Our next wedding graduate post is from Dubbs who writes about weddings (her sassy wedding in particular) and life over at c(oi)n:purse. We’ve been reading each others blogs for a while now, but I have to tell you that every email conversation I have with Dubbs reveals something new and kick-ass about her (like she wants to do flowers for peoples weddings who can’t afford it, but deserve it, for free!). So I’m very excited to give you Ms. c(oin):purse‘s wedding graduate post which is wise and honest, and well, beautiful. Take it away, lady….
Before the wedding, if anyone asked me for general advice on wedding planning, I think all I could have offered would be “Just don’t do what I do!”
The truth is that I was a mess during most of the process. All the research required, all the cool wedding ideas around the blogsphere, all the ‘requests and preferences’ from families, made me a rather overwhelmed bride. In our long (21 month) engagement journey, I learned a lot about myself that I wasn’t able to digest until after the wedding. But this stressful time endured by the hubs and I also made me realize more than ever that I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
Our wedding, by some miracle, turned out to be a great success. The weather was gorgeous, the night was charged with celebration, and love (from everyone) was so thick in the air you can almost touch it. This is despite one vendor not showing up, another vendor not fulfilling their contract, the centerpieces thrown together in a hurry, the time schedule being off… etc. If an obsessive compulsive nut job like me can relish in the perfect imperfection, I promise you can too.
Even though our budget was small, there were a lot of details that went into our wedding. None of it fancy, most of them homemade, but all of them personal, meaningful, and / or surely worthwhile having to us. Even though much of it were not executed as planned, or did not have the effects we hoped for, our good intentions still added up to a warmth that was widely felt. Instead of funds, we poured a ton of heart into the wedding, and it showed. We made most of our wedding decisions while putting ourselves in our guests’ shoes. After all, this day was always meant to be as much, if not more, for them as it was for us.
If someone told me two months ago that our wedding would be as fantastic as it turned out, I would have never believed it. Now as an official wedding graduate, my humble advice to those seeking the same degree is to ‘dance to the beat of their own drums’.
Just because all the weddings you’ve been to include a bouquet toss, doesn’t mean you can’t skip it. And by the same token, even if all the practical brides you know pass on the designer dresses, it doesn’t mean you must too! The key is to find balance. If you can afford (in terms of time, effort, money, stress level) to splurge on your priorities and you can offset it in other places, make yourself happy and go for it. More importantly, don’t let any guilt gets to you! Be brave and define your own sanity. I wore a dress I didn’t much love purchased from BABC and altered it myself, but we spent money on a chocolate fountain! While not a budget choice, how can you argue with this face that it wasn’t the right one?
So your mother in law may raise a brow (or two!) at some of your unconventional wedding decisions. Remember that they can’t see the big picture like you can. The couple’s personality infused into a wedding can make it feel much more personal, and often the smallest things contribute to that sentiment. Star Wars theme playing pre-ceremony? Check. Optimus Prime instead of ring pillow? Check. A wedding undeniably our own? Check!
Married peeps (you know, like me) love to give advice, but what’s important to them does not necessarily mean it will be important to you. Some tell you the ceremony is the ultimate experience; others say the first dance is when the world seems to disappear… I didn’t have any such moments during the wedding (I have it everyday when he comes home after work instead), and I don’t feel like I missed out. I wanted all fun, no mush – and that’s exactly what I got but it was definitely no less memorable. Focus on what’s right for you!
This next bit of advice is from the hubs, because he chips in every step of the way. He says you should be true to yourselves about what you want from your wedding. While we had a very guest-centric wedding, and most people claim to want the same, it isn’t necessarily right for everybody. Giving your guests the best time can conflict with many spotlight or romantic moments that define a wedding for some. Be upfront with yourself about your priorities, whether it is for you to have the most unforgettable time slow dancing to a long song with your new spouse, or for your guests to have a blast and join in the fun. One is no better than the other and your guests will love you regardless, but honesty with yourself will take you a long way.
At the end of your wedding day, along with all your other days, only one thing matters about your marriage. It is the fact that you’re giddy at the thought of being with that person, and you can make that person grin like a fool with your mere presence. This is what makes me a successful bride and wife, and I wish you all my kind of success.
*Images by Travis Hoehne