparing for my very first runway show with no experience, not even a good “I practice in my room” story. I showed up in November preparing to walk away with checking off a bucket list item: Walked the runway ✅. I walked away with so much more: conquering fear, eliminating self-doubt, ignition to chase my dreams, anointing to continue to take risks, passion to continue to use my Faith, and a game changing career plan to fulfill my God calling. I decided after living that moment… this is ME! I can do this! I was created to do this!
God gave me the perfect vision from that show in 2019 how modeling would become part of my ministry to women. I started saying, “the most powerful thing you can leave on the runway is your confidence and your character!” Confidence is not innate. It’s learned, developed, and experienced. Just before my first runway experience, I also decided to add fitness instructor as another means to encourage women. I am now launching my ministry of #fashionfaithfitness as a way to develop #totalwellness in women. Total wellness shapes and develops Godly principles of living in our mind, body, & spirit to become women of excellence. Excellence is not perfection, but correction and direction (for your life).
I’ve committed to continue pursuing modeling because of the platform it creates for me to reach more women who need a positive influence, mentor, and cheerleader. Many women display a false sense of confidence and are desperate for genuine connections, healthy relationships, agape love, and a sense of belonging. Every picture taken of me, every commercial I book, every runway I walk, I want to represent the God I serve who gives me life and light to shine upon the dark places in women’s lives. As stated above…
“The most powerful thing you can leave on the runway is your confidence and your character.” Dr. TC