(Not So) Perfect Pictures

You know those pictures of mother and daughter on her wedding day? The ones where mother lovingly dresses her daughter. Buttoning her gown. Tying her bow. Pinning her hair.

And the mother. She’s as beautiful as she’s ever been. Except for maybe the day she got married.
That’s what I said when I was shopping for my mother of the bride dress with Em. “I want to be as beautiful as I’ve ever been.” The day my only daughter would marry.
I’d been mother of the groom just a month before. I wanted to be pretty that day too. But it was the bride’s day and her mother’s first. So I subdued my dress choice. Nothing too noticeable. Just the demure momma of that guy.
But not this day!
When I found the dress, it was just like I’d dreamed. Watercolor flowers, a flouncy waist, perfect!
Em’s wedding was a community affair. And I was involved with almost every part. My timetable on the day of the wedding went through numerous revisions.
And those pictures I mentioned? The ones where I’m supposed to look my most beautiful? Yeah, those. They got forgotten around the third revision. Somewhere between the last touches in the reception area and on my way to grab a shower and get beautiful, my friend found me.
“Em wants you to come help her get dressed.”
“Dressed?” As my mind checked off tasks, I was confused as to why my daughter needed me to help her dress. She’d been quite adept at doing it on her own for many years.
“She wants you to button her gown and get pictures.”
Those pictures. The ones I’m supposed to be beautiful for because this is the day my only daughter gets married. Those.

Sweaty, pony tail, no makeup, floral tee and shorts weren’t exactly what I had in mind.

But some beautiful things I didn’t plan to wear were there. 

Like the love in our eyes, the hands that held and caressed, the embrace we’ve shared since the day they first put her in my arms. 

It was the most beautiful day of my life. Maybe even more beautiful than my own wedding day.

I’m learning that a lot of days are like that. Perfectly planned, imperfectly executed, and often better than I imagined. It’s teaching me to hold loosely to my plans and embrace whatever comes.

The great thing, if one can, 
is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things 
as interruptions of one’s “own”, or “real” life. 
The truth is of course 
that what one calls the interruptions 
are precisely one’s real life 
– the life God is sending one day by day.
~ C.S. Lewis

Photos by Hilary Lynn Photography (my daughter-in-love πŸ˜‰


  1. Tonya Garrick

    Perfect! You both were beautiful!:)

    • kimhyland

      Thank you, Tonya! It really was perfect and better than I'd planned πŸ™‚

  2. Leila

    Thanks for sharing! So funny — "Why does she need me to dress her??" Some of mine from one daughter's wedding were me in a truly not presentable denim skirt. But hey, right?
    I see that you are really beautiful here, loving your daughter, so there's hope for me!

    • kimhyland

      At least it was a skirt, Lelia ;). As I get older, I'm realizing how beautiful love really looks.

  3. Amanda MacB

    "Perfectly planned, imperfectly executed, and often better than I imagined." Oh, I am learning this – often the hard way but I am learning this.
    Your pictures are BEAUTIFUL by the way – what love and joy is evident in them.

    • kimhyland

      I think it's a lifelong lesson, Amanda. And the day was dressed in love and joy! Thank you!

  4. diana

    This is perfection. Thanks, Kim.

    • kimhyland

      Thanks, Diane!

  5. Alia Joy

    You are stunning! And so is your daughter! I love these pictures, even more than any posed and perfected ones. These are beautiful. Such a beautiful post, Kim. And congratulations! Two kids married. Wow.

    • kimhyland

      Thank you, Alia! You're making me love the pics even more πŸ™‚ Yes, it's been a crazy year . . and it's not over!

  6. marlece

    Absolutely gorgeous, those pictures paint an absolutely beautiful picture of a mom and daughter relationship. All I see is love

    • kimhyland

      Thank you, Marlece! I AM so blessed by Em and our relationship πŸ™‚

  7. Unknown

    Beautiful pictures of two beautiful ladies! I have a hard time reading these because I always cry.

    • kimhyland

      Thank you and here's a tissue πŸ™‚

  8. Kelly Greer

    When I first saw one of these pics on my Facebook timeline shortly after Emmy's wedding, I thought, Wow! Kim is so beautiful and I love the raw truth of the moment that was captured there. Having been in a similar moment myself, I was amazed by the calm you displayed and the way you embraced that imperfect moment….wholeheartedly! Truly, that is when real life happens. Hugs Kim!

    • kimhyland

      Thank you, Kelly! I think that's just what all our imperfect moments call for . . a wholehearted embrace!

  9. Jacque Watkins

    This. Wow. Just purely beautiful in every way…I can't wait to get to meet you at Allume! xo

    • kimhyland

      Thank you so much, Jacque. I'm looking forward to meeting you too!

  10. Lisa Peterson

    Beautiful piece of writing, Kim. I could relate to what you said because I also wasn't ready when summoned to help Hilary dress.

  11. eggthoughts

    "Perfectly planned, imperfectly executed" – yep, that describes most of my life on the best days! Plenty of times the "plans" left out a few crucial details, too. Ha. This is a beautiful post. πŸ™‚ ~Frances

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