At the beginning of February, we launched our Be You campaign featuring Iskra Lawrence. The focus being that everyone- no matter their body type, personality, style, or beliefs, to name a few, can be themselves in one of our wedding dresses. To kick off the campaign we hosted an epic giveaway- one lucky bride-to-be would enter to win a Justin Alexander or Justin Alexander Signature wedding dress and a digital hair and make up consultation with Leah London, make up artist for the Be You photo shoot. Hanna G. was that lucky bride-to-be. Below she shares what Be You means to her, how Iskra has affected her life, and of course, her love story.
Other than the obvious prize, why did you decide to enter the #BeYouXJustinAlexander contest?
Just the name of the contest, Be You, got me hooked! Even though "be you" sounds like a simple statement, there is so much meaning behind it. It is always good to have a reminder that you are absolutely beautiful just the way you are and that is how I interpreted the campaign name.
What did the Justin Alexander Be You campaign featuring Iskra mean to you?
This campaign means SO much to me. As a curvy woman, it can be hard to feel beautiful in a society that worships "skinny." The Justin Alexander Be You campaign shows that ALL body types are beautiful and that women of all shapes and sizes deserve to feel absolutely stunning on their wedding day and every day. I have been following Iskra from the start and she was one of the body positive models that inspired me to break down barriers and start truly loving myself. I am beyond thrilled to be a part of this magic!
In what ways can you relate to Iskra?
Iskra is candid, open, and honest about everything, which is something I really relate to right now. I realized a while ago that it is not doing anyone any favors to be silent about what we, as women, go through on a daily basis. I try my best to be open about my experiences, struggles, joys, and everything in between. I have found that this openness leads to better and more authentic connections and conversations. I also relate to Iskra because I have come to love my curves like her!
How did you meet your now fiancé? Was it love at first sight?
How we met is a crazy story! Matthew and I went to the same college in Cincinnati. Even though we had a zillion mutual friends.... we never met! We actually later realized that I had been hanging out with some friends (also friends of Matthew's) at HIS apartment! Matthew just wasn't there that night!!! Flash forward three years and we met on Tinder two and a half years ago. Crazy right?! Our first date was at a restaurant in downtown Cincinnati and we sat and talked for four hours! We closed down the restaurant. Matthew will definitely say that it was love at first sight. He always says he knew he was going to marry me from the second he saw me *blush* but I don't know if I believe him. He is an incredible man and I am so excited to be his wife and love him forever!
Share your engagement story with us!
I wish I had some big story for you (i.e. Disneyland flash mob), but our story, while simple, is still beautiful. Matthew and I realized that, of course, we wanted to experience all of life's joys together. But we also realized, that even through the hardships, there is no one else we would rather have standing by our sides. That is what made us realize that we were ready to get married. I also got to design my ring, which was a really amazing process. I cannot wait to marry this amazing man.
What advice do you have for other engaged women?
Enjoy the process. It can be easy to get caught up in the stress and details of it all, but just try to enjoy the small moments and appreciate your creativity. Also... testing out food vendors makes for a fun (and cheap) date night!
Anything you would like to share with us?
Hey everyone, you are extraordinary! Be you. And don't ever let anyone take that away from you.