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Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didn’t Want


Before today’s amazing wedding graduate post about loving a wedding you didn’t want in the first place, I’ve got to say a few things so no one starts worrying about *their* wedding. First: here at APW we are pro-elopement, even though it sometimes seems like the last taboo of indie-wedding land. So if you want to elope, you don’t have to let Jessie’s awesome post sway you. Second: other brides have shared stories of not loving the wedding they didn’t want. So that happens too, and if it happened to you stop feeling guilty already!

But! But! In this case, Jessie and Steve loved the wedding they didn’t want, and they loved it for amazing reasons. And in the end, I think, they got exactly what they did want as the cherry on top of all the joy. So, this one is for those of you are mid-planning and scared that the wedding you’re getting isn’t exactly the wedding you dreamed of.

Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didnt Want | A Practical Wedding

Even before we were engaged, Steve and I wanted to elope. We feel that a wedding is a personal thing, not a show. Soon after we announced our engagement, we realized our hopes of running away to be married in the mountains were simply going to be passing thoughts. Our families quickly got involved, and we came to the realization that just because we were the ones getting married, the day wasn’t just about us.

Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didnt Want | A Practical Wedding

So, after some tears from my aunt, anger from my uncle and pushes from my mom, we began planning a wedding (with only 5 months). Throughout the planning process, we stuck to our guns about maintaining simplicity, not breaking the bank, and being unique. I actively avoided anything that screamed “wedding” and searched for things that represented who Steve and I are as a couple.

Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didnt Want | A Practical Wedding

We decided to hold the ceremony and reception outdoors in July. What’s more natural than using nature as your backdrop? We had no altar or decorations where we had our ceremony, just a canopy of trees. Our guests stood around us to create intimacy, and we read our own vows in a ceremony that respected all faiths and all sexualities. After the ceremony, we celebrated in a pavilion that was probably 90+ degrees inside but filled with love.

Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didnt Want | A Practical Wedding

What did I learn from the wedding that we didn’t want? First of all, I wouldn’t have missed the experience for the world.  A wedding is not a show (we were right about that); it’s about letting those who care the most about you share in your love as you start out on a completely new path.

Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didnt Want | A Practical Wedding

I also learned that people appreciate the parts that are different. There are things expected at a wedding, but we rejected those things (a bouquet toss, a dollar dance, limo rides, and over-the-top decorations to name a few). No one seemed to care and praised us for how “real” the wedding felt.

Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didnt Want | A Practical Wedding

Don’t do anything just because it’s what other brides do. I bought my gown at a charity event. My shoes weren’t white or even silver. I wore rose colored shoes for no other reason than that I wanted to. We didn’t have wedding parties which made our ceremony so much more intimate and saved our best friends money. But, our friends were still there for us every step of the way.

Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didnt Want | A Practical Wedding

Our array of different flavored cupcakes replaced an elaborate and expensive wedding cake and were a big hit. I wore my best friend’s wedding jewelry which was far more meaningful than buying new to match my dress. Finally, our self-written vows were hard to share with our guests (being so personal), but each person there was touched by their simplicity and honesty. Our pastor told us he’d never read vows so raw and full of love.

Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didnt Want | A Practical Wedding

When it’s time to plan a wedding (even if you didn’t want it in the first place), remember: It’s not about fancy reception halls and expensive dinners. It’s about the vibe that you and your partner exhibit. The love you show will be reflected back at both of you, and you’ll leave your wedding feeling more emotion than you ever thought you could. Our guests didn’t come for an expensive party. They came because they love us. They pushed us into a wedding so that they had the opportunity to truly support us when we started out. Who could not want that?

Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didnt Want | A Practical Wedding

And, for our honeymoon? We escaped to the mountains, unplugged from the world, and enjoyed a love that belongs to no one but us with the sweet memories of an unwanted (but amazing) wedding freshly in our minds.

Jessie & Steve & The Wedding They Didnt Want | A Practical Wedding

Photos by Milestone Photography of Indianapolis, IN

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  • Rachel

    Ohhhh me, too! I wanted to elope so badly, but my mom, my fiance, and his mother weren’t about to let that happen. It was hard to dredge through the planning when I kept thinking, “I’m doing this work for other people and I don’t think this is going to satisfy me at ALL!”

    I’m a very private person with my emotions, and I felt like the love that my husband and I share was meant to stay private. I felt it would be so uncomfortable having 85 sets of eyes watching me cry as I walked down the aisle with my father and exchanged vows with my husband.

    Funny thing happened, though. I was so focused on the people that I needed there, like my husband, my parents, and my brother and sister, that I forgot about all the people that I was afraid would judge me. I swear, there wasn’t a person at the ceremony besides my husband, the pastor, and me. Everything else just… slipped away. And once I regained a sense that there were people there and watching, it was time to party down.

    Anyway. Enough about me. I think your wedding was gorgeous because it was you, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed your wedding day and the honeymoon. I also adore the idea of wearing somebody else’s wedding jewelry. Hello, wonderful sentiment!

  • http://ecoyogini.blogspot.com EcoYogini

    I need some key family members (ahem, in-laws) to read this post.

    Our wedding started out this way- about celebration and love. T-minus 8 weeks and I’m wishing we didn’t pay a downpayment on our wedding venue.

    I’m feeling like the “us” in the ceremony is slipping away. and I have no idea how to step back without coming across as ungrateful.

    thank you for this post.

    • http://www.ukuleleinrouen.blogspot.com Kinzie Kangaroo

      Well, I think it’s time to re-examine everything else about your ceremony — even if the venue stays the same, is it too late to have some different decorations that feel more “you?” Take charge and put your foot down to make sure you have a day that you feel comfortable with. It’s your wedding after all!

    • http://www.kelliraepowell.com Krae

      Sometimes just saying this out loud to certain family members will make you feel better about the direction the wedding is going. My wedding is 2 weeks away and we’ve been scrambling a little bit since my fiancee and I *just* moved in together in Brooklyn…since the wedding is back in my hometown in Iowa, I was feeling like my mom was taking over the decorating…I was stressed about it because she’s been doing so much for me since I’m so far away and I didn’t want to sound ungrateful, but, at the same time, I wanted to help! I tried to “let it go,” but that did NOT work. So I called my mom and braced myself. I told her, simply, my fears. I wanted to be a part of it but I didn’t want to sound like a baby. She TOTALLY understood. Now, she calls me before she takes any steps or makes any decisions…and it’s really fun, actually, because we talk about all the options and laugh about some and it feels really good!! PHEW. So glad I came clean. !!!

      • http://ecoyogini.blogspot.com EcoYogini

        yes, on both accounts. I’ve had a few talks with my parents…. it’s been a struggle actually to keep pulling them back from ‘helping’ by announcing they’re going to buy the cake (we don’t want) etc etc.

        But his parents…. I can’t really talk to them. It’s not my place. But since I am the calm one- I get left to deal with it.

        you’re both right though. we need to find the balance of being firm and compromising.

        i just wish they would have something positive to say- which this post made me remember again just how much a wedding isn’t about all the other crap. It’s about family loving and supporting your marriage vows.

        and I think his parents lost sight of that. or at least, they are pretty terrible at showing it.

        • Jessie

          Although we did give in to the wedding, we had to put our foot down many times about various things. No matter what kind of wedding you’re having, make sure it makes you happy.

    • Jessica

      I agree!!!….and here I thought I was the only one.

  • Jolynn

    Aaaugh! I am in the midst of going through with the elopement that both my partner and I want. I’m living in fear of the drama that will ensue when we tell our family and friends. We plan to have a wedding celebration later in order to involve our communities in our promise, but for now we just want us and our parents.

    This made me feel joyful for the involved parties, but also a bit nervous that I’m robbing my family of this chance. Sigh. I guess this is time for the 110% faith mentioned yesterday?

    • Jessie

      I wouldn’t feel nervous. Our families really wanted to be involved. But, the celebration after an intimate ceremony will give your family just as much joy. Remember, you’re not robbing them of anything. No one who loves you should be unhappy when you and your partner have what you want. Good luck!

  • Amber F.

    Gorgeous. Might you be willing to share your vows?

    • meg

      Ladies, going to remind you of the ever present personal boundaries rule on APW. It’s hard to share stuff that personal on the web (and sometimes feels kind of damaging). So let’s *imagine* her vows.

      • Amber F.

        Sorry, I’m a new reader and was unaware of this policy and didn’t see anything similar to it mentioned in the commenting guidelines.

        • meg

          It’s not policy, just my common sense approach. If someone dosen’t mention something, it’s usually because it’s feels too personal to share with thousands of people on the interwebs. So I try to make sure we don’t *push* them is all :)

  • http://www.themaidenmetallurgist.com The Maiden Metallurgist

    Yay! We didn’t elope for the same reasons, and ended up loving our fun, simple wedding too.

    I especially love this:
    “just because we were the ones getting married, the day wasn’t just about us.”

    Exactly.

    • Melissa

      I think it’s totally okay to elope. Hell, I am (and then having a reception about a month later). And it sort of stops me short when people say something to the effect that eloping is selfish. But what bugs me more is when a hyper-sensitive, hyper-stressed bride rants it’s my day, it’s all about me! Regardless of whether you elope, have a small wedding, or have a 300 person ice-sculpture filled affair, it’s not all about the bride. For one, there’s another person 50% involved in the whole getting married bit. And your families and friends are a factor in your lives, however present they are or aren’t going to be at the actual event.

      Also, great, great dress.

      • Melissa

        Oh, just re-read my comment and wanted to clarify… wasn’t saying that anyone here said eloping was selfish, just citing something that seems to be a common feeling.

        • Jessie

          I agree. Whatever you choose to do, the day isn’t just about you. It’s about those that love you. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to elope. Some weddings turn into a show where you watch the bride and groom and don’t feel involved anyway. I’m proud with how we incorporated everyone and made everything so intimate. So, whatever you do, I feel like you should look to the larger picture: those who love you. If eloping is right for you, I think you should do it, and it’s not selfish. Your family should support you in all decisions. But, a wedding is a coming together of families and the birth of a new one. Definitely not about a bride.

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

    This is so nice to hear. We are about six weeks out from the wedding we didn’t want, and part of me is very excited, but part of me is nervous about sharing something so intimate with so many other people. We were originally going to elope, and then come back and have a party. But here we are instead. So I am hoping that we love our wedding; I think we will. But it’s nice to hear from others who didn’t want a wedding, but loved it.

    • Jessie

      I hope you love it too. :)

  • http://christytylerphotography.blogspot.com Christy

    That sounds (& looks) like a perfectly intimate, beautiful, simple wedding day. Congratulations you two!

  • ddayporter

    aaahhhhh gorgeous. love the groom’s rolled up shirt sleeves.

    If we had chosen a different time of year to get married, and had the wedding in Maine instead of Virginia, pretty sure our wedding would have looked a lot like this. In the woods, all the guests standing in close, rustic nature center type reception, no frills. LOVE.

    congrats on loving the wedding you didn’t want. it doesn’t always work out that way, you were lucky! but then again it doesn’t seem like luck had anything to do with it.

  • http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com Josie

    My husband and I DID elope. We had a perfectly intimate beach ceremony with just the two of us. It was everything that we wanted. But now that I have my own daughter, I actually shudder at the thought of not being there when she gets married. A wedding is an event is special for both families, not just the bride and groom. Would I elope again? Yes…but this time I’d take our immediate families!

  • caitlin

    it sounds beautiful! and i especially love the description of your honeymoon… “a love that belongs to no one but us” is the perfect other half of a wedding day surrounded by all those who love you most.

  • Alyssa

    This was lovely. It looks like you found the perfect blend of public and private celebration and that’s wonderful!

    Plus? DRESS SWOON! So pretty….

    • Jessie

      Thank you Alyssa! Only $200 dollars, all of which went to charity. :)

  • http://committedca.blogspot.com/ Carrie Dee

    I can really relate to this. When we first got engaged, both of us were terrified of having a “real” wedding. We’re a quiet, shy couple and the idea of a day filled with a lot of people and being the center of attention seemed overwhelming. But, my now husband (we were married May 29th) opted not to elope for the same reasons as most everyone else – family.

    While on the path of wedding planning and implementation, we discovered that there is no such thing as a “real wedding.” Whether it’s an elopement, a very small picnic wedding in the park (our choice), or a large blowout, it’s all about making choices that reflect you. We went as far into the Wedding Day Hubbub as we felt comfortable, and the day turned out great. Your family will see so much of you and your partner in your wedding that they will love it, no matter how big or small it is.

  • Julie

    WOW- congrats on a beautiful day! Your wedding is exactly what I wanted, and had been planning but now I am eloping and dealing with the exact opposite of what you wrote about. A little back story here: my fiancee is divorced and has a daughter and was unable to get his marriage annulled in the Catholic church. I am born/raised but not a practicing catholic daughter of the most religious mother in the U.S. and she refused to support (or participate, or discuss) any type of marriage between us. My fiancee’s mother “objected” to our simple picnic wedding on the grounds that she had already planned/paid for a wedding (that, albeit, failed) and thought we should run away. For months, I carried the planning on my own and recently it almost split the two of us up b/c not one person in my family, or his was supporting us.
    Only a few months ago, we cancelled all plans, went to counseling to get “us” back on track and are now eloping to the beach in a few short weeks. Looking back, planning the wedding I wanted, for the sake of doing what.I.wanted. was not the right choice. Now we are moving past the negativity surrounding us and coming together, just as we should have in the first place to pledge our love and devotion to each other.
    Since coming to APW I have realized that everyone’s situation is *amazingly* different and on this site that is constantly celebrated, as it should be! I hope that by posting this comment, I can reach out to anyone else who may not be getting the support they hoped for or needed from their families, b/c afterall, families are tough.

    • Amandover

      Julie,
      Congratulations on coming through all this hardship to a serene and happy outlook! What an inspiring story of finding the best way for both of you, and not letting other people’s negativity spoil your wedding. Thank you for sharing!

    • Class of 1980

      I hear ya.

      I know a 21-year-old who just got engaged to a guy her mother isn’t thrilled about. The mother is hyper religious and only envisioned her daughter marrying a “Home School Angel” (that’s the daughter’s term).

      (Nothing wrong with homeschooling. The bride-to-be got a fantastic education herself via homeschooling.)

      It’s not that her fiance is the wrong religion or anything, but the mother wants someone who fits the more narrow religious interpretations that she favors.

      The bride-to-be is one of the most wise, balanced, grounded, mature, intelligent, loving women I know. She is confident in the character of her fiance and her future in laws are wonderful people.

      The wedding is in December and I find it sad that her mother’s narrow “vision” has blinded her to a reality that is actually wonderful. She will be there for her daughter, but not with wholehearted joy.

      • Pamela

        My best friend comes from a family kind of like that. She’s still single. But when her older sister got married, her parents were very apprehensive, and up to the last minute weren’t sure they were going to go. But they went, they had a wonderful time, and it actually started the healing process going between them and their estranged son. They actually just spent a week at their son’s house! Their family was very divided over these kind of issues, but my friend’s sister’s wedding (about four years ago) was really *the* marker of them starting to get close again. (The older sister and brother live across the country from the parents and my friend, so that’s why it was a big deal they stayed with the son, not the daughter, when they went and visited everyone).

  • http://calinpetersphotography.com Calin

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSS!!!!!!!!

  • ka

    THANK YOU for this:
    —Massive reality check on pre-wedding preparations. I don’t remember what I was looking at but I had this crazy moment of “I can’t get ready in a public restroom-looking place on my *wedding.*” And then I saw your pics, and realized, uh yea, I can, and the pictures can look lovely, lovely, lovely.
    —I will now be chasing around all my friends insisting we all take pics behind with a vintage frame. Awesome-est mobile photo booth ever.

    Also, I love your beautiful venue. Sometimes I think my fiance and paper lanterns are the only things I really need to have a happy wedding.

    • Jessie

      The restrooom was completely impromptu. My mom had rented a cabin that turned out to be impossible to find so at the last minute (with time dwindling), we moved to a public restroom at a lodge that everyone could find. Now, it’s just another story to tell. :)

      • http://www.kelliraepowell.com Krae

        You, girl, at great at “go with the flow.” Heh heh. *high five*

        • Jessie

          Thank you. Thank you.

        • ka

          Here here! THAT is inspiring. I will be clinging to the attitude that the best stories after the fact are always the “oh sh*t” moments. I have hope that if my friends and I were lost in the mountains and running out of time we’d choose to laugh hysterically rather than freak out.

    • meg

      We had our Yicchud in a public restroom (it had a little powder room front section thank goodness). Anyway, 10 of the best minutes of my life.

      • Jessie

        I agree that the moments we had in that bathroom are definitely moments I’ll never forget. It was such a coming together of friends and family who were not only willing to adapt to the moment, but willing to adapt to a hot and crowded bathroom to make sure I looked beautiful for my wedding.

  • Shantel

    Lovely, just lovely. Made me tear up. I love APW!

  • Danielle

    I had a silly question: I’ve been reading this blog for a little over a month, and have been poking around, coming up with some ideas for my wedding. One thing I noticed, and found intriguing was, why do all these brides wear white?

    I have no intention of wearing white at all as I don’t like wearing white (being stain-prone) and feeling like it’s false advertising, found a really pretty ombre beach dress in aqua (my favorite color).

    I was surprised that with all the non-traditional ways in which people get married (and I think are great ideas!), I thought it was interesting how so many brides wore the traditional white. No non-white dress or anti-white dress brides out there??

    • Fab

      Danielle, I’ll be a white-dress bride myself when the time comes (there are a million reasons, but one of them is that I like the connection to so many other brides and another is that the three-year old version of myself deserves to be honored). That said, you’re certainly not alone on APW–I thought of at least three posts that featured non-white-dress brides.

      http://apracticalwedding.com/2009/04/grey-wedding-dress-given/

      http://apracticalwedding.com/2009/03/dress-offered/

      http://apracticalwedding.com/2010/08/bridesmaid-alternatives-a-compendium/#more-4160

      There are probably more in the wedding graduate posts, and I’m sure that a quick search at Offbeat Bride would net you a ton of visual inspiration. If you’re looking for more of a discussion of why this seems to be a majority white-dress community, I’m not sure you’ll find exactly that–I find that the women here are happy to explain–but not defend–their choices, but only when they’re asked.

      **And Jessie, that picture of your father-type-figure wiping his eyes at the end of the aisle made me tear up a bit. Beautiful day!

    • Jessie

      I have a friend who wore black. I say, wear what makes you happy!

    • Erin

      Oh, they’re here! Look at the Wedding Graduates features, particularly
      Wendy and Darin, Nicole and Tim, Erika and Kevin, and Kayla and Wesley. There may be others I missed.

      And be sure to send Meg a wedding graduate post after your own wedding! I’d love to see it!

    • Aimee

      Danielle- I eloped in a regular ol’ non-white dress that I liked with a bird cage veil and then wore a gold satin vintage dress for my reception at a later date. I never imagined myself in white dress. I do see the value in wearing white as it makes you “stand out” a little more than the other guests. Plus you don’t have to worry that someone else might be wearing the same dress… Gold shiny did the trick for me :) If you look back a little further, there are plenty of colored wedding gowns in the graduate posts. I think we each choose which parts of a traditional wedding suit us and which parts we want to put our own spin on. The whole point is that we can do whatever we want and not what society tells us we have to.

      • Aine

        I think, part of the white dress thing is that its not just a pretty dress- its a costume, its ritual garb, and that puts a lot of weight behind the picture that the culture you grew up in has of “this is what a wedding dress looks like”. I wasn’t sure what I wanted- I almost got a dress in light gold, giggling to myself that it was in the same family but I still managed nto to wear a traditional color. Then i found myself second-guessing it, thinking of all teh reasons it might be too hot, or too unwieldy, etc, and i went and found a different dress. An ivory one, only barely past white (I don’t wear white _anything_ because I’m so pale it looks ridiculous), and it *feels* more like a wedding dress to me. Its hard to break out of ideas of things like that.
        Plus, I wonder how many other brides found their groom to be asking, please, please don’t wear a colored dress- whether he has had a picture in his head all his life about his wedding that included the big white gown, or whether he just doesn’t want to have that conversation with his grandmother…

        • Amandover

          On a humorous note, I was shopping for dress fabric the other day, and rejected the softest silk because, as I told my friend, it would be torture for the groom. “He’s already told me if it’s white, he won’t be able to keep his hands off me. Apparently, there’s something about a white dress…” And my [married] friend said, “Oh, I know! They find it irresistible. Maybe that’s why they started wearing white way back when…”
          So, yeah. It’s not necessary, but it does seem to have a certain effect.

        • Carreg

          Sorry to comment really late …

          The notion I was kind of brought up with — and which I dislike intensely — was White = virgin, Ivory = whoops, but hopefully no one else will notice it’s not quite white, Blue = wartime wedding. The idea is white is too celebratory for when a war is on. Other colours not done.

          Has no one else mentioned this because it’s too obvious? Or is it not such a common idea in the US? It actually does make me quite uncomfortable with the white dress thing. It’s not even whether or not one is qualified for white, it’s the idea that you’re meant to advertise it either way. None of their business!

          I know no one really cares nowadays, but the idea is still around. And then there’s the fact that it makes me look washed out, and I hate the princess thing etc.

          So many people on this blog looked stunning in white dresses and it obviously is the right choice for a lot of people. But that tradition is partly why I’m not comfortable with white OR ivory.

          • Aine

            well, a lot of people say that about white dresses but that’s not actually what the “meaning” of it was originally- we have good ol’ Queen Victoria to thank for the trend, and when she wore it, it was a way to show off “look we can afford a bajillion yards of white lace, aren’t we impressive”. Plus I think she was giving one in the eye to the tradition that said a royal bride wore cloth-of-gold or silver. The virginity thing is just a (fairly icky) idea tacked-on after the fact. I didnt’ think people judged you based on that any more though?

          • Class of 1980

            “The notion I was kind of brought up with — and which I dislike intensely — was White = virgin, Ivory = whoops, but hopefully no one else will notice it’s not quite white, Blue = wartime wedding. The idea is white is too celebratory for when a war is on. Other colours not done.”

            Carreg, you have every right to dislike that notion because it’s just not rooted in history at all. It’s also horrible.

            Until Queen Victoria, most brides just wore their best dress, which usually was a color. Blue was the most popular. Queen Victoria wore white and even though it caused a sensation, it didn’t become the dominant color for decades.

            In early America most brides wore a color. Even large-scale plaids were popular for a while. White dresses were first adopted by wealthier brides because white fabrics needed so much more care. Eventually they tricked down the economic scale.

            Originally, they had nothing to do with advertising the bride’s virginity. That notion is a lot more recent. Anyway, it’s no longer valid.

            As far as the difference between white and ivory, the bride’s skin tone is often part of the decision.

    • meg

      LOTS of non-white dressed on the site. My reasons for wearing white were the ones Anie gave though, for sure. You can also look under the “My Great Wedding Dress Search” tag to see my ENORMOUS struggle with finding said ritual garment.

      • meg

        Though I didn’t wear white because my groom wanted it (though if that had been an issue, I would have considered it). But I needed it to be a ritual garment, something different from everyday life (when the eff do sane people wear all-white dresses?), and something that tied me to generations before me. So. Yup. That’s why I wore white. But lots of APW-ers don’t.

        • Aine

          “ritual garment” is exactly the phrase I was looking for.

    • Jessie

      For me, there were just some traditions that I had to stick with for sentimental reasons. Even if we’d eloped, I would have worn white. I never ever wear white and wearing it from head to toe made the day feel special and different. But, I agree, a bride should never wear something that she’s uncomfortable in and praise any color a bride chooses, as long as it’s truly her choice.

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

      I bought a marine blue dress. I admit there are times when I feel like I need to just make that a cocktail dress and go find a bridal dress, but then I find a moment alone, slip it on and remember why I fell in love with this dress in the first place.

      (One reason: my skin glows in blue and looks sallow and sickly in white/off white.)

  • Christina

    Thank you for this. For me, right now, I am planning my fiance’s dream wedding. I had wanted to elope, or have a private ceremony at city hall or something low-key . But I caved into his cute little teary eyes when he expressed how much he wanted a big wedding…. it’s been a really tough road for me since most of this stuff isn’t immediately in my comfort zone. But now that the wedding’s two weeks away and my friends are starting to trickle into the city and everyone’s getting excited together – it’s beginning to already feel “worth it.”

    • Jessie

      I really hope your day is wonderful! Sometimes what you had in mind can’t even compare to the happiness you’ll feel with what comes to life.

      • Christina

        I am going to print that last sentence out and post it on my wall for any hard times I am having. Thank you for that sentiment!

        • Jessie

          :)

  • http://bluesuedeidos.wordpress.com Beth

    I have a feeling this post is going to very much mimic one I’d write about my own upcoming wedding. If there were absolutely no outside influences whatsoever, we’d elope. But there are way too many family members and friends who we want to have around us, and thus, a wedding is born.

    I love that you stuck to your guns so much that the wedding turned out to be you, despite not being what you wanted. And you still found a way to get what you wanted with your honeymoon!

  • http://bluesuedeidos.wordpress.com Beth

    I also think your post is a good metaphor for life — it never ends up the way you want it to, but you can still make the most of it and be yourself!

    • Jessie

      I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it’s absolutely true.

    • http://www.kelliraepowell.com Krae

      Right on, Beth!

    • ka

      Yesssss. In the few short weeks since I’ve been reading APW, this has to stood out as a theme to me in so many posts. I really think if I can hold on to this throughout the wedding planning process, than I will have learned something very, very important to me.

  • Allison

    I just got married at the end of July and I’ve been looking at our photos while making mental notes about what kind of Grad post I would write. Jessie, you and I seem to have been cut from the same cloth!!
    I am still writing a grad post, even if it doesn’t get published ( I can keep it for myself) it’s good to know that there is someone else out there that loved the wedding that they weren’t planning on having in the first place.

    • meg

      That’s why you should write a grad post in the first place. There are so many in my inbox I haven’t even had time to OPEN yet, so you shouldn’t write them for me, and you should never write for readers if it’s not first and foremost for you. Right? Right.

      And those are the best posts anway.

    • Lisa

      I feel the same way, Allison – my wedding was this July and I feel like this Wedding Graduate post could practically be mine because Allison’s experience and the resulting wedding, and the resulting love of it too, so closely mirrors what we went through. After desperately wanting to elope, we ended up loving my outdoor, bare bones wedding, delightful cupcakes, self written vows, etc.

      We might be wedding twins, Jessie!

      And, yes, maybe one of these days I’ll get around to writing a grad post… We’ll see. :)

      • Jessie

        Yay! I found my wedding sisters!

        • meg

          I’m going to lend my voice to saying that paying it forward with a grad post is a good thing. Not mandatory of course, but pretty important when people do it.

        • Allison

          Oh yay!! I had pie instead of cupcakes but yes we really are wedding sisters!
          As far as that grad post goes, Meg, I am writing it today and writing it for myself!

  • http://bride-sans-tulle.blogspot.com Sharon

    “It’s not about fancy reception halls and expensive dinners. It’s about the vibe that you and your partner exhibit. The love you show will be reflected back at both of you, and you’ll leave your wedding feeling more emotion than you ever thought you could.”

    This. This, so freaking much, is exactly what I want all brides-to-be to hear and really take in.

    (Beautiful wedding!)

  • suzanna

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy! To all of it.

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

    I love this wedding graduate post. I love it in a way that feels like the afghan I curl up in at night on my sofa.

    We both really wanted to elope, but we discovered that my children want, need and expect to be a large part of the ceremony, too. And then we also realized that it was really important to them and to us that they see our wedding day as a day filled with love and worthy of celebration. Suddenly, our wedding wasn’t about the two of us anymore, it was about our new family.

  • Joselle

    Again, another post that’s perfectly time. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous wedding! First of all, you’re gorgeous as is your lovely, pretty, simple and elegant dress.

    I am feeling like my wedding is not exactly what I want but I think that is more to do with being indecisive in general. Sometimes I just don’t know what what I want looks like. I thought I had nipped this in the bud, but boy, I don’t need to tell any of you that engagements and weddings bring out all those seemingly resolved, tucked away issues like crazy!

    And I’m hoping for the following as well: “And, for our honeymoon? We escaped to the mountains, unplugged from the world, and enjoyed a love that belongs to no one but us with the sweet memories of an unwanted (but amazing) wedding freshly in our minds.”

    Congratulations on your unwanted, gorgeous wedding.

    • Jessie

      Thank you! That’s so sweet.

  • http://faithintruth.wordpress.com faith

    Thank you for sharing! I feel my experience has potential to be very similar to yours and we feel that weddings are personal and not a show. I’m very glad you guys made it so personal and true to yourselves in the midst of a situation that was not your ideal.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the encouragement!

  • Moz

    GREAT grad post. Congrats on your marriage x