A few months ago, when I did the APW reader survey, I found out that Team Practical brides run, unsurprisingly, older than the average bride. Which I love. What I don’t love is that this age diversity has not, so far, been recognized in Wedding Graduate posts. Which, frankly, sucks. In big wedding media, brides are either A) 22 or B) fabulously wealthy (what’s up with that, by the way? If, as women, we’re not 22 we need to be millionaires, or married to them?) On APW, we have, thank god, done better than that… but not as much better as I’d like. So I’m falling over myself thrilled to introduce Theresa (who was 37 when they married) and Clark (who was 41). While still spring chickens, they bring a sense of wisdom and experience to their wedding day that is So Damn Refreshing to see. Wheeeee! Couples who are like the readers! Hooray! But that’s not all. Theresa and Clark, well. Add Mills College and henna and interfaith and kidlets and love and joy…. and you’ve got something close to how magical their wedding was. And with that, I bring you Theresa:
It’s been a little over six months since we got married and current, stressful life happenings have really brought me to reflect upon the day a lot. Our day. was. amazing. This simple little word pretty much sums it up. It sounds so cliche and didn’t think I would use that word to describe it. It’s not like I didn’t think we could have an amazing day, I just didn’t realize or have any clue on how amazing it would feel, right down to my bones.
I’m not the girly girl type or the woman who has thought about her wedding day since she was a little girl. When I got married, I was a month shy of turning 37 and my husband turned 41 the week before we got married. We had lived very fulfilling lives prior to meeting each other, full of travel, wonderful family and good friends. Honestly, I really never thought I’d get married and I was fine with that. I didn’t want to feel like a princess, I dislike princesses. I wanted a simple dress I felt comfortable wearing, not something I would not recognize myself in. I wanted purple shoes and no veil. My husband and I are really emotional, deep feeling, laid back, fun people and we wanted our day to reflect US…not the bridal mag “us”, or other people’s opinion of “us”, just. us.
We are both aesthetic lovin’ and nature lovin’ folks, so focused on a venue that was peaceful and had a good vibe. Our other aesthetic details came together as well, and yes, I obsessed over some things, but our goal was to have a chill, positive energy, kick back scene….oh yea, with kick ass food.
We definitely weren’t the big, fancy wedding party types either. We loved each other deeply and wanted to share our experience with our closest friends and immediate family. This is where the hard part came, sorting out “family and friends”…the guest list was hard and I know along the way we might not have made our parents the happiest. Well. Let me rephrase that. Maybe I didn’t make my parents the happiest…but, it was important to us to have our dearest folks there, not the family friend I haven’t seen in 20 years.
I should say, I’m an only child, so felt like I was letting down my parents a bit when I reiterated to them we wanted a small wedding…they were supportive and got over it and were wonderful throughout. Also, We wanted our friends to bring their kids, cause they are our “nieces and nephews” and couldn’t imagine our day without them.
A dear friend put together a kids area, with activities galore…oh yes, this is important… friends! I couldn’t have gotten through the planning process without my good friends…I learned to delegate, delegate, delegate, which was hard for this control freak. My friends were so awesome through it all.
Our ceremony stands out to me as a very special and meaningful part of our day. It was so overwhelming, in a good way, to have all of our special peeps together for us! Our ceremony was something we thought a lot about. I am multi-cultural, raised Catholic and my husband is Jewish, so we wanted to incorporate important aspects of my culture(s) and his…this wasn’t always easy to sort out, but we did it.
We had Indian wedding garlands, which my mom and I made, I did henna on my hands, my husband stepped on the glass and we also had Yichud. We wrote our own vows, had our parents/step-parents bless our rings and had the emotional, deep feeling, intimate ceremony, we desired. We cried, our guests cried and everyone told us it was a beautiful ceremony. It was. simply. amazing.
Surprisingly, I did learn a lot about myself and my partner. Who knew wedding planning could do that?! We decided we wanted to do pre-marital counseling and this was a great decision for us.
It really brought our focus back on our marriage and not just the wedding day details….we learned more about each other, (even though we had already been together for four years), ourselves and this process brought us closer together.
I wish during the planning I wouldn’t have stressed about family situations, or money or other small details, because in the end none of that mattered…everyone got along, we were able to pay cash for everything and some details did not always work out the way I had planned, but really, at that point, I didn’t care…I was marrying my wonderful, amazing partner and the sky could have fallen that day and I wouldn’t have noticed. I was on a high, we were on a high and we simply enjoyed every moment of our day and definitely didn’t want it to end. It. was. simply. amazing!
Pictures: The fabulous Gabriel Harber Photography, of Oakland, who Theresa cannot stop raving about (APW sponsor, but not a sponsored post), Venue: The lovely Mills College, where I believe about half of Team Practical is an alum.