Denise, 31, is an incredibly kind and gracious individual born in Santa Clara, California. When she was four, her family moved to Provo, Utah, where she grew up with her five siblings and later attended Brigham Young University.

Recently Denise actually co-produced, wrote, and starred in a wonderful documentary about young women demanding modest clothing. It’s called “A Modest Revolution,” and a local distributor will launch the film this coming Spring.

 

 

Although she grew up Mormon, Denise insists “That doesn’t mean I had it easy.”

Especially in the community in which I did grow up. Many people term it "Happy Valley" because most everyone is Mormon. Although it can be quite opposite for young people growing up. Because everyone knows what everyone else "should" be doing, the cool thing was to do the opposite of what everyone else was "supposed" to be doing. I had opportunities to experiment with drugs, alcohol and sex just like most teens today. The culture in which I grew up was not immune to any of the “outside” influences.

Due to great friends and wonderful parents, Denise was able to rebel against these influences and eventually do the unthinkable: she actually wore a modest wedding dress when she walked down the aisle in 2002.

We know what you’re thinking. But where did she find a gown that wasn’t sleeveless?

Denise had it made. She had to. After all, when she was just eight years old, she was already “drawing pictures of modest evening gowns in my Snoopy spiral notebook.”

So when Denise met the right man, it was time to go vintage. Her next-door neighbor and close friend Anne helped a lot.

Denise explained to Anne that she had found a vintage dress she wanted to take to a seamstress. There was only one problem: the dress didn't have sleeves. If you know anything about clothing, you know that it’s tricky to mess with one element of the design because you never know how the whole finished product will look once it's stitched together.

Anne suggested that Denise go to an antique shop in Salt Lake City that stocks vintage wedding dresses. Denise tried on several dresses and nothing was working, but “I wasn't getting discouraged because we were having such a blast trying on these lacy old beauties.” In the nick of time, Anne spotted a lilac lace gown from the 1930s that was hanging in the back behind several other dresses.

We discovered from the shop owner that it was going to be shipped out of the store because it had been there too long. The dress was definitely not in mint condition nor had I envisioned being strung with lilac lace for my wedding day but we knew it would make the perfect pattern for my actual wedding dress. It was high enough in front and back. And for only $35.00 who could complain? It was mine! Most important, this dress had sleeves.

Imagine that. Those folks were so quaint back in the 1930’s!

Naturally, Denise snatched up the lilac number immediately and took it to Anne's sister-in-law, Alisa, who lives just up the street from them. As it turns out, Alisa took several classes in the Fashion Design department at BYU and actually won the fashion show the year she entered her designs (when Gloria Vanderbilt happened to be the judge).
So she was in good hands.

Alisa first made a pattern from the lilac dress, using blue and red polyester--just scraps of fabric she had lying around. It fit Denise perfectly, but the downside was she looked “like the bride of Superman.” Luckily this was not to be the final dress. She did start calling her fiance “Super Steve,” however.

Next, Denise purchased white lace and satin for the actual dress, and her gown was made in no time.

So for those of you who have been writing to ModestyZone, wondering if there are other options than strapless or sleeveless wedding gowns, the answer is, not really! (See Charlotte Allen’s lament about "Strapless Brides.") But you can always try what Denise did and have your gown made. It was not even that expensive. Those wanting more details can contact us at weddinghelp@modestyzone.net.

Today, Denise and her husband Steve have an almost-two-year-old son whose name is Paul Stephen.

He is adorable and couldn’t be more proud of his Rebelliously-Good Mommy.

If you would like to nominate a Rebel—including yourself—please send a short personal profile and what you are rebelling against to: rebelofthemonth@modestyzone.net. There is no age limit, but high school and college students will be given priority over grandmas, since grandmas, after all, are supposed to be good.




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