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Kirsty & Fin

I’m delighted to introduce Kirsty’s Scottish-Church-Beach-Wedding-With-Ice-Cream-Cones today, shot by one of my best ladies on the internet (Cara) and her excellent husband (Nye) of Lillian and Leonard Wedding Photography. It’s wonderful not just for all of the aforementioned reasons (Beach! Edinburgh! Ice cream cones! Cara & Nye’s pictures!) but because Kirsty is both hilarious and wise. Her story is of navigating through somewhat mismatched faith backgrounds, to finding the ceremony to be tremendously moving and important, to a party filled with laughter and tears and pretty decorations. Well. That’s every reason I write about weddings all rolled up into a happy ball. So with that, I bring you the lady herself:

In many ways, wedding planning was made for me. It combines so many of my favourite things: beautiful dresses, pretty paper, gorgeous flowers, candles, ribbons, shoes, photography, cake… I’ve always been quite creative and crafty and couldn’t wait to stamp our style all over everything. On top of that, I’m a compulsive list-maker and organiser and I love to be in charge of a project. So when Fin and I got engaged and wedding planning officially commenced, it was a case of, “stand back, ladies and gentlemen; I’ve got this. I was BORN for this. Time to make a list.”

As the planning wore on and tasks were ticked off The List with a satisfied flourish, I heard tales of brides breaking down in tears, and rolled my eyes. For goodness’ sake, what are they crying for? It’s only a wedding. It’s not the end of the world. Clearly those brides are not as organised/creative/visionary as I am, I can’t believe they have let themselves become so worked up. Oh, how I laughed.

That is, until I cried.

The first time I cried it was not, unsuprisingly, because I couldn’t find suitable fabric for our DIY table runners or just the right shade of ribbon to decorate the cake my mum made (although, I won’t lie, both of those things were supremely irritating at the time). It was over the hard part, the part that really mattered: the ceremony.

My husband is a good, solid Scottish Presbyterian; his father is a minister and the Church has always been a big part of Fin’s life. I, on the other hand, am the daughter of a staunchly atheist mother and a father who goes to church once or twice a year because he likes the music, with the result that I am fairly ambivalent towards religion but have a soft spot for a good hymn.We decided to get married in the local church in the town where I grew up – partly for convenience, partly because a religious ceremony meant a lot to Fin and it didn’t mean a lot to me not to have a religious ceremony, and partly because, hey, it couldn’t hurt to have the Big Guy’s blessing just in case – and asked Fin’s dad to perform the ministerial duties. I think from that point, subconsciously, I began to see the ceremony as “his” part of the day, and the reception as “my” part of the day.

I was very vocal about and confident in our choices for every other aspect of the wedding, and was busily crafting away like nobody’s business, but when it came to the ceremony I felt somehow unable to participate – as if, because I didn’t have faith, I wasn’t qualified to express an opinion. Whenever, say, his mum would make an off-hand remark about certain hymns being inappropriate for a wedding, or a church friend would comment on a particular Bible reading being overused, I would nod in mute agreement and then spend the next week searching desperately on the internet for something more acceptable. I should make it clear that none if this really came from Fin or his family; rather, it came from my own need to always be in control, and my self-conscious fear of doing The Wrong Thing in a world I simply wasn’t raised to know much about.

I can’t remember what finally caused the meltdown. Was it when Fin’s dad sent me an order of ceremony filled with scripture readings, prayers, blessings, benedictions, things I didn’t understand and which I feared would alienate me and my non-religious family and friends? Was it when I left a meeting with the organist having been told that my beloved choice of entrance music was more suited to funerals and finding myself agreeing to use a piece of music I had never so much as heard before? Was it reading over and over again tales of happy couples who created meaningful, personal ceremonies that reflected their beliefs, when for us there was no such thing as *our* beliefs?

Whatever it was, it came on me suddenly, unexpectedly, and in one moment all my fears and inadequacies came flooding out in ugly, rasping sobs. How embarrassing – I had become one of those brides, the weepy brides. Fin soothed me, patted my back, wiped my nose and helped me to see that the ceremony could still be meaningful to both of us. We might not share a faith, but we did share a belief in the significance of the commitment we were making.

We ended up choosing simple vows with few overt religious references, found hymns we both liked, a Bible reading I could really get behind and a secular reading for my brother, and picked a beautiful Edith Piaf song that I love for my friend to sing. I reluctantly admitted that perhaps my original entrance music had been a touch funereal, and we moved on. But things had subtly changed; I had thought I could handle this wedding thing by controlling every aspect of it, thought it would be a breeze – but I couldn’t, and it wasn’t.

The second time I cried was the night before the wedding. The week running up to the wedding was exhausting. Family flew in from all over the globe and I spent the week alternating between the city where we live and the town where my parents live; one night here, next night there, trying to fit in time with everybody and neglecting to take any time to reflect on what we were about to do (well, I mean, reflection time wasn’t on The List).

The night before the wedding, after a long and tiring day of rehearsing, setting up decorations, snipping and trimming flowers until my hands were literally bleeding, and entertaining all of the guests who were in town, I went to bed, exhausted and alone, in my childhood home. Pow! Out of nowhere, I was hit by a sudden sadness, which I recognise now was probably partly born out of sheer bone-weariness, but which was no less real for that.

I wasn’t sad about getting married – I couldn’t wait! – but with every new beginning comes an ending. I had been so busy looking forward and focusing on this one day and the future it would bring, I had never thought about what we would be leaving behind. Fin and I were together for eight years before we got married, some of the happiest years of my life, and the realisation suddenly hit me that that was over, and he (rather obviously) wouldn’t be my boyfriend any more. Stupid as it sounds, I let myself cry for a little while and mourned the chapter of our story that had come to an end, even as I excitedly anticipated the new one that was about to begin.

Then came the wedding itself, and it was joyful. The outpouring of love, not just from our families and guests but from the whole community (the wonderful staff at our venue who worked until 1am to get everything ready; the scores of local people who waited outside the church to see me arrive; the lovely lady who gave us a free ice cream cone), was unexpected and humbling. But my very favourite part of the whole crazy day? The ceremony.

The dreaded ceremony, which I had worried would be so uncomfortable and so un-me, was the most soulful, powerful and, frankly, fun 45 minutes of my life. It was the one part of the day where I didn’t know exactly what to expect, and because of this – not despite it – it was the best part.

I didn’t even hear the entrance music, so focused was I on Fin’s smiling face at the end of the aisle. We grasped our sweaty palms together and whispered over our programmes to each other as our dearest people in the world launched enthusiastically into the hymns. The service given by Fin’s dad was funny, moving, personal, and his voice was full of pride as he led us in our vows.

I will never forget the feeling of looking into Fin’s eyes and making those promises to each other. It didn’t matter that we hadn’t written the vows ourselves, or that we were getting married in a church I had only attended a handful of times; the words were no less true. As Fin’s dad anointed my forehead in blessing of our marriage, I sensed the warmth and sheer joy radiating from everyone around us, and I did feel blessed.

Afterwards, countless people told me, “It was just so Kirsty and Fin.” And the truth is, it was. (Also, I didn’t cry once. Fin was teary enough for both of us.)

Then we had a party. It was amazing.

The handmade decorations looked beautiful, even if I say so myself.

Plenty of things weren’t exactly how I had planned them to be, and I wish I could say that I didn’t even notice, but the odd emotional meltdown isn’t enough to wipe out a lifetime of conrol-freakery overnight.

However, in the end, it was the parts I couldn’t have planned for that were the best. The dancing, the singing, people speaking lovely, loving words and toasting us with smiles in their eyes.

And, so far, having a husband is even better than having a boyfriend. Overall, I call that a success.

Photos By: Lillian and Leonard (more lovely pictures of the wedding, including great beach-y ones are over here…)

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  • Kirsty

    Awww – it’s me! Thank you so much for this Meg and Lauren, it looks beautiful and I’m so excited to have my post up on APW. Yay!

    (P.S. Aren’t Lillian and Leonard just amazeballs?)

  • Ellie

    What a wonderful post! I felt the same way about not having a shared faith – I’m a Unitarian and he’s a Lutheran and we don’t ever talk about religion and what we believe at home, so when it came to planning a ceremony, we had some trouble. Also, I love how you took time to mourn your past life – it didn’t hit us until midnight the night before the wedding that we were getting married the next day, and that was really huge. We were so stressed we didn’t have time to mourn.

  • Clare

    “I wasn’t sad about getting married – I couldn’t wait! – but with every new beginning comes an ending. I had been so busy looking forward and focusing on this one day and the future it would bring, I had never thought about what we would be leaving behind. Fin and I were together for eight years before we got married, some of the happiest years of my life, and the realisation suddenly hit me that that was over, and he (rather obviously) wouldn’t be my boyfriend any more. Stupid as it sounds, I let myself cry for a little while and mourned the chapter of our story that had come to an end, even as I excitedly anticipated the new one that was about to begin.”


    I also felt an overwhelming sense of sadness the night before the wedding, but could never quite put into words *why* exactly. But now I realise it was this. A sadness at leaving behind an era, that was in fact, really rather wonderful, and worry about how I, we, us, our world, would change after the wedding.

    So thank you, Kirsty, for putting into words what I just couldn’t.

    Also? Those photos make me want to cry at their beauty and general awesomeness. Peonies (and Nye, obvs) has excelled herself, as always.

    • Kate

      I feel that when ‘teenage dream’ comes on the radio. I’m reminded of how exciting it was to fall in love, the newness and the butterflies, and I feel sad I won’t get to feel that again. But then I remember that I’m married to someone I love, and I’m unbelievably lucky.

      Sometimes it’s hard to remember daily affection and shared history are even more important than the initial fireworks ;)

  • Carbon Girl

    Gorgeous photos and beautifully written post. I loved how you mention that “isn’t enough to wipe out a lifetime of control-freakery overnight.” It is important to realize that on your wedding day you may feel many transformative emotions but in the end you will still be yourself and retain your normal personality.

  • Danielle

    The post is wonderful. But the thing I want to say is really: OMG the dress! It’s gorgeous! Kirsty look so sexy in it!

    • Kirsty

      Ha ha thank you!! I actually ripped it about 5 minutes after the ceremony, and it is COVERED in sand, but I didn’t care then and I don’t care now – I loved it :)

      • Zan

        Kirsty I love your attitude!

        I know that sounds a little bit like something your Girl Scout leader would tell you, but whatever. I do!

  • adria

    This is exactly, 100%, without a doubt, what I needed to hear (read) today!

    “We might not share a faith, but we did share a belief in the significance of the commitment we were making.”

    Especially after our second pre-marital counselling session this past weekend!

    Thanks so much for sharing your story.

    • Kirsty

      When I wrote this post, I thought that if just one bride read it who was having similar feelings and if it could help them even a little bit, then I would be happy. So, Adria, thank you so much for commenting and I’m so glad this was what you needed to read (although I’m sorry you are having to deal with this stuff too!).

      We also had religious pre-marital counselling, but it really focussed on us as a couple rather than religious aspects. We went through the vows and talked about the meaning behind the words, which really helped me feel more comfortable with the whole thing.

      You’ll get there! And it will be worth the journey in the end. Promise.

  • Kinzie Kangaroo

    “As Fin’s dad anointed my forehead in blessing of our marriage, I sensed the warmth and sheer joy radiating from everyone around us, and I did feel blessed.”

    This is exactly how I have come to feel about religion. As much as I am not particularly religious, and my fiance is not religious at all, we both come from fairly religious families. And while we are not getting married in a church (but rather a movie theatre) or with a pastor, I want to find a way to include our families. I think there is a way to have religious or spiritual parts to the ceremony while still sticking true to ourselves.

    People just have different ways of expressing “warmth and sheer joy” toward others, and I want to include different avenues for people to do just that. Because isn’t that what a wedding is (partially/mostly) about? Being surrounded by people’s love and joy while making a life-changing commitment?

    • Kinzie Kangaroo

      Oh, also: beautiful pictures. Beautiful dress. And what an amazing journey you shared with us — thank you!

  • Ariel

    Thank you for this story about coming to love your religious ceremony. I had a very similar experience and a similar breakdown over having a ceremony I didn’t understand and could only partially control.
    I didn’t come to love my ceremony as much as you seem to, but I did finally come to peace with it in much the same way. The readings and music weren’t really our choices, and we didn’t write the vows, but as you said, they are still meaningful. We meant every word we repeated and in a way it was comforting to repeat words that have bound people together for generations.
    Okay, that last sentance could be taken a variety of ways, but I think you all know what I mean.
    During our ceremony I had a hard time being present because I was worrying about whether the photographers and videographer were capturing everything, and about my mom’s freak bloody nose dripping all over the church and her missing the ceremony and a million other things. It was my way of dealing with not feeling quite right in the middle of a Catholic ceremony.
    But when it came to the vows, I was there. Fully. They are the only thing I really remember from the ceremony itself. Well, that and Hubby standing on my dress and causing me to almost fall over.

  • Lauren

    Hooray! This is a lovely post Kirsty ! I laughed, I teared up a little. I had the exact same thing too, My husband’s mum is a church of Scotland minister (I bet our in-laws know each other) and we had a church ceremony of course, chock full of things that I didn’t understand, and I definitely had moments of “whose wedding is this anyway?” not to mention I had all of these strange Scottish customs to get acquainted with ;) but in the end it was really great and I loved it.

    Also Kirsty & Cara are two of the nicest awesomest ladies on the interwebs and both have helped immensely to ease the strangeness of moving from ATX to Scotland with their incredible kindness & their wonderful blogs and it is so nice to see them both here in this post on APW, because really it was Meg who introduced us. Incredible.

    I’ve said it maybe five times, but I’ll say it again, these pictures are spectacular!

    • Kirsty

      Aw, Lauren you are such a sweetheart.

      ONE DAY we will have that APW Scotland meet-up. Sooner rather than later!!

      • meg

        And one day, I’ll come!

        • Kirsty

          You realise we’re going to hold you to that, right?

          • meg

            Oh yes! Ask Cara, I come to Scotland! We’re due for another trip soon, we need to spend time with the babies and we want to do Christmas in Edinburgh. Clare has promised to buy me a whisky too. Do you guys know each other, you and Clare? You should.

          • Kirsty

            You mean Clare of the hip bump during the ceremony and the fabulous book centrepieces? (this Clare: ?) I don’t know her, although I read her baking blog (mmmm, cakes) and I emailed her about the APW meet-up, but unfortunately it was Sandy’s birthday that day. She is going on The List for the next one though.

            If you do come to Edinburgh at Christmas, make sure you stay for Hogmanay – the Scots take NYE so seriously that we get TWO public holidays to recover. Ah, Scotland…

  • LPC

    One of my favorite wedding grad posts ever. Pictures, writing, ideas, all of it. However, as I was admiring the post, a little voice in the back of my middle-aged head was saying, “Who is that adorable boy with the long hair?” Some times don’t change, over time.

    • meredythbyrd

      hahah, me too! I’m a sucker for dark, shaggy haired boys (or men, whatever) especially those who probably have an accent!

      Also, this wedding was beautiful and your words were funny and moving. I hope my ceremony can be described in the same way when the time comes.

      I found myself wondering what vows you used. I was raised Presbyterian and would like to use some that capture the essence without being too overtly religious. I found some from the Episcapalian wedding ceremony that had been DENUDED of everything good as well as everything religious. As a writer and English major it was so horrifying to see how they chopped out all the lovely bits.

      • Kirsty

        First off, thank you! Secondly, I’d be more than happy to share our vows with you – feel free to get in touch via my blog if that would help at all.

        Also, yes, he does have an accent (unless you’re also Scottish, in which case he just has a normal boring voice…)

        • mysparethoughts

          My husband looked like that when we first got together – he makes me cut his hair now. Boys with hair like that ALWAYS turn my head! There is nothing boring or average about a Scottish accent.

    • Kirsty

      Ha, I think you must mean my youngest brother-in-law! He takes his hair *very* seriously.

      You are so kind, thank you.

  • Annie

    What a lovely post. I’m so glad to read about working with the particulars of a religious ceremony, since that’s what my fiance and I are starting to do now. We’re both Catholic but not very conservative, so I think there’ll be a lot of finagling when it comes to the particulars of the music/readings. But I love that Kirsty and Fin’s ceremony ended up being so meaningful, not because of any particular entrance music or readings, but because of the people there and the love in the room.

    Also, I kept glancing through the pictures and thinking “I think Kirsty’s gown is the same one I picked out.” I hope it is, because Kirsty looks absolutely gorgeous!

    • Kirsty

      It’s Maggie Sottero Phillipa, I highly recommend it! (My top tip: lacing up the back might take five minutes in the bridal shop, but for a bridesmaid who’s never done it before it will take a lot longer. I ended up being 15 minutes late for the ceremony because I didn’t factor this in. Oops.)

  • Meghan

    So so lovely. I originally felt as Kirsty did about the ceremony and then also changed to feel that it was the most powerful and memorable part of the day.

    And Cara, these pictures are stunning.

  • Holly Clarke

    Yesterday’s backyard blog ranked as my favorite blog on here. Then I read this. I love how you keep upping the ante. Every morning I wake up to a new dose of awesomeness. Beautiful pics. Eloquently written. I cried. Kirsty, I want to meet to you and be your new BFF. I love the fact that you are so clearly comfortable in your own skin and embrace your silliness. And then the fact that we look slightly alike endears me to you even more. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such an amazing post and Meg – THANK YOU for posting this.

    • Kirsty

      Oh dear, you look like me? Poor you…

      Seriously, thank you for such an adorable comment! Hey, if you’re ever in Edinburgh…

      • Holly Clarke

        haha. no, you’re far prettier than i. it could just be the coloring and funny faces. you were a beautiful bride and now I’m excited for my wedding in gheez… 6ish weeks? i guess I should put some thought into it… CONGRATS!

  • Zan

    So first of all I have a soft spot for this because — ooh, Scotland!! Stephen was born just over the border in Cumbria and half-seriously proposed going to Gretna Green about a week after we met :)

    Second, this: “It was the one part of the day where I didn’t know exactly what to expect, and because of this – not despite it – it was the best part.”

    As a fellow person who loves lists and planning I love that you had this realization. Sometimes being so worried about having everything just-so means I miss out on the fun of blind corners. I’m so glad it was fabulous for you.

    Oh, and also this: “I wish I could say that I didn’t even notice, but the odd emotional meltdown isn’t enough to wipe out a lifetime of conrol-freakery overnight.”

    I had a good out-loud chuckle at that one.

    • Sarabeth

      Zan, I feel like I’m stalking you around this blog, saying “me too.” Cause my husband’s family? All live in Cumbria (Cockermouth, to be exact).

      • Zan

        Woah what?! For reals? That’s crazy! Stephen is from a outside Ulverston. I wish he was from Cockermouth though, I could have a lot more fun with that.

        • Sarabeth

          For reals. He grew up outside of London, but his family moved to Cockermouth about 12 years ago. It is a hilarious name for a town, for sure. Anyway, if you have another APW farm meetup, I will totally come so that we can compare notes on our slightly overwhelming similarities.

          • Zan

            What do you mean “if”? It’s “when”! I think we’re aiming for spring when there are cute lambs, baby calves, piglets, puppies and green grass.

            It’s not Scotland, but it’ll do (pig). Name that movie!

  • Esme

    Not that I was expecting anything else, but this is such a great post. For everyone who likes Kirsty’s writing – GO TO HER BLOG!

    I think the comment about mourning the ‘loss’ of your boyfriend is such an important thought. I definitely think that getting married is just a part of our lives together, but it does bring an end to a significant period of my life. Great post, thanks Kirsty and Meg.

    P.S. Still loving the sunglasses :o)

    • Kirsty

      Ha ha Esme thank you – and I didn’t even pay you to say that!! ;)

  • Jo

    I’m grinning and tearing up. I’m taking away from this a really powerful reminder to schedule time for us and for me, to be mindful. And I also really want to have group singing.

    Beautiful and touching.

  • Fiorentina


    Is this in North Berwick??? The future mister’s mom lives there. So, so beautiful. I just love the shots on the beach and all the locals sitting outside the church as you come in. What a beautiful setting and a beautiful story. Congratulations, and may you have a most beautiful marriage.

    • Kirsty

      Yes it is!! I bet I know her!! What a small world! (and thank you)

      • Lucy Stendall

        Kirsty – did you do ANY work today…at all?!!

        But seriously, loving this post and aaaaaall your little comments here. I am so delighted to see another UK bride become a wedding graduate – I’m in the APW Scottish meetup group even though I’m English, right?

        You realise you are now officially my hero? (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again) Mwah!


        • Aine

          *raises hand* Can I join in from Coventry-way? (Not even English, just transplanted from New York)

        • Kirsty

          Er…. I did *some* work today. Shhhh.

          Thank you. And yes, anyone is welcome to the Scottish APW meet-up. Aine, come on up!

  • AKP

    What a wonderful and thoughtful post! I also struggled with designing a ceremony that would satisfy my bordering-on-atheist parents and my husband’s Catholic family, and I went through much of the same progression — feeling like the ceremony didn’t really belong to me, but then realizing how much it DID mean to me and taking it back. We considered a religious ceremony in a church, but in the end, I just couldn’t feel comfortable with it, and frankly, my only-on-holidays husband couldn’t either. So instead, we got married our way, but we worked in some nods to tradition in our ceremony, and came out with something that was perfectly “us” and that felt meaningful to both our families. Finding the compromise while still respecting the thoughts and traditions of both sides was the most challenging part of our wedding planning, but it’s also the part that ended up meaning the most to me, just as you said your ceremony was the most meaningful part of your day. So it’s worth the struggle!

  • AThombert

    I just wanted to say that I LOVE your idea for the different size glass jars with ribbon along the rim. So simple and so beautiful. I wish I had stumbled into that picture before I decided to take on 40+ arrangements made with hand-rolled roses. (I too am one of those list-making brides who takes it all on… Glad to see one of us who made it to the finish line!) Gorgeous post; thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Giggles

    I think I’m going to go add “reflection time” to my lists. I think if I paused more I’d notice more. Thank you for that reminder.

    And thank you for all the smiles in your photos! Such happiness to start my day.

    • ka

      Ditto. When I read that I immediately thought, you know, maybe if I put it on the lists… And not just the wedding list either. :)

      Wonderful, beautiful wedding! (What I love most about L&L’s work is that you don’t even notice you are looking at photos, you’re just transported to the moment…) Thank you Kirsty for making me cry, laugh and have warm fuzzies today! And for talking about tackling the ceremony…that’s a minefield waiting to be navigated…

  • Robin HitchDied

    I loved this post, and it came at the perfect time for me, because we’re in the process of crafting our ceremony and it is so hard for it to feel “right” and “mine” and all that good stuff. So glad you came out on the other side loving your ceremony! Thanks for sharing your story, and your amazing wedding photos!!

  • Marchelle

    It’s been a good long while since one of these grad posts made me cry, hardened not-so-newlywed that I now am, but this one… Wise words and such incredibly beautiful photographs – I didn’t stand a chance.

  • Marie-Eve

    Adorable bride and wedding. And great photography!

  • Koru Kate

    I just wrote on my blog today about how I felt at odds with our Catholic ceremony throughout the planning process. I just knew there had to be other Brides out there struggling with a similar issue!! My then-fiance wanted to get married in the Catholic church & his feelings were stronger than mine about not get married in a church. But a formal, traditional ceremony seemed so not me, not us. We personalized what we could & we embraced the traditional where personalization wasn’t an option. Somehow our ceremony became the best part of our wedding day, easily the best hour of my life. Nobody was more surprised than me :-)

    Love the joy in your fabulous photos!!!

  • Kristy

    This is my favourite L&L wedding (I can’t believe I can even pick one, they’re all so gorgeous-looking). You really should click through to their site & Kirsty’s blog to see more photos. They’re fantastic, and it looks like it was a fantastic party.

    (Kirsty – what about the kazoos?!)

    • Kirsty

      I can’t believe I forgot to mention the kazoos!!! It really was a fantastic party – wish I could do it again tomorrow (without the planning-for-seven-months part). Sigh…

  • Revanche

    I snuck into this post from work (sitting through a presentation) because I saw that it was an L&L photographed wedding and recognized a couple of the photos from their gallery.

    That was a mistake. I nearly teared up several times, between the gorgeous photos and the post itself. Simply breathtaking, all around.

    Also, it gives me a sense of how better to approach our issue: the incorporation of a touch of the socio-cultural traditions that my family wishes we would but I’m not enthused about, whereas my partner doesn’t have *any* traditions and doesn’t have any need to incorporate anything.

    Now I’m off to rework the budget *again* because I’m in love with their photography….

  • Cass

    “So when Fin and I got engaged and wedding planning officially commenced, it was a case of, ‘stand back, ladies and gentlemen; I’ve got this. I was BORN for this. Time to make a list.'”
    This is so totally how I felt! The day after we got engaged, I made a list of my entire family and all the friends I wanted to invite. And the lists haven’t stopped. I currently have 4 active spreadsheets.
    So far, the hardest part has been getting the groom to be motivated to help out

    • LaurenF

      “Tasks were ticked off The List with a satisfied flourish”–that’s so me. I love that feeling of accomplishment.

      I’m such a planner by nature, and I love me a good list. I actually created a tentative guest list on my computer years before we were officially engaged because I’m anal like that and wanted to know how big our future wedding would be. Luckily, my fiance is a planner and list-maker as well, though I’ve definitely done the lion’s share of the wedding planning so far.

  • Kirsty

    Must. Stop. Commenting. On. My. Own. Post.

    Just wanted to say thank you so much to all of you for your lovely, amazing comments – I am so pleased and proud to be part of Team Practical and this fabulous community. You have made me blush! I’m a very happy girl. Thank you.

    • meg

      Keep commenting! It’s adorable. I love it.

  • Rebecca

    Thank you. It’s great to hear some perspectives of marriage in a church that is not necessarily your church/faith. My future and I had some hard choices to make about our ceremony, but reading your experience has made me even more excited about the way we’re choosing to marry.

    (First time poster, might I just say!)

  • Ash

    “Family flew in from all over the globe and I spent the week alternating between the city where we live and the town where my parents live; one night here, next night there, trying to fit in time with everybody and neglecting to take any time to reflect on what we were about to do (well, I mean, reflection time wasn’t on The List).”

    After I read these words I finished addressing envelopes and took a bath and did some reading and called my grandma and cried. Thank you.

    I am less than 2 weeks away from my wedding and this reminds me not to feel bad about pausing and reflecting on what is happening here. I harbor no resentments towards friends and family that have gotten married, because they did not spend enough time with me during that time. Those hours, that day was enough.

    • Kate

      If I could change one thing about my wedding, it would be putting in more time for reflection. Even if that meant less flower-arranging and photo-walling and bunting-hanging! The quiet moments, esp with the special people who are in town just for you, weren’t given enough priority.

  • Moz

    I’m a wedding singer so I was really interested to read this grad post. I mostly do church weddings and it’s not unusual to find one partner hasn’t really had much interaction with church music or liturgy. Reminders like this are good for those of us – it can be so intimidating, I know.

    Congrats on your marriage!

  • Meredith

    So, so grateful to hear stories of other different-faith marriages. It felt like a such a delicate balance to honor both of our beliefs and understandings about what we were committing to. In the end, our wedding ceremony was SO purposeful and one of my favorite things to plan.

    Your words are beautiful, and so encouraging.

  • Alexandra

    Congratulations! So lovely and fun. I totally dig the colorful sunglasses, too.

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