looking back: 10 beautiful years


Have you ever had a moment when time stood still, and you knew exactly what you were supposed to do with your life? A moment when confusion and chaos were replaced with clarity? Have you ever experienced an overwhelming urgency to pursue a dream accompanied with that feeling like you might just burst if you don’t at least try? Has your soul ever been filled with that sweet peace that passes understanding, as you choose to push aside your fear of failure? Have you been in that place where you stopped asking ‘what if?’ and you started figuring out ‘how-to?’

That moment in time came for me at Ashley and Gabe’s wedding, 10 years ago today.

This was the day I knew what I had to do or I would live a life filled with regret.

Gabe and Ashley 1

At the time of Ashley and Gabe’s wedding, I was recently graduated from college and working as an intern for a local ministry. I was considering going to seminary school to become a pastor, but doors were not opening for me. Job opportunities were falling through, I couldn’t afford more schooling, and I just didn’t know what to do with my life. I remember waking up scared almost every morning as I wondered what was going to become of me. The fear of becoming nothing paralyzed me, and I just felt stuck.

Gabe and Ashley 2

I had dabbled in weddings since I was a kid… my mother made wedding cakes and taught me her craft when I was 13… I started playing piano at weddings when I was 14… I taught myself to sew and made a wedding dress for my sister when I was 15. I helped friends all throughout college by making their dresses and wedding cakes, but starting a “real” business felt out of reach, impractical, foolish and doomed for failure.

Gabe and Ashley 3 Gabe and Ashley 4

I had become involved with Ashley and Gabe’s wedding when Lynne (Ashley’s mother) called me and asked me about a wedding gown for Ashley. I had never made a dress for someone other than a friend, and I was so scared I was going to fail.  Nevertheless, I faked enough confidence to convince them I was the man for the job and we set out to design the perfect dress for Ashley.

Somewhere in the process of determining silhouette, neckline, fabric selection and dress fittings, they invited me into the process of planning the wedding, and I got to shadow Lynne and Ashley as they worked through every detail. I remember feeling like I was out of my league. I felt like a fraud, and I was constantly afraid they would find out I was just a poor kid who had never experienced the kind of wedding they were planning. I had never been in a home as beautiful as theirs. I had never worked with such expensive fabrics. I didn’t know all of the possibilities or just how amazing a wedding could be. I felt like I was watching the kind of thing that I had only seen in the movies. Everything felt so foreign to me.

Gabe and Ashley 5 Gabe and Ashley 6

But I loved it. Every moment. I listened attentively to every word that was spoken, and gleaned every ounce of information that I could. I watched as the beauty around me unfolded and developed. I quickly learned that a wedding celebration can be a work of art that tells a story and reflects the character of the bride and groom. Other than my own wedding, I have never approached another wedding with as much excitement, anticipation and a bit of fear as I did for Ashley and Gabe. I knew it would be special but I don’t think I knew it would be life changing.

Gabe and Ashley 7 Gabe and Ashley 8 Gabe and Ashley 9

I remember seeing Steve Martin’s ‘Father of the Bride’ when I was only 12 years old. Truth be told, I knew in that moment as a 12 year old that I wanted to be a wedding planner. It just always seemed like an unattainable (and let’s be honest… kind of weird) career move, and so I never gave it real considerable thought. Yet, as I watched Ashley walk down the aisle in the gown (ok… I might refer to it in my mind as a masterpiece) that I sewed for her… and when I saw the flower arrangements I had spent all night creating (and re-creating over and over as they kept falling apart on me), I knew exactly what I had to do with my life. I knew what I was created for. I saw that everything in my life was pointing me towards one direction. I was certain of what I had to do. I closed my eyes that night with my heart filled with an inexpressible joy knowing my life was going to change.

Gabe and Ashley 10

It didn’t happen over night. I didn’t go and quit my job immediately. I had many doubts return to me (the very next morning actually). It hasn’t been easy. I haven’t floated through life. Nothing was handed to me freely. But, it has been good. It has been rewarding. It has led me down a path of fulfillment I never knew existed. It has introduced me to people I would otherwise have never met.

Gabe and Ashley 11

10 years. 10 amazing years. Gabe is a talented photographer and has developed a successful business with his brother.  Ashley is famous… seriously. Her award winning blog has landed her attention from Martha Stewart, People Magazine, San Pallegrino and her book ‘Dating My Husband’ has been sent to the editor and will hit the stands in 2015. Together, they are happily married and have 3 of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen. Lynne and her husband, Gerald, are still sources of inspiration to me and very influential in my life; they also are the owners of the farm where my design studio is located.

And me?  I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought I could, and have gone further than I had imagined. I still have dreams.  I still have un-met goals. At times, I still question what am I doing. I often still feel stuck, wondering daily if I will ever get to where I want to be. But that is what gets me up in the morning, and what gets me excited for life.

Gabe and Ashley 12 Gabe and Ashley 13

Today is Gabe and Ashley’s 10 year wedding anniversary but it is also a special day for me, and so I celebrate. I celebrate God’s faithfulness. I celebrate his mark on both Gabe and Ashley’s marriage and my own life. And, I celebrate the hope and aticipation He gives me for what is to come in the next 10 years of life.

Gabe and Ashley 14

“Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago”  Isaiah 25:1

Happy Anniversary Gabe and Ashley

  1. Megan Caddell says:

    I remember that dress (I actually think about it quite often) and the anticipation that came with this important event. You were made for this, indeed. Cheers to you for following it all the way!

  2. Buffy says:

    Thank you for sharing. So encouraging and beautifully articulated. 🙂

  3. Rachael-Lynn says:

    I remember you working on this wedding, the planning, the dress, and the pictures after. Amazing! I’m so glad you left camp to do this because well, you are truly talented. I don’t even think talent is adjective enough to describe it. You were blessed with a gift!

    • Steven Moore says:

      Thanks so much for your constant encouragement! You are always so generous with your affirmation. It was scary leaving camp, but it was worth pushing past those fears. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

  4. Gerald says:

    Steve, Lynne and I have tears in our eyes as we read this most beautiful post. What a wonderful, magnificent, magical night that was. Can’t believe it was ten years ago already! We are so very glad you were a big part of that special day and even more glad that you are still very much a part of our lives. Looking at these photos and joining in your memories of this event, understanding its impact on you (and now Jamie), fills us with a wonder and gratitude impossible to express. God is indeed good and its great to be able to share in that joy together. (Gerald and Lynne)

    • Steven Moore says:

      Gerald, you and Lynne mean the world to me. Who would have thought 10 years later our lives would still be intertwined. So thankful for that blessing.

  5. Jody says:

    Love this post!

  6. Cindy Rodriguez says:

    Steve, What a beautiful post, and what an incredibly beautiful celebration it was! As I’ve been contemplating it these past few days, it fills me with smiles and warm memories. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years. God bless you as you continue to follow your dreams!

    • Steven Moore says:

      Thanks for your comment Cindy. Do you remember when you taught me how to properly blind stitch the hem of Ashley’s dress? I still use that technique to this day. So glad the wedding has 10 years ago brings back wonderful memories for you. I hope the next 10 years are just as blessed for Ashley and Gabe.

  7. juliemasterson says:

    What a gorgeous dress!!! I’m so glad that you found your calling! It is truly your gift from God! So happy for you Steve:)

    • Steven Moore says:

      Thanks Julie! I’m thankful I discovered my calling as well, and had the right people around me to encourage me to pursue it. I am very blessed! Thanks again for always being so positive and encouraging.

  8. Andrew Clarke says:

    Awesome! You’re the man Steve

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