Wedding Gifts…for the lovelies

by lisha epperson

Our wedding was a community affair.  I honestly don’t think our day would have been as love-filled without the village of friends who surrounded our lives during that time. I tell you this story because I believe you guys were a part of it – our wedding being the moment of conception for the family we one day hoped to have.  I pray you will remember it and take part in the blessing of a union not your own, helping to bring to fruition the dreams of a friend.

I never had plans or dreams about what kind of wedding I’d have.  When Dad proposed to me on the platform of the uptown 1 train my seedling notions of what a wedding might be like were given free rein to form. I began to “see” myself as a bride. Having recently watched the movie First Knight I’d fallen in love with every article of clothing worn by the actress Julia Ormond. I wanted a dress like that. The simplicity, lush fabrics, the modest yet beautiful design – these were practical princess gowns that satisfied my wish for a dress with purpose.Where would I get a dress like that and how much would it cost? I wanted to get married outdoors but where in NYC and how much would it cost? The reception I saw as a room full of our favorite people – but where in NYC and how much would that cost? Our love was big, beautiful and inspiring to many of our friends but we just didn’t have the money to make any of my wedding dreams come true.

The rocker and the princess. 


With a budget of about $2500 we began making plans and saying prayers.  The first blessing was my dress.  Inspired by the movie and designed by Dad and I, “my dream gown” was constructed by a designer/ friend , Karen Berry. Swathed in silk gazar,  my inner Lady Guinevere was given life as  I stood on the cutting table in Dads Chelsea studio.  Our meetings were kept from Dad who had done the original sketch but never saw me in the dress until our wedding day.   As a fashion designer there really was no way around having Dad  “not” be a part of “the dress” in some way or another,so we met quietly after hours or very quickly in the studio dressing room. Karen made the dress for me as a gift – charging only for fabric.  Dad would  not be left out of the fun of designing or collaborating with another designer on his own wedding attire.   He wanted to look like a rock star – dressed in white.  Another designer friend stepped in and did for him what Karen did for me.  Carlos Alberto created a white,slim legged, raw silk suit  that perfectly complemented my princess bride.

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Conservatory Gardens – Central Park NYC

The castle grounds.

The rest of the plans fell together picture puzzle-style. One piece seamlessly connecting to another, fitting together perfectly – and us trusting that the expanse of cardboard shapes spread out over the  living room of our minds would  result in the finished product –  with no missing pieces.

I’d done a student film that spring at the Conservatory Gardens in Central Park .   Captivated by the view of the beautifully manicured gardens from the wisteria covered pergola – I knew.   This would be  the place I’d become Mrs. Epperson.  The only requirement – a $250.00 permit. When our dear friends LeAnne and Carlton Jackson offered their loft space for the reception we were convinced that God indeed set aside special blessings for weddings.  Dawn, John Moore, Robin and Omayra stayed up late into the night decorating their already fabulous place with tulle and fresh flowers. When the Berry brothers offered to cater food from their restaurant Soul Fixins, the love was pouring in at such a rate it was impossible to deny the hand of God at work, helping  us orchestrate our special day. Unbeknownst to me, our honeymoon site had also already been secured by friends Renee and Rena Cruz.  We would spend two amazing weeks at their spacious  Bal Harbour condominium.  All we had to do was arrange a flight.

Ever after…


holding on to God and each other
what you don’t see are all the hands behind us – launching us with love into the future

Walking into the garden was surreal.  The love of the congregants tangible. My very happy tears. an outpouring of thanks for the blessing of living a miracle. Every detail of the day had been lovingly bathed in prayer by friends who made it their business to fulfill His will. God brought together our wedding day vision using the people we loved, a few  of whom we were just getting to know, but all humbly obeyed His call to service. I tell every engaged couple I know and I tell you now that wedding blessings are real. Expect God to move when you can’t see your way through. When you have the opportunity to serve in this capacity jump at it. No effort is too small and none goes unnoticed. You can be the distribution center for the dreams of a friend – and that, my dear children, is the best wedding  gift of all.

Linking up with Kathi at for StoryLine with this post…remembered the community that lovingly launched us into our future and pray the lesson of giving be imprinted on the hearts of my children..

Story Line