This blog comes a little late. But, better late than never, as they say.
A month ago, September 17th, I (Britz) married my Shambhalove sweetheart, Elliot Robins. Our relationship solidified on August 7th, 2008 – Shambhala Thursday. 3 years later, we tied the knot.
I used to think it was cheesy when I heard people say, “It was the best day of my life,” but now, having gone through it, there’s no other way to describe it. It WAS the best day of my life!
Thanks in no small part to the Shambhala family I’ve become a part of over the years.
Shambhala is not your average job. We’re a community. A family. Even so, I was surprised, after getting engaged in January 2010, when Corrine, our Production Manager, offered to MAKE my wedding dress for me.
A little known fact about Corrine – she’s an amazing seamstress. She often wears garments she’s made herself, and works on cool little sewing projects for her family.
I was shocked when she offered to make my dress. And so thrilled. We set to work designing the dress in March of that year, and she brought swatches of fabric to show me. She altered a pattern to create the pattern of my dress. Then one day, Corrine casually mentioned to me that she’d talked to Jimmy about it, and Shambhala had decided to buy the fabric for my dress.
It’s hard to explain how much that meant to me. My wedding dress would be a gift from Shambhala. On my wedding day, I would be wrapped in Shambhalove. I loved that idea.
My first fitting (the pattern) was in our office’s conference room this spring, and many more followed throughout the year. The design of the dress morphed a bit, as it journeyed from concept to creation.
Corrine spent hundreds of hours on the dress – doing much of the sewing by hand. Eventually, near the end, she used her mother’s (super high quality) sewing machine to finish the dress. It became a family affair – mama Sue chimed in with her sewing advice, Corrine’s husband Josh cut the boning for the coreset (an operation that required pliers), and their daughter Zaria would animatedly tell me how BEAUUUUTIFUL!! the dress was every chance she got. And Corrine put so much time, care and love into it.
The finished product was simply stunning. I really did feel wrapped in Shambhalove when it came time for the big day.
Unfortunately, Corrine had stepped outside when I was giving my speech, and missed my thank you to her at the reception. So I want to take the opportunity here to thank her publically.
Corrine, thank you for the gift of your time and skills. There is nothing that could have been more special than having a dress, designed just for me, fitted to my exact measurements, and stitched with so much love, so much care, and so much attention to detail. It was so incredible to wear a garment made by someone who cares about me on my wedding day. Your friendship is something I deeply cherish. Thank you for being the most bitchin’ employer anyone could ever ask for.
The whole Shambhala family attended the wedding. Parents Rick and Sue, Jimmy, Anna, and Corrine, and all the kids. It was wonderful to have them all there. Anna got up and made a speech about how I was part of the Farmily – a speech I’m sure not everyone at the Reception understood. 🙂 But the people who got it, got it. And it was the speech that brought me closest to tears.
To the Bundschuhs, my employers, thank you for buying the fabric for the dress. Thank you for seeing the potential in me,T an outspoken raver girl who loved your festival, and making me a part of your team in 2008. Thank you for investing in me, giving me creative freedom, and allowing me room to grow within this company. Thank you for challenging me and believing in me. Thank you for creating this amazing cultural phenomenon that I’m lucky enough to play my small role in. Thank you for everything. Having coworkers who treat me like family is such a blessing.
I felt like our wedding was really a joining of 3 families, rather than 2. My birth family, Elliot’s family, and my Shambhala family. Best day of my life, indeed. 🙂
Thanks for reading, guys. I just needed to get all mushy about it, ya know?
Until next time,
Photography by Quana Parker (quana.net) and Emilee Zaitsoff