The Wedding Dress

Today’s post by Rachel Hauck | @RachelHauck

Rachel Hauck

Update: congrats to Susan G. who was randomly chosen as our winner! Susan has been notified via email.

Six months before The Wedding Dress release date, I sat behind a one-way glass and watched as my publisher and marketing director surveyed readers about the stories they read.

They held up book covers and asked which ones they liked or disliked and why.

I leaned forward in my chair when my publisher held up my book cover.

“What do you think of this cover? ”

The women nodded in this particular group nodded. They liked it. Then one of them flicked her hand toward the image and said, “Ah, it’s about some dress passed down through the years, probably mother to daughter. ”

She shrugged as if to say, “Boring, I’ve read that story a 101 times. ”

I sat back. Thinking. Instead of walk around the glass and tell her she was wrong. Was her point valid? Was it a same-ole, same-ole story?

No.

The story is about a gown passed down through time, but not mother to daughter, not even friend to friend.

It’s about the journey of a wedding gown, but it’s also about the women who wear the gown and what the gown represents.

It’s about each woman’s discovery about herself, finding the gown, trying it on to find it perfectly fit. It’s about a hundred year old gown that never wore out. And always looked classy and in style.

The women who seem disconnected and ages apart discover they have a common bond as the story unfolds. I called them “The Sisterhood of the Dress. ”

The idea for this story came to me while on a girl’s weekend in Nashville. Our hosting friend had recently married off her daughter and we started talking about finding the perfect wedding dress, how a woman “just knows ” when she tries it on.

We also talked about how some women don’t get to have the perfect gown. Or how some wear their mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress.

Suddenly in the midst of the conversation, I took a right turn and got lost in story world.

I’m not exactly sure what snagged my imagination, but looking back I think it was a divine moment.

I left that weekend with a shell of an idea. I shared it with my family, who loved it. Of course.

But I thought it was a book for another time. I’d already contracted a new idea with my publisher and thought I’d forge ahead with that one.

But after a few days, The Wedding Dress wouldn’t leave me alone. I called my editor and pitched it to her. Β  She loved it. Of course.

Stories to me are about making sense of life. About trying to understand the incomprehensible. About taking what little knowledge I have of a vast God and showing how He might break in and help a weak soul trying to find her way.

The Wedding Dress is really about four women being impacted by the Divine and three of them not really knowing it until one woman discovers the hundred year old gown in a battered trunk.

It’s about resolving issues, finding closure and discovering personal history.

As an author, I like to think readers can take away their own personal message from the book’s they read, but the message that resonated with me as I wrote The Wedding Dress is we are all connected in more ways than we could possibly imagine.

And that a little piece of Heaven might just be standing on the street corner wearing a purple ascot.

I hope this book is an entertaining and inspiring read. I’m so grateful to She Reads for letting me stop by and have a few minutes of their grand cyber space.

Want to read The Wedding Dress? Rachel is giving away a copy to one lucky winner today. Just leave a comment on this post!

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

88 Responses to The Wedding Dress

  1. Jayne D. June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    This book sounds wonderful. I would love a chance to read this story. My daughter just got married and wedding gowns are so perfect, that a story about them and everything that goes with that sounds great. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.
    Jayne

  2. Sue June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds very interesting….Thanks for the chance to win it:)

  3. Kati W June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I’m intrigued! I loved my wedding dress so much I kept it for many years even though a part of me felt it should have another use, that it should go on to bless someone else rather than just hang out in my closet. A couple of years ago, after the death of a friend’s 2 year old daughter, I sent it to the Mary Madeline Project (http://www.marymadelineproject.org/). I had never thought that the way my dress would bless someone else was by being cut apart, but it has been a huge blessing to ME to have given it for that purpose. Isn’t that so like God? To bless us as we try to give to others, often in ways we didn’t expect. How I love Him! Thanks for this opportunity to reflect and share.

  4. Bonnelle June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I was instantly drawn in by this post alone! My daughter is getting married in August & I’m still getting used to the idea! I hope to be able to read this book in the very near future!

  5. Pam June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    As the 45 year old Matron of Honor to a 26 year old bride that has just found “the dress” this book intrigues me. It is true that you can try on a lot of dresses but you know “the one”. Looking forward to reading this book.

  6. Eyrline Morgan June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    The idea for THE WEDDING DRESS is so interesting – how the dress has spiritual meanings for each one who wears it. When I was married, my mother made my dress by my design. I was 5’5″ tall and weighed 100 pounds, so it was impossible to find one my size. She also made the bride maids’s dresses – similar to the wedding dress, not as elaborate and in a peach color. My dress was 96 YARDS around the bottom, including the train. The dress was made over for my daughter to wear (we had curves in different areas). When I moved, I packed it in a large garbage bag. It must have been mistaken for trash, as it did not arrive with me to my new abode. Pictures of the dress on both of us, twenty some years apart, show the wonderful mastery Mother put into the dress. She is now 104 and recently had a stroke, but is determined to recover. The dress was one of her most prized projects. I never told her I lost it in a move. She quit sewing about 10 years ago as her eyesight started to fail. Even with her loss of memory from her stroke, she remembers making the dress.

  7. Gramma Sandy June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love the cover, I want this book!

  8. Tracy June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a very intriguing read! I’d love to read it!

  9. Kandra June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love the cover…it does not say “ordinary tale” to me! This is definitely on my TBR list!

  10. Myra June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Doesn’t sound boring to me! Would love to have a chance to win and read this book.

  11. Glynis June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I LOVE Rachel’s books and this one sounds wonderful too!

  12. Wanda June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Rachel, I am a hopeless romantic and love the description of your book especially the connecting of dots between God and the four characters involved. Looking forward to adding your book to the top of my ‘must read’ collection.

  13. Jessica Budd June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    OK, now I’m intrigued. Would love to read this book and thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

  14. Julie S. June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I’d love to read this! Thanks for the chance!

  15. deb whis June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Since I never had a wedding dress (my choice to be a “hippie” and have “that sort” of wedding!), I have lived vicariously through my sister, my daughter, and my niece when they deveopled relationships with THEIR wedding dresses! The dresses became almost alive, a living part of their ceremonies and lives. Sounds like an interesting book.

  16. Kim Hill June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    This sounds like a wonderful story. A perfect summer read!

  17. FayeL. June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I am intrigued by the description, have to read the book. Adding to my TBR list.

  18. Ramona June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds anything BUT boring. Would love to have a copy to read!!

  19. Rachel Hauck June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Hey all,

    Wow, I love these stories! I read each comment. Pam, I was a 42 year old Matron of Honor once to a 22 year old bride. And I’m about to be a bridesmaid at 51 to a 36 yr old bride! LOL.

    Eyrline, what an amazing story about your dress! Such a treasure. Now… as a writer, I’d have that dress found somewhere along the line by a woman who was in desperate need. πŸ™‚ And some how, it would find it’s way back to you too! isn’t fiction GREAT?!

    Deb Whis, you’d appreciate the ’68 bride in the story…:)

    Wanda, I’m a hopeless romantic too… Not ashamed of it.

    Kati, what a wonderful idea. I don’t have children and I’ve often thought “Why am I keeping this dress?” But I haven’t felt released to let it go yet. Maybe I will find the right bride for it. πŸ™‚

    Thank you, Glynis.

    Again, that’s to She Reads and all you who commented! You blessed my morning!

    Rachel

  20. Stephanie June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I got married two weeks ago and you are right, when I tried on the dress I knew it was “The One.” I felt perfect in it and I feel that’s how everyone should feel when they put their dress on. I would love to read this book!!! Thanks for the opportunity!

  21. Mary Lou June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    What a wonderful book this will make to read. It sounds delightful. I have my wedding dress from forty three years ago and my daughter’s from seventeen years ago, Hers is all cleaned and preserved in a box. Mine is not She does not want it but I am keeping it, just in case her daughter does decide to wear it someday. This story sounds so great to read. Thanks for the opportunity to read it.

    Mary Lou
    dlowran1(at)comcast(dot)net

  22. Rebekah Callahan June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I can’t wait to read this book! Even if I don’t win it! My mom helped me pick out my wedding dress & it was perfect!!

  23. Rachel Hauck June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Mary Lou, isn’t it funny how some brides are sentimental about their wedding gowns while others are not? Good for you to preserve it. πŸ™‚

    Rebekah, thank you! Didn’t you feel grand in your perfect dress?!

    XO,
    Rachel

  24. Sharon M June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Would love to win a copy of “The Wedding Dress”. Thanks for the opportunity.

  25. mary ellen ashenfelder June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Looks like a very interesting book.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

  26. Teresa Ahrenholtz June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Was your book made into a movie? I think I watched it and loved the stories and how they all intertwined. If so, I’d love to read the book. If not, I’d still love to read it πŸ™‚

  27. Rachel Hauck June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Teresa, there is a movie called The Wedding Dress but with a different plot. Hopefully, mine will become a movie too… someday! πŸ™‚

    Mine is about lives intertwining and how the dress finds it’s way to each bride but with a bit more purpose than the movie — which was a fun and interesting plot.

    Rachel

  28. Kathy June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Your book sounds like a perfect “fit” for my reading agenda. Just your hearing a comment from a mother about finding the perfect wedding dress when she just “knows” it is right, became the epiphany that was needed to begin your book. What a wonderful way to begin writing your book! I look forward to reading revelation of what this wedding dress means to the women who wore it.

  29. Susan M. June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I read this book (from the library) and LOVED it!! My son got engaged last Sunday and his fiance has invited me to go dress shopping with her and her mom and sister next Saturday. I can’t wait. I would love to give her a copy of this book to mark the wonderous occasion! Thanks.

  30. Janet R June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I’d really like to read/win this book! Wedding dresses are SO special! My mother crocheted my wedding gown! My daughter is too tall to wear the same dress, but someday hers will be special too, I’m sure!

  31. Amy Campbell June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I am really wanting to read this book. I have been eyeing it for awhile now. Thanks.

  32. Rachel Hauck June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Kathy, thank you! I like your perspective.

    Janet, how amazing! A crocheted wedding dress. I LOVE all the stories and wonders of a wedding gown…

    Rachel

  33. Kim C June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds like a wonderful story!

  34. Cyndi W. June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I absolutely LOVED this book! Everything about it! I’ll be putting it our church library for others to enjoy as well! πŸ™‚

  35. Tonja S. June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I would love to read this book!

  36. Karen C June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Hi Rachel,

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your previous books and look forward to one day reading The Wedding Dress. It sounds like a wonderful story.

    Karen

  37. Karen Babb June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    This book sounds very interesting. I have never read anything by this author.

  38. Carolyn Jefferson June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks for give-a-way. I’d like to win.

  39. Judy Burgi June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    This book is definitely a must read for me. I can’t imagine it being just another story about a dress being past down…blah, blah, blah! I love inspiring reads and Rachel you haven’t disappointed me yet!

    Blessings!
    sweetpea.judy(at)yahoo(dot)com

  40. Rachel Hauck June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks for coming by, Karen.

    Thanks Judy! “We aim to please.” πŸ˜‰ I tried not to make it the “same ole, same ole.”

    Rachel

  41. Tammi T. June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I didn’t choose my wedding dress … it chose me! Close to two decades ago when we were planning our wedding, our finances were very limited. Another single acquaintance from church had recently ended an engagement. She took her wedding dress out of consignment so I could wear it for my wedding. The dress fit and I felt like a princess. After the wedding, I had the dress dried cleaned and tried to return it to the friend but she wouldn’t accept it. I’ve always thought God would bring along the right circumstances for me to be able to pass this wonderful gift on some day.

    I’d so love to read about others who might have had similar experiences (even if it is fictional).

  42. Karen Gervais June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    This book is on my wish list. Still waiting for it from the library. Would love to win.

  43. Rachel Hauck June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Tammi, what a great story! πŸ™‚

    Rachel

  44. Kristie June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Would love to read this book. Rachel would be a new author for me, and I love discovering new authors to add to my collection. Thanks for recommending and featuring her book!

  45. Rachel Hauck June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Thanks Kristie. It’s always great to meet new readers!

    Rachel

  46. Jeannie S June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    This sounds like a wonderful story. I have so many memories of spending my summers in the library reading as a kid. I still love to read and look forward to your book.
    Blessings!

  47. Linda A. June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Oh Rachel, this sounds like a wonderful book! I am looking forward to reading it. I was married on June 30th,1979. That means my 33rd anniversary is coming up soon. My wedding dress was actually borrowed from my sister-in-law Sandi who was married 4 years before me. And my sister-in-law Diane borrowed me her veil and also a bridesmaid’s dress for my sister. Being the practical person I am, I opted for a washer and dryer instead of my own wedding dress.

  48. holtalisha June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Sounds lovely!

  49. Rachel Hauck June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Jeannie, I love to read too!

    Linda, Happy Anniversary! So funny you opted for a washer and dryer. I have to confess, I’m the opt for the wedding dress gal!

    Rachel

  50. Kate leach June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I look forward to reading this intriguing story!

  51. Kevlin June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    This book sounds so wonderful. I would love a chance to win and read this. Thank you.

  52. Karen Gervais June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I posted earlier and it’s not there. Would love to win this book. Have it on my wish list.

  53. Kevlin June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Would love to win this book. Thank you.

  54. Miranda June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I would love to read this book I never wore a wedding dress when I got married. I would love to know the journey of this dress

  55. Susan H June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    This book sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to read it.

  56. Charlene Kidd June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I have been excited to read this one since Marybeth Whalen first mentioned it. I kept my wedding gown, thinking my daughters might like it. They didn’t. But after 20 years of marriage, and 4 kids I was able to fit back into it. So I had it updated and renewed my vows in it! Now my girls love it. Thanks foe the opportunity to win this book.

  57. Susan G. June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I planned two weddings two months apart for two daughters…now that it’s over…I think I need to read “The Wedding Dress”! πŸ™‚
    Thank you Rachel! Thank you She Reads!
    Susan G

  58. Susan G. June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I just left a comment…then went on to my other email, Women of Faith, and lo and behold! there it was in the subject line “The Wedding Dress”! And sure enough, it was about your book! Just had to share that with you Rachel! Love it when God does that! πŸ™‚ Your book will be flying off the shelves… πŸ™‚
    Blessings!
    Susan G

  59. Jeannie S June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    PS…I forgot to tell you I got married at 46 for the first time! I knew the wedding dress for me the minute I saw it! I can’t wait to read your book.

  60. Amy June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I knew the moment I tried on my dress – it was the first dress – that it was the one. My aunt and mother insisted that I try on others, I did, but knew the first one was it! Excited to read “The Wedding Dress”!

  61. Lauren June 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great story to me!

  62. Rachel Hauck June 16, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Hey all, wow, such great comments. I went out to a worship conference last night and came back to read all of these!

    Thanks for sharing and stopping by. I am now off to teach a writing class for an ACFW chapter. Then back to the conference. But I did want to let y’all know I am reading! Even if I can’t respond to each one.

    Blessings!
    Rachel

  63. Linda N June 16, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I love reading and sharing with my daughters, the books, then spending girly time talking about how we feel. This sounds like a wonderful book to share,read and discuss! thanks for the opportunity to read new books right off the shelf!!

  64. Debbie @ A Library of our Own June 16, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I just read this post and The Wedding Dress is definitely going to be added to my TBR pile. This is the sort of story I love! Thank you for sharing!

  65. Bobbe Hadley June 16, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I posted my comment yesterday but for some reason it didn’t come up so here I am again. πŸ™‚
    I put my wedding dress on layaway & two week later when I went to pick it up it had been sold. With a crushed heart & many tears I went to another store and found a dress that look almost like the first one. I bought it on the spot & proudly wore it at my wedding two days later!! That was 41 yrs. ago and being blessed with three daughters & their three weddings later I’m glad I married that sweet guy who once told me he use to wear different color ascot’s to junior high school just because he knew he looked cool!! What a guy… and what a wedding.. and the best is yet to be!!

  66. Karen Babb June 17, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Blessings to you too!

  67. Renee June 18, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Thank you for Answering the Call to write The Wedding Dress. Thank you for allowing the Lord to work through your writing to show others who and what He is. I look forward to reading your book!

  68. Rachel Hauck June 18, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Bobbe, OH no! How could they sell it if you had it on lay away? So glad you found the perfect gown though.

    Thank for all who commented. I read them all. This is the “really fun” part of writing a book. Hearing from readers!

    Love,
    Rachel

  69. Kim Mora June 19, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Love it!! I love stories about life and wedding dresses –

  70. Miriam June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Would love to read this!

  71. Michelle Sutton June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Wow, that is a long list of comments!

  72. Aimee@NM June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a wonderful book! And the cover is gorgeous!

  73. Jennifer June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I’m definitely adding this to my wish list!

  74. Kay June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds great. Looking forward to reading another She Reads selection πŸ™‚

  75. Debra June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Looks like another good read. It would be exciting to win. Can’t remember the last time I won something:-)

  76. brandy rhea June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great book!

  77. Lori June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I love to read Christian fiction and I am sure this one will not disappoint.

  78. Gay Idle June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Love the concept of the story line…sounds like a fascinating read! Would love to win it…bit if not I’m sure I will be purchasing it soon!

  79. Kris C June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    This book sounds amazing!

  80. Kim Hayes June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I am 49 years old and have been happily married for 22 years and I am still intrigued with wedding stories, anything bridal and the love and vows that are the main part of each wedding. Thank you for writing this for those of us who are never tired of this kind of story. I would be excited to win!

    May God continue to bless you as He inspires your stories. ~ Kim

  81. Susan Coster June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great summer read…..son is getting married next year and this would be great for his bride-to-be!

  82. Erika June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a beautiful book and I am looking forward to reading it!

  83. Karen Carter June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I have to admit, when I first started reading this article, my first thought mirrored those of the focus group. It’s been done before in books and movies. However, it will be interesting to see how you make this a different type of story.

  84. Cathy June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    It sounds like a great book!

  85. Lauree S. June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I would love love love to win this book!!

  86. Amy Bromberg June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    This book sounds FANTASTIC! I would love a copy! Either way I’m adding it to my goodreads list! Thank you for the great giveaway!

  87. Susan June 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Sounds like a great book!

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