Rachel & Jonathan

*Rachel, Operations Analyst & Jonathan, Chef*

Today’s wedding graduate post is just perfect. Not much more to say. Rachel is writing a thank you note to her partner, something we probably all should do after surviving wedding planning. She says it all, so I don’t have to.

Dear Jon,

We did it. We got married. We stood in front of one hundred people, said our vows without screwing up, and you successfully crushed the lightbulb glass. My homemade chuppah didn’t collapse, we didn’t cry (although it would have been ok if we had), and we danced down the aisle to Elvis.

One could argue that we cemented our new, baby family on that glorious day, but I think we both know that we did that long ago, probably somewhere along the way. Or perhaps, when I sabotaged your proposal and you still proposed later that night, despite being mad that I ruined it. Oops.

As you know I am huge proponent of a heartfelt thank you note, and I think I owe you one more than anyone.

Thank you. Thank you for being you, for holding me when I needed it, for listening to me rant on and on and on about God knows what wedding related topic. For being patient when you needed to be and for kicking me in the butt when I needed it. For successfully wading through all the drama together that happened only three months before we got married. I probably would have drowned without you.

Seeing you stand beside me and fight for the same principles that I stood for was one of the best and heartwarming moments (even in the midst of drama). Knowing that we are in this together and we will come out of this together made it that much easier to get through such a tough time.

Thank you for being there when I realized one wintery night that wedding colors don’t matter; that traditions are ok to be embraced, tossed, or reinvented. Thank you for Googling “wedding traditions around colors” (no joke ladies and gentlemen…not much comes up, by the way), and letting me race around the house lamenting about why the heck should we have to choose such silly things, what do colors have to do with getting married anyway? Why must we drink wine at the ceremony? Why can’t I drink coconut rum instead?

I am forever grateful that we decided to toss out the tradition of separating the night before the wedding and instead, just chilled out at our house and spent the next morning before the wedding like it was any other day of the week. It was the best idea ever and so calming for what we knew the day would inevitably bring.

Thank you for your patience. I still believe that a relationship requires patience, understanding, love, and laughter. And in the midst of wedding planning you need to bring in reinforcements of each for they are all tested. You definitely found extra bushels of patience somewhere (Target perhaps? Did you use a coupon?).

I know that eventually, we ran out of it and I am sorry for things I said or the way I acted during the weeks before our wedding (like a crazy control-freak-induced chicken). It is so easy to feel alone during that time when the to-do list starts growing out of control; even the best planners/type As can lose it (me). I felt like I was alone on an island with my giant to-do list because I am horrible at delegating and love DIY as therapy.

I wish I had reached out more to you; realized that it’s okay to relinquish control at times; I probably wouldn’t have washed up on my own island, pouting for days.

Thank you for testing out each possible song with me in our living room. Dancing around to Elvis, the Beatles, Sinatra, Prince, and Michael Jackson was a blast. Yes we fought about each and every song for pre-ceremony and cocktail hour and while neither of us heard any of the songs when they were played, I still love listening to the playlist, even months afterwards.

Most of all, thanks for laughing with me (and sometimes at me). We needed it and it made the planning process so much more fun. In the end, we did what we set out to do: we got married because we wanted to.

It didn’t matter if anyone showed up, saw all of our hard work, gorgeous decor, or tasted our jars of homemade jam. We just wanted to be together, be married, and then take a nap. Because naps are good. Especially with you.


The Info—Photography: Gabriel Ryan /Venue: Richard Nixon Presidential Library / Planner: Grand Engagements /Florist: Honey and Poppies / Rachel’s Dress: From Mariposa Bridal / Favors: Jars of jam, made by us!

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  • mimi

    Did you drink coconut rum at the ceremony?

    • carrie

      I’m going to take a moment and plug Cruzan rum….we went to St. Croix on our honeymoon, where they make Cruzan and it is superior. Carry on…;-)

    • No, we didn’t. We ended up drinking this horrible red wine that I almost spit on when I took a sip. I had a margarita soon after the ceremony though.

  • Michelle

    If this post didn’t illustrate that heartfelt thank you notes are the BEST, I don’t know what will. Just beautiful.

  • Is this possibly the sweetest wedding graduate post I have ever read? Why yes, it is.

  • Ashley B

    Nicely said Rachel!

  • This is beautiful. Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness!

  • carrie

    This might be my favorite wedding grad post. I love the heartfelt thank you. You guys are beautiful. Congrats!

    Also – WTF with wedding colors?!!? I love pairing colors and I remember trying out a bunch of different ones before we got engaged and then picking them. And then….nothing. The flowers were fuchsia and bridesmaid dresses were turquoise (well, teal). And that’s it, folks. I do not understand why I spent a minute even thinking about colors other than ooooh pretty! However, for those who do have coordinated wedding colors everywhere in their weddings, it looks gorgeous. Not a judgement, just a pondering for my own choices!

  • “like a crazy control-freak-induced chicken” had me rolling in stitches in my office. That’s where I am at now in our wedding planning, less than a month to go, and the to-do list growing out of control. Thank you for reminding me that soon, none of it will matter!

    Also, do they sell patience at Target? Because I could use some of that right now.

    Beautiful post and wonderful letter! Congratulations on wading through the drama and coming out married at the end of it all!

  • Phoebe

    This is such a wonderful idea that I am stealing. Also, with 52 days to go I am going to be entering the a crazy control-freak-induced chicken phase, and now that I have this amazing phrase to describe how I am feeling, I don’t think it will be so terrible! Thank you for the letter and sharing your story!!

  • youlovelucy

    “I felt like I was alone on an island with my giant to-do list because I am horrible at delegating and love DIY as therapy.”


    This whole thing is beautiful. As another fond believer in the heartfelt thank you note, I am definitely writing one to the boy after all is said and done (and wedded).

  • One More Sara

    I don’t have that much to say except that this post was so gosh darn beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • daynya

    Love this! I planned on writing thank you letters to our parents – and my fiance – because I was coming up short on ideas for ‘gifts’ of some sort. I know they are not required, but I wanted something meaningful to give, to show my appreciation for everything, not necessarily store bought. I am so in love with this letter, and it just reaffirms that my plan is awesome! Thank you for sharing it. :)

  • DorieG

    This post is absolutely stunning … really, I wish I could print it out and hand it over to my fiance and say, “What she wrote”.

    With just under 10 weeks to go, I am feeling like the “crazy chicken” though moving has me more freaked out than the wedding at this point.

    And, thanks so much for this “I am forever grateful that we decided to toss out the tradition of separating the night before the wedding and instead, just chilled out at our house and spent the next morning before the wedding like it was any other day of the week. It was the best idea ever and so calming for what we knew the day would inevitably bring.” I have been grappling with whether to spend the night with my fiance just before the wedding, and while I wanted to maintain the tradition of staying apart, I think (no, I know) that I will need his support and zen steadiness at those last 36 hours leading up to the wedding. I feel like I now have permission to do what I will need emotionally–despite traditional guidelines.


    • Dorieg,

      Do it (ok, do whatever you need to do) but I can’t tell how nice it was to stay at home the night before and then to have breakfast together the morning of and just hang around the house doing normal stuff the day of the wedding. I think I cleaned my ring, painted my nails, and did some ironing before heading off to the wedding and it was zen like.

    • Yes, I completely agree! Decided to stay together the night before the wedding was hands down one of the BEST decisions we made.

  • i’m sobbing.

  • I think this bride was in my apartment last night, because we did ALL THESE THINGS. We lost patience, I went crazy-chicken-TypeA-DIY, we tested out each and every dance song, argued about seating music and cocktail hour. And came to the same conclusion: Naps are good.

    My favorite wedding graduate post ever. Thank you for giving words to what I’m experiencing RIGHT NOW.

  • Rachel, I absolutely LOVED this! You both are just too good for words! :)

  • EAL

    More shots of that Chuppah! It looks gorgeous. Do you still have or have directions about how to make?

    • Jen

      yes… please!!!! I have to figure out what i’m going to do for a Chuppah too, and yours looks great…plus it didn’t fall down! that is key :)

  • 1. I love this post so hard.
    2. Girl! That dress! HAWT.

  • This is such a wonderful grad post. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Class of 1980

    Rachel, you and your dress are stunning. You must have done something right, because everyone looks like they’re having a great time.

  • Jessica

    The small glimpse I can see of your chuppah is BEAUTIFUL! We’re trying to figure out how to make ours right now- any tips?

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  • You are so sweet. I am sobbing in my cube at work…

  • Thanks everyone for your lovely comments, so kind. If you want tips on how to make a chuppah that doesn’t fall down, is pretty, meaningful, and doesn’t cost a fortune (I made mine for less that $75) send me a msg through our website (http://www.jandrfoods.com/#!say-hello) with your email address and I will tell you everything I know.

  • Krista

    Beautiful wedding and beautiful post! Thank you Rachel!
    Also… that dress!!!