The Venue + The Dress

I can't describe the feeling I had when my girls and I all piled into cars and headed for the venue. Remembering it, I feel more anxious now than I did at the time. I was definitely nervous-excited, but mostly it all felt surreal. Or more it seemed UNreal. Like we were all driving an hour to just go hang out in the mountains instead of for a wedding! With this as my first scene upon arrival, though, reality hit pretty quickly. 


Chad and I were the second couple to ever get married at the newly named Enchantment Acres. It is the dreamiest place I could have ever hoped for! Located off Frost Road in the Sandia Mountains just east of Albuquerque, the property belongs to long-time family-friends of my family's, Pete and Sani Withers. The property holds extreme significance for the family as well as anyone close to them as it first belonged to Sani's dad, most commonly referred to by all as "Grampa." Chad and I are unspeakably thankful for the Withers, first for letting us have our wedding there, in such a special place, but also for the huge amount of work they put into making sure the property was in perfect condition for the event. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Withers!

On the note of hard work, I also want to give the most giant mention to our friend and wedding planner, Emily Sallach of Events by Emily Kay. I could never ever ever ever ever have gotten through without her. With barely four months to plan, she handled every single thing. She orchestrated work days at the venue, rentals and deliveries, budgets, schedules and every one of the vast DIY projects. AND she made each of the dried flower arrangements, bouquets, boutonnieres (and my headpiece) herself! She spent significant time either on the phone or Skyping with me so that we could hash out every preference and vision. She took each of the smallest ideas and made them all a reality. She took charge of the rehearsal and printed out schedules for every participant to know exactly where they needed to be when, and she took on every stress on the actual wedding day so that I would have nothing to worry about myself. I've never experienced a more seamless and comfortable wedding, and I credit that all to Emily. Thank you, Emily!

And now the dress... 


After first becoming engaged in November of last year, I ordered a seemingly perfect wedding dress online. I had looked for barely a day and was convinced I found 'the one.' I checked for it's delivery often and months went by. Bottom line, I never got my dress. I was frustrated and disappointed... until I realized I didn't want that stupid, dumb dress anyway! I had a much better option I hadn't thought of until then. My grandmother's dress. 

I called my grandma (Gawa) and asked her permission.

"I went shopping by myself and found it on sale in a bridal shop for $40. That was in 1957." -Gawa

"I went shopping by myself and found it on sale in a bridal shop for $40. That was in 1957." -Gawa


I have so much love and respect for my grandma. She and my grandpa (Boppa) have been married 58 years in August and have been together even longer than that. Their relationship has always encouraged me and given me hope. I think I'm very similar to my grandma in temperament and in passion. We're both softies with tough exteriors and we both love a good debate. She taught me to treasure every moment and to write down as many as I could. I grew up reading her journals and got to know how this strong, selfless woman came to be, and I've always been thankful and honored to be her (only) granddaughter. Thank you for your example, Gawa, and thank you for letting me wear your dress. Give Boppa a kiss for me!

Bree BarelaComment