I Got Married In a Prom Dress.

whimsical jen

True story.

I didn’t plan to get married in a prom dress, but I think it’s rather brilliant that I did.

It solved the problem of me…

  1. not wanting to spend a fortune on a dress I’d only wear once
  2. hating bridal shops where I’d have to act like a princess
  3. wearing white, which looks horribly unflattering on me

(Do you understand, now, why Liz Lemon and I are BFF’s?)

My mom was in town for the weekend, and she was determined to buy me a dress. I am a pear shaped tomboy who hates trying on clothes. Can you picture how much fun we had?

I remember hitting my limit, the end of my patience, the stick-a-fork-in-me-I’m-done moment. We were in the middle of Downtown Seattle’s shopping district and I blurted out, “WHY DO I HAVE TO WEAR A FREAKIN’ **WEDDING** DRESS TO THIS GODFORSAKEN WEDDING?”

And that was my lightbulb moment: on the corner, somewhere near City Center mall, pitching a bridal fit.

From there my mom and I marched into Cache where I elbowed past a gaggle of teenage girls, tried on this fabulous sage green dress, and paid only $200 for it.

And it looked FABULOUS on me!


Ten years ago today I got married in that dress.

I love this picture of us in those blissful moments right after the ceremony, because I still feel the way I look in this photo. I still adore being married to him.

Well, maybe still isn’t the right word, since I’ve thrown many objects and harsh words at him since that day…

No, still still applies. There are no mountains without the valleys, as they say.

Parsons GardensParsons Garden, where we got married.

Bootstrapper Family

“Gotta go sew a Tyvek tent. I blame YouTube and marrying crazy.”

My friend posted this to her facebook page the other day. I have no idea what a Tyvek tent is, but I know the sort of person her husband is and that these things usually start with a wild-eyed idea, followed by a wife who rolls her eyes but secretly enjoys the adventure of it all.

I, too, married crazy. Only I’m not sewing outdoor gear to survive the inevitable collapse of the American economy and life as we know it, I’m buying a domain for every Big Idea, starting a new adventure every six months, and green-lighting gear purchases that spark a little twinkle in my husband’s eye.

In my wedding vows I said I would follow Bryan through seasons of hot dogs and caviar, through dry and plenty. This is because he warned me what life with him would be like. He warned me that I wasn’t signing on for a suit and tie, nine to five, salaried existence, but that our life would be filled with curves and cliff hangers, surprises and disappointments.

In retrospect, I’m so thankful he prepared me for this. His ideas are adventurous, sometimes costly, and usually risky, but the man is an entrepreneur at heart and I knew what I was getting into. Occasionally I forget who really rows our Strange Boat and panic, but for the most part I chuckle, roll my eyes, and go with it.

We always end up having fun, and are happiest when adventuring together.

To that end, I introduce Bootstrapper Studios, our multi-camera HD broadcast video studio, located in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. I’ve been spearheading much of the admin and set design for the studio, and can’t wait to show off photos when it’s complete, so stay tuned.

Tragic endings into love stories


“Maybe we’re not meant to be together.”

“He said he never loved me.”

“He told me he wants a divorce.”

“I can’t keep letting him treat me that way.”

“I don’t see how reconciliation is possible.”

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

“I can’t stop crying.”

These are soundbites from some of the conversations I’ve been having lately. It’s a bit agonizing to know that I can’t fix the complex web of other people’s problems, that I can’t solve it and make it better with more talking and little wine.

Some things will simply remain broken.

I love hearing stories of restored marriages, of recovery from addictions and healing from serious illness. What a great time to be on Team Jesus! He’s so awesome to mend our broken lives!

But then sometimes sin and selfishness corrupt a marriage so deeply that we reject the mending; the idols of our desires are so strong we are not open to being rescued; the tragedy of Adam so final that our bodies do not heal.

It’s more difficult to see Jesus working in these situations. Sometimes I don’t want his comfort because I’d rather he fix it. I don’t want to mourn a loss but rejoice in the miracle of restoration!

We sing a song in our church community called We Have Overcome, and recently – the day after I first heard one of these soundbites from a friend – this particular lyric stood out to me, and I burst into tears:

“…a savior who turns tragic endings into love stories, this is the God I know…”

Some of the endings to our stories are tragic. They crash and burn or slowly smolder; they sometimes catch us by surprise. But thankfully we are not in our own story – we are a part of God’s story, and his stories always end lovely even if brought through a tragic climax.

This is the God I know.

Image of invisible God
Stretched across a tree
And all to take my place
Oh, the divine mystery

A savior who turns tragic endings
into love stories
This is the God I know

You have overcome, You have overcome deathʼs sting
Celebrate the rising of a king
You have overcome, You have overcome, letʼs sing
The power of an everlasting king