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April & Thomas


April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

Ohhhhh!!! April’s wedding!!!! I’ve only been waiting to share this wedding with you, since, oh SEPTEMBER. Those of you long and loyal readers will remember April as the eloquent and mysterious “A” from the comments all summer long. Right after the wedding she came out as her real self, and you’ve known her that way since. April shared so much of her journey with us that I literally begged her to send me her wedding. And oh, oh, oh, I was right. You guys need to see this. First, April and Thomas are grinning their heads off, in literally almost every single picture. I could not imagine a more happy couple. Second, Heather and Jon of One Love Photo were their photographers (just like they were ours) so you might actually want to put the pictures in your mouth and eat them. Third, April is coming back later this morning to give away a dress (not the one she wore, but a beautiful one that she didn’t wear, that needs a Team Practical home). But finally – just when you think April’s wedding couldn’t have been more joyful or more perfect, she tells you this – NONE of her blood relations were at her wedding. None. And her parents haven’t chosen to meet her husband. So this one goes out to all of you who’s parents have told you that they can’t love you for who you are, and can’t be at your wedding. I hear from so many of you, and I am so fiercely protective of you. Because you deserve a family who loves you for your full wonderful self – and your wedding is your chance to get that family born. So here is April, telling you that not only will you survive, you will triumph:

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

It’s been 7 months since the wedding day and I still love thinking back on it, and the flat out AWESOME time we had with 62 of our nearest and dearest! Totally thrilled with how great it was – marrying my darling husband being the best part, natch.

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

A little about us: We’ve been together for almost 9 years and although I didn’t give much thought to the type of wedding we’d someday have, after we got engaged, I gave it near OCD levels of attention! There were times when we both wanted to elope, but I’ll tell you that the upside to hanging in there and hosting this shebang is the indescribable joy we experienced celebrating our wedding with our wild and crazy bunch.

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

And our friends are *still* telling us how much fun they had. Totally worth it!

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

Right from the start, we knew we wanted our wedding to basically feel like a reunion, and to spread out the celebration over a long weekend, with friends, food, and a DJ to blast the old school 80’s music we love. We also wanted it to include the things we enjoy most in real life: travel, the beach and San Diego.

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

With a long list of out of towners the location needed to be convenient for everything to take place from Friday to Sunday. We chose a waterfront hotel in the Mission Bay area as we spend a lot of weekends hanging out and riding our bicycles around there, and it felt right to marry in a part of town we know and truly like. And now, we can go back to that same place for a celebratory cocktail whenever we want!

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

I’ve been to sooo many weddings and I love me a good party, so I was totally jazzed for our reception. But surprisingly, it was the ceremony that was the most touching part of our wedding for me. We wrote much of it ourselves and focused on compassionate living, the love we have for each other, and the importance of our friends and kept it short, sweet and non-religious. After much back and forth “do we write our own vows?” We just exchanged the traditional ones even now, as I remember those words that scores of others have repeated, the depth and merit in those simple “I Do’s” still brings tears to my eyes.

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

To include those assembled with us, during the ceremony the officiate asked everyone if they would support us in our lives both as a couple and as individuals. Hearing their resounding, “WE WILL!!!” was thrilling. Our sweet community of loved ones was so happy for us!

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

And then we partied like rockstars! I briefly mentioned our profound love for 80s music and our fantastic DJ spun a brilliant playlist that kept the floor packed from beginning to end.April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

Cutting a rug with the guests, my gal pals and the newly minted husband all night long was a blast! And all my worries about keeping the crowd entertained were for naught: people talked, others danced, some just sat and watched the revelry unfold.

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

I’m sure this all sounds rosy and sublime, but let me tell you: while the wedding day itself was a triumph, the months leading up to it were not and I had more than a few moments where I lost the plot (don’t even ask how hard I searched for plum-colored strappy sandals)! In the beginning I armed myself with the requisite inspiration boards, a folder of pretty wedding stuff, and the blogs – OMG – I checked them daily. But as the wedding date neared and stress levels peaked, I referred to them less and less. My sweet guy was deployed to the Middle East for seven months right before our wedding, so I was trying to finalize the last planning bits myself or re-hashing them with the Mister during our weekly Skype chats. Quel horror. Coordinating myriad details while trying to have a life, work a full-time job AND deal with a lengthy separation from my guy about made my head explode. So I started crossing stuff off the list because I just didn’t care and wasn’t going to sweat it anymore. Welcome bags for OOT guests? Nope – they’re old enough to buy gum and sunscreen themselves.  Epic FAIL tracking down cute, plum color strappy sandals? Eff it – I’ll just paint my nails purple instead! And so on… complete sanity saver and I’ve ZERO regrets leaving those many “details” in the dust.

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

Once my guy returned home, we collaborated on a few DIY/DIT projects, and they were actually enjoyable. Going over photos from the numerous trips we’ve taken all over the world, searching for just the right ones to create custom table cards and escort cards on our home computer together was really fun. Hearing a few guests excitedly say, “Ooh, look: I’m sitting in Portugal!” was delightful. Watching them carefully tuck their escort card into their shirt pocket or handbags at the end of the reception? Priceless.

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

As someone who coordinates events in real life, I’m just going to say it: Please have wedding elves. PLEASE. Whether you hire event professionals or bribe your friends with booze to lend a hand – you really do need assistance orchestrating it all.
I’d have gone totally mad and our party would’ve been nothing were it not for the collective talents of our enormously gifted, awesome wedding elves. Our sweet, magical photographers (One Love Photo) were fabulous and kept us smiling and giggling all day. And the pictures, you guys – WOW. Beyond awesome. The day-of coordinator kept things humming along and the caterer filled wineglasses again…and again…and again.  All in all, a worthy investment!

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

Every experience in life has lessons, and there were PLENTY I learned during the wedding process, but here’s the cliff notes for you:  accept that several things will go totally sideways on the wedding day.  Honestly: I didn’t believe other brides that seemed to casually brush off wedding day debacles.  I seriously thought they were fibbing in an attempt to make us feel better. Um, no. They were right. Several things went awry at my own wedding and whaddaya’ know: I really DID. NOT. CARE. Hallelujah! Well, I cared but only for a nanosecond. Then I had a swig of champagne, twirled around in my dress and was fine.  My sweet guy was there. Our friends were there. We were beautiful. And we had cupcakes!!!!! Truly, nothing could erase my joy that day.

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

I also learned that the definition of “family” is not solely limited to one’s blood relatives. My parents have never met my wonderful husband, and not one member of my family attended the wedding. Apart from hurt feelings, I was concerned our celebration would feel less meaningful without my family there to witness it. Silly me – I worried for nothing. My husband’s relatives along with our darling friends made the weekend incredible and we were absolutely buoyed up, cheered on, and lovingly surrounded at our wedding as they looked on us with joy and pride – just like family.  Additionally, random passerby wherever we went clapped, waved, and shouted “Happy Wedding” and “Congratulations” —  I do believe all the world loves a wedding!

April & Thomas | A Practical Wedding

Lastly: Stand by your choices and your man. Or woman. Whatever decisions you and your partner make for your wedding, there’s no need to justify them to people who don’t get it. A few random people told me it would “spoil the moment” if the mister and I spent the night together before the wedding or saw each other before the ceremony. AS IF! Snuggling in our suite the morning of our wedding; then seeing each other hours later dressed in our wedding finery; and finally walking into our ceremony side by side – filled with joy and grinning like love-struck kids – was thrilling, emotional, and very grounding. We were on Cloud 9 the entire day and I’m soooo very thankful we didn’t compromise what was important for the two of us.

April & Thomas | A Practical WeddingPictures by One Love Photo (they are APW sponsors, and they were our wedding photographers too, siiiiiggghhhhh, but this is not a sponsored post)

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  • Richelle

    Bravo April, bravo!! I’m crying with joy for you. YOu are bold in your love and it has paid off. All the best to your and your dapper husband.

  • C

    THANK YOU Meg and April! My parents have flat out told me they don’t like my fiance although they’ve only met him 4 times, and three of those times were a disaster (their fault). I am 80% sure they will not be attending our wedding. I’ve always felt a shameful when discussing wedding plans with other engaged friends whose parents are involved/looking forward to or even pushy about their weddings, because there is no good way to say…my parents don’t care or are at least indifferent. It’s great to know I’m not alone!

    • Sarah

      yikes, C, i know exactly how you feel.

      -my parents really make no effort to spend time with my guy… in my family, in-law relationships are always strained to say the least. there are no exceptions.
      it’s really tough explaining that to his side of the family, who are warm and welcoming and don’t understand in the slightest why my family is the way it is. (‘why don’t you guys ever go to dinner at sarah’s family’s house?’)

      luckily, my family doesn’t have the power to give or take away a happy ending. it all boils down to the exquisite joy of choosing the ending (or beginning, as it is with weddings) that makes you happiest. in my case, i’m willing to put up with my disgruntled family and his confused family for the sake of what this wedding is really about: bringing two people together.

      • C

        Sarah I totally agree…except sometimes I’m not there yet. I mean, some of that fantasy still lives in my heart; especially when I see fb photos of my friend’s weddings and see their glowing parents/loving comments. It also makes me sad because my (future) children won’t have grandparents/uncles/aunts/cousins. But then I try to focus on building my baby family; one day I can be that supportive parent :)

        • K

          Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

          My only blood relatives who will be at my wedding is my brother and possibly a cousin or two. I’ve reached a confident and peaceful state about my family circumstance (after many years of hard internal work), but that doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t prick a bit when acquaintances ask about them.

          However, my life is full of supportive, loving and fantastic people in the form of friends and my fiance’s family. I am so grateful and blessed to have each of these individuals in my life. April’s story reminds me that this is what true family is.

  • http://onecatoneperson.blogspot.com Angie

    Oh boy, this graduate post was exactly what I needed today!

    Graduate posts make me feel very confident about my own wedding- thank you to Meg and April for sharing. I think what I like most about April’s wedding is that she was able to overcome a lot of challenges and in the end, she talked more about how much fun she had rather than how tough it was. I think many of us can look up to this wedding when we’re feeling a bit down or stressed and follow April’s lead. Her stressors ended up being the most memorable parts of her wedding- purple toe nails, plenty of loving friends, and all other things that went “sideways”. In a weird way, I look forward to the things that will go wrong on our wedding day because I know I’ll be able to smile and think of it fondly. Plus, (I think Liz from Chic on the Cheap said this in one of her comments to me) what’s a wedding without all the craziness?

    • Meg P

      Amen to confidence! I love reading the graduate posts and that reassurance that when things go wrong on the day it won’t matter to me. Sometimes, with the amount of effort that goes into these things, it’s hard to believe that!

  • http://babystepsvintage.blogspot.com Paige Turner

    I usually just lurk around here, but today I had to comment. It’s amazing how the choice you make for you life partner can tear families apart, and while it started out that way for me, everything is mostly good now. April, so long as you and your new hubby are happy and love each other, that is all that counts. Best wishes for your lives together!

    Cheers!
    ~Paige

  • Angela

    YAAAAY! San Diego wedding! And a beautiful and sweet one! Here’s to having a community of loved ones, blood or not! :)

  • http://www.katiejaneparker.com Katie Jane Parker

    Oh my, this made me cry. So beautiful. So joyful. I hope you guys have a lifetime of happiness.

  • ddayporter

    oooohhhhh what a wedding, absolutely beautiful. thank you so much for sharing this with us, I remember hearing bits and pieces of your story, and seeing one or two of those photos, and I wondered if we’d get to hear the whole thing. You came away with such joy, even though it must have been difficult to not have any blood relatives there. I have a glimpse into how you may have felt, my dad wouldn’t come to our wedding. it wasn’t for any objections to the marriage, he just doesn’t travel, he kind of exists in another time, up there in Maine. it was tough at first to come to terms with the reality of it, but I found peace with it and then the hardest part was just the look on everyone’s face when I would mention my dad wouldn’t be there. anyway congrats on the beautiful wedding, and cheers to your new family!!

  • http://socybride.wordpress.com Tamara

    Beautiful bride, beautiful wedding pictures, and so much joy…thank you April and Meg!

  • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com liz

    i feel like this woman needs a post dedicated to how she overcame the familial issues.

    beautiful day! and april, you’re definitely one of the lucky ones who is gorgeous when she cries. (i get all red and puffy. no good for wedding photos)

    • http://www.fancynotion.blogspot.com/ Kerry

      Liz, I agree with you! April did a wonderful job in this graduate post of highlighting how the lack of her own blood relatives did little to detract from her/their joy on that day. I would also be interested in another post about how they dealt with these emotions up to that day – and maybe hear from Thomas, being on the other side of not wanting to be met or supported.

      Wonderful post!

  • Lindsay

    April – thank you. I’m getting married in 11 days…. and reading your words of wisdom was exactly the dose of confidence I needed to hold my head high and truly celebrate our wedding day.

  • Noelle

    This post was just what I needed today…we’ve been going through family issues for the entire duration fo wedding planning. Because my fiancee and I chose to have our wedding in the state where we currently live, rather than my home state/town (which, incidentally, is the next state over and a 5-6 hr drive for most of my relatives) I have been hearing all along that very few members of my own family will likely attend.

    It’s so wonderful to see that she still had a joyous celebration, even in the absence of her family.

    • http://babystepsvintage.blogspot.com Paige Turner

      I keep hearing that too, since we’re doing the same thing, but it’s our wedding and this place is our home now, so that is that. Just keep planning, and it will work out when it works out.

  • J

    Oh tears, tears, tears. You are a brilliant shining light in these photos, April. Thank you for showing us readers what a beautiful day you can make with your TRUE family, your family that you have CHOSEN – friends & loved ones that don’t necessarily share blood but definitely will always have your back!

    A large portion of my side of the family won’t be attending our wedding for their own reasons – even though I’ve gone to great lengths to accommodate them (ie changing our wedding date THREE times until I finally realized they weren’t coming no matter WHEN we got married). My fiance finally looked at me & said “F it! You’ll be there, I’ll be there, what else matters!?!”

    Lots of love & congrats to you & Thomas – well done!

  • http://sjanad.blogspot.com Kelly

    I needed to read this today. After finding out that my FH’s family will not be attending our wedding, I have run though about 1,000 different emotions. Thank you for these words:

    “Apart from hurt feelings, I was concerned our celebration would feel less meaningful without my family there to witness it. Silly me – I worried for nothing.”

  • Allison

    I love this story! I’ve experienced some “warnings” (gentle and not so gentle) from family members that I will regret our decision to have a tiny wedding with no guests, just us. After many tears and briefly considering having a more traditional wedding to alleviate the conflict, I came to the decision that I’d much rather regret something that was my decision than regret doing something because other people thought I should. Plus, this is about US, and my man wants to have a tiny beach wedding just as much as I do! We’re having a party when we get back, and most of the people we talk to couldn’t be more excited for us. It’s definitely a big step when you have to put your foot down and say, “No. This is what works for us and we’re doing it.”

  • Rizu

    April, thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s very likely that my parents and most of my family will not be at our wedding, and I’ve been struggling with what that will mean and if it will make it feel “less than.” Reading about your experience definitely helps!

    Your wedding looks spectacular – I love how happy you and Thomas and everyone else look in all the pictures! Congratulations to both of you :)

  • Julianna

    I cannot get over how spectacular every single one of those photos is! Beautiful, beautiful wedding, you can truly feel the joy. Thanks for sharing!

  • Emily

    Amazing post, April! I’m gettting married next weekend and this idea of creating the new family made up of the people who are with you and support you is inspirational. Thanks Meg for this wonderful community! I love reading happy stories!

  • Em

    Congrats! This wedding brought tears to my eyes! Thanks for your post- I especially needed to hear the bit about justifying the wedding….as a young woman whose friends are not in wedding land whatsoever, I find myself justifying to them. I wish you a long happy life together with lots of great bike rides!

  • Kristen

    One of the number one things I love about APW is how many of these people I very genuinely feel like I could be real life friends with.

    As far as you go, April, I am so impressed at your ability to not let the family issues be a downer during your wedding. Even when you were getting dressed, you were beaming. I’m not sure I would handle it anywhere near as well. Congratulations! I wish you a lifetime of happiness and love.

  • http://www.koruwedding.com KoruKate

    By the time we get married, my Dad will have been gone for 20 years. It’s been a long time but I miss him everyday & I wish he could be here for our wedding. It shocks me that family who are alive & well wouldn’t attend their relative’s wedding! Kudos to all of you who are able to rise from that blow & triumph!!!

    • meg

      Yeah, no sh*t, right? I feel like every parent choosing to miss their child’s wedding out of spite, or because they can’t find a way to love their child for who they are, should have to read your comment. Every. Single. One.

  • april

    Oh, my darlings!!!! You’re all making me weepy at my desk this morning!

    Dearest Meg: thank you sooo much for sharing my story here with everyone! ‘Tis a joy to see the post here at long last; thank you for patiently waiting for me to send it.

    I’m literally crying on my keyboard reading your comments, and especially those currently struggling with family issues. I’m wrapping you all up in a gigantic hug, and although this will sound very simplistic, please remember: “You will be OK.” You’ll absolutely triumph – I promise you that. The process will be hard, however on the way to being “OK”. You will cry, rail at the unfairness of it all, stomp your feet, feel depressed, cry again, feel jealous when you see other weddings of couples surrounded by their happy families…and so on. It’s OK and you’re absolutely allowed to be upset.

    But please, please, please – at some point (preferably before the wedding), shake it off. Let it go. Forgive those that are hurting you and just soldier on with your beloved. Because those that truly want to surround you and your partner on your wedding day WILL support you. And you’ll be astounded, humbled, moved to tears of joy and feel absolutely filled with joy when they toast your love, take endless amounts of photos, hug you and your new partner, and wildly dance at your reception alongside you.

    Thank you so much for the thoughtful, kind comments. ~xo.

    • Ash

      Oh what to say. I am all choked up and not feeling so articulate. Thank you THANK YOU thank you. Your strength is inspiring.

  • amc

    Yeah April & Thomas! Very inspiring and uplifting!! AND GORGEOUS! I love that you asked the attendees to support and encourage your union. Great touch. You are a great example to me as I struggle to maintain even a small grasp about what’s important at our wedding.

    Quick question about the groom’s attire…I really like the tan suit and white shirt look. Did you rent it? Did he already own it? More details please.

    • april

      Thank you, AMC! A few years ago, I attended a wedding where all those in attendance were asked to make a vow to support the couple, and I was so moved by this. We did something similar, as we truly wanted every one of our dear friends to have that same feeling of being included and a part of our new life as a married couple.

      As for my handsome guy’s suit: we found it on a clearance rack at JC Penney 3 days before the wedding for $100. Score! Tan suits are usually in abundance late-Spring / early summer so keep your eyes peeled at local department stores. ~xo.

      • J

        OMG April! We just bought our groom’s suits @ JCP & I’ve been worried that they might look as cheap as we got them for (under $100 as well!) You have a VERY handsome, daper groom so *poof* all worries are gone.

        You’re taking care of so many of my anxieties today, check/check/check! :)

      • meg

        Yeah, I really think some sort of shared moment with everyone in attendance is key. Because they are not just your audience, they are there to support and witness your marriage. For us it was a communal blessing* (I never showed pictures of it, too personal) but I really lost my sh*t right about then and started crying crying crying. So beautiful. So… THE POINT.

        * Which I totally think you could do in a atheist or just spiritual way. We don’t need God to bless the people around us.

  • Jamie

    What a beautiful wedding. While I don’t know the backstory about why your family did not come to your wedding, I cannot imagine what pain and stress that caused you, yet you came through shining. I just want to say BRAVO to you, and to love!

  • Kate

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful wedding with us! I also appreciate your wise comments about family. My FH is in the middle of meeting my large, loud, joyful family who – with a very few exceptions – are not at all related to me. It took a long time to accept that my relations by blood were not willing to be a part of my life, but once I did I began to see that I do have a wonderful family of people who chose to be in my life and love and support me. As we talk about planning the wedding… sometimes it is still hard to accept that, for example, my siblings won’t be there…but reading this post reminded me that in the end the people will be there to celebrate with us are the best family anyone could ask for.

    Congrats April on starting a beautiful new family!

  • Ashley

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and giving hope for all us gals who will be getting married without their blood relatives there to witness. This is something I’ve been struggling with even before getting engaged — my mother, the only relative I was close with, died a few years ago and my father is an abusive manipulator that I avoid at all costs. No grandparents, no extended family, one younger brother who lives several thousand miles away. Meanwhile the fiance has 45 “immediate relatives” within 10 miles. It’s a major challenge and I’m buoyed to see that a wedding can (and will!) still feel meaningful without certain people in attendance.

  • http://starryknit.blogspot.com Jessica

    What a fabulously incandescent wedding! I needed a good shot of joy this morning, and April and Thomas both look radiantly happy.

  • http://batchworthlane.blogspot.com Liz

    Thanks for this post! I love the huge variety of weddings here, and all the different stories all with their special details. April, thanks for sharing this and for pointing out that family can have lots of different definitions, and thanks for sharing your strength will all of us!

  • Chloe

    Thank you for this post – it has put things in perspective for me regarding some difficulties I’m having with my family & stressing over them supporting our wedding or not. It looks like you had a wonderful time, were surrounded by love, and could’t be happier! Congratulations!

  • Chloe

    Also, I saw the photo of you crying on One Love Photo before I read this post. It was my favorite out of their entire website. Such a wonderful shot.

  • Sara

    Thank you so much for posting this beautiful story! My fiance and I have been together for 10 years(high school sweethearts), and my parents have never approved. When we go engaged we decided to keep it just between the two of us for a period of time to enjoy the exhilaration of it all without worrying about the family aspect. It was our first major decision as a new family, and neither of us could be happier with it. Yes, the parental drama did ensue and many tears have been shed by me over it, but yet our wedding is still being planned. I’ve been able to forge a much tighter bond with is family(I’m the daughter they never had :) ) and regardless of whom does or does not show up to our wedding, I know we are encased within our own love, and those of our chosen community. Thanks for reassuring me I am not alone with the parental drama. <3

  • http://shinyprettybits.com KC

    I needed to read this one today. My family is dropping out of our wedding like flies. I thought I was prepared for it, had come to terms with what my family is and isn’t, but man does it still hurt. So thank you for the reminder that family doesn’t need to be biological and not having them there doesn’t mean it won’t be beautiful.

  • http://bluesuedeidos.wordpress.com Beth

    Now that’s what a wedding is all about! April, you two look so incredibly happy in your photos. I’m glad to know you were able to stick it through to the end and have a wonderful day with your family of friends and NOT let any naysayers make your day any less special.

  • JW

    Thank you so much for this truly lovely post. I think it is always an honor to read about such touching and intimate details of an individual’s wedding knowing that so much of yourself goes into all the planning and craziness that makes it happen. It is an inspiration for my own wedding (next summer!) and I can’t wait to hear from more wedding graduates:)

  • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

    This is exactly what I needed to read today.

    My family has taken to making me feel as if my wedding is an inconvenience. I know, logically, that it isn’t, but this nagging voice imagines them all saying, “Oh, Irisira* always has to be DIFFERENT and make things harder for the rest of us.” In my case, I’m pretty sure most of them will come, but I am starting to wish, if they really don’t want to be there, they’d skip it …

    Anyway, this was the reality check I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself today. Thanks. :)

    • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

      I forgot to add this … “irisira” is not actually my name. Haha. :)

  • http://www.kaylachism.com Kayla

    Thank you so much for this! I was really beginning to wonder if I was alone. I read so many blog posts about how their mom was with them every step of the way and cried when they were dress shopping and for me, it just isn’t the case. Neither of my parents support my engagement and upcoming marriage and while I *think* they will both show up, they have no interest in participating in the JOY of the occasion. They love my fiance, they just don’t understand why we want to get married…but they don’t approve AT ALL of living together before marriage. It’s been the worst pull between trying to be a good daughter and living my own life and starting a new baby family. I have begun to absolutely hate being engaged because everything is such a struggle and I really think that’s not fair. For a long time I felt bad about wanting to have a normal wedding with a dress and reception and dancing. I thought maybe it was selfish, it is going to be so expensive, but now I’m beginning to understand that no, it’s ok to want to celebrate with my family and your wedding graduate piece really helped reaffirm in my that it will be ok, that a wedding can be just as emotional and loving with or without their support. I thank you so much for this.

  • MW

    This is beautiful. April, congrats on giving birth to the most beautiful baby family EVER. I’m a long-time lurker, getting married one month from today and you give me hope that every little thing is going to be fine and I do not need to stop reading to go work on damn bunting.

  • http://www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com Sarah

    What a beautiful wedding, and how wonderful that you were able to rise above the family turmoil and move forward with your new life together. Wishing you many, many blessings.

  • Lindsey

    The photo of you holding hands and looking into his eyes is amazing! So much emotion and happiness on your face!! I’m happy for you guys even without knowing you and being totally new to the blog. Congratulations!

  • Diana

    What a beautiful (and fun!) wedding! Shout out to MB! I lived there during college ;). Thank you for sharing about your family issues. None of my fiance’s family will be coming due to *many* complex reasons and I am so tired of people looking at me/him with self-indignant pity and/or stares like we have two heads. Sigh. Yes, it’s not ideal, but why do people want to dwell in drama instead of happiness? Like you April, I fully plan on celebrating my day and saying to hell with all the naysayers!

  • Moz

    April, I wish you and your man all the joy in the world and more.

    There is something that only those of us who have a family like this can understand, how worried you can sometimes feel. You wonder ‘What does this say about me, that my family isn’t behind me?’ You sometimes feel like you’re coming into a relationship crippled, starting a new family with all this baggage.

    You are absolutely NOT. You are magnificent. Congrats on your marriage xxx

    P.S. – I could be completely wrong and I really hope I am. But by God, I know what your predicament is and how it feels.

    • april

      Moz – thank you so much for your heartfelt words. I’m literally in tears reading your comment, over and over, because 1) it stinks that so many are in the same situation as I have daily proof of how trying it is, and 2) wow. YOU GET IT. You really, really *GET* it and understand. It’s nice to be understood from someone who knows the exact same situation. But sad all the same to know you’ve been hurt by it too.

      And you totally hit the nail on the head when you said, “you feel crippled” and “what does this say about me?” to have family that completely and totally shuns every part of your life. Yep. I went thru all of those emotions and it was heartbreakingly difficult and exhausting.

      So – Thank YOU for understanding. And I wish you all the best too! ~xo, april.

      • Moz

        No worries. You’re quite a few steps ahead of me – at the moment, having lost a serious relationship in a big part over my family some time ago, I haven’t managed to try again.

        I just wish there weren’t so many of us in this boat too.

        You and Thomas be happy. You are a better, stronger person for getting on with life regardless and that can only be a good thing xx

        • april

          All the best to you dearest… it’s very tough for others to fully comprehend and grasp the notion of not having any sort of relationship with one’s own kin. Before I married, I also had a serious boyfriend actually break up with me because he thought my family sitch was “weird” and they made him feel unwanted. It was heartwrenching and sad that he couldn’t get past it.

          But there *are* good souls who will want you and love you for YOU, not just for whatever relatives you have. Promise. Wishing you love, light and continued strength!
          ~xo.
          a.

  • K

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    My only blood relatives who will be at my wedding is my brother and possibly a cousin or two. I’ve reached a confident and peaceful state about my family circumstance (after many years of hard internal work), but that doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t prick a bit when acquaintances ask about them.

    However, my life is full of supportive, loving and fantastic people in the form of friends and my fiance’s family. I am so grateful and blessed to have each of these individuals in my life. April’s story reminds me that this is what true family is.

  • Sara

    I love that you walked in together. We get married in less than 2 weeks and have decided to walk in together as well. I love to see you did it, too, and that it looks just as beautiful as walking yourself or walking with another member (or two) of your family. We’re also spending the night together in our house the night before, and will see each other before the ceremony. Reading about your wedding just made me even more excited for my own. Thanks, April…and congratulations!

  • http://www.fivethousandonly.blogspot.com Jasper

    Fantastic! What a great post on the reality of how much work it takes, all the things that just can’t get done, and things that go awry. Congrats on your perfect wedding!