The story of my miracle wedding dress

I’ve always been obsessed with wedding dresses. Well, weddings in general. I’ve said for years now that if I wasn’t a journalist, I’d be a wedding planner.

The thing I dreamt about the most since I was like 12 when it came to my own wedding was my wedding dress. Hands down. I even remember ripping an ad out of a magazine of this beautiful cap sleeved form-fitting satin wedding dress with pickups gathered with clusters of crystals on the skirt and putting it in a large mason jar “wedding time capsule” as a Beehive at a Young Women’s activity.

Obviously, my taste in wedding dresses changed a bit.

The story of how I found my “miracle” wedding dress is very special to me.

It was August, and I was in Bend, OR visiting my dad’s family. Cristian and I had just decided to get married in November, but only our closest friends and family knew and I didn’t have a ring yet.

My dad’s sisters were so excited for me they wanted to jump right in and help with planning. My aunt Tana, sneaky one that she is, said we should go to the bridal shop downtown “just to look.”

Me and my aunts. Tana on the left and Jenny on the right
She tried getting me an appointment, but the shop said they were full for the day. We went anyways, and when we got there, there was one other girl trying on dresses. We found a few that I wanted to try on, so Tana asked if I could. I was so happy when they said I could! We grabbed about five dresses, and a couple that had longer lace sleeves since that was my dream. An all (or mostly) lace dress with long sleeves. I also loved the idea of it not being white — I was hoping for a more ivory color. So, when we found this champagne lace dress on clearance for a little over $600 I about died.

It was the third dress I tried on and it fit me like a glove.

Like it was made for me.

However, there was one tiny problem….

It was sleeveless.

We explained my need for a dress with sleeves to the consultants, and one of them knew all about my LDS temple garments, as she had worked with a lot of LDS brides and had family members that were LDS. She talked about a few things we could do, and wasn’t sure if the factory the dress came from would have any extra lace for the sleeves since the dress was discontinued. I was OK with that, trusting that we could find similar enough lace (I was in love and blind 😉 ).

Then, the consultant remembered that a little while beforehand, her friend bought the same dress from the store.

“She has over a yard of extra lace you can buy from her.”

I couldn’t not get the dress. But not expecting to actually buy a dress that day and not even being officially engaged yet, I hadn’t yet made plans on how to pay for a dress. But my wedding was three months away.

That’s when my grandma Launa very graciously offered to pay for the dress.


She said it’s what my grandpa, who was recently diagnosed with ALS and is in a long-term care facility, would want to do.

I was able to pick up the extra lace from the boutique later that day.

The fact that the dress was so obviously MINE, was just another miracle along mine and Cristian’s journey. It may sound silly, but it made it feel even more right.

A little less than a month later, I found a seamstress in Utah who was willing to build up the bodice to cover my garments and make the sleeves.

Here’s a before…


And right after it was finished!


It really was amazing that it didn’t need any other alterations. And the sleeves were PERFECT. The extra lace I was able to buy had the same trim on it as the neckline and hem/train of the dress. It was enough trim for the sleeves and the buildup of the neckline/bodice.


My seamstress was even able to make me a sash out of the same fabric she used to build up the bodice, since the sash my dress came with wasn’t quite my style/didn’t match my colors.


She was able to finish my dress within 3 weeks — just in time for my move to Oregon.

What makes the dress/my entire wedding ensemble even more special is that so many of the wonderful women in my life contributed to it. My grandma L bought the dress, my Mormor (grandma) Ingrid contributed to the alterations and bought my veil, my sister bought my flower crown and my beautiful aunt Asuka made the buttons for the buildup. 

She spent hours on them and you couldn’t even tell they were different than the rest!


My dress was one-of-a-kind and better than I could have ever imagined it.





Just like my marriage to my sweetheart and soulmate.


Dress: The Bridal Suite & Special Occasion, Bend, OR
Seamstress: Sheryl W., Fruit Heights, UT (contact me for her info)
Veil: David’s Bridal
Flower crown: Miss Stevi Marie
Shoes: LuLu’s
Photography: Stephanie Jarstad Photography
Bouquet: Sweet Posy Floral, Bend, OR