Some advice from a 2016 Bride.


Let’s be real, I started pinning wedding things on my Pinterest board way (way, way, way) before Rob and I were even engaged. It was quite a bit of fun too; sharing all your wedding plans and desires with friends and daydreaming about this magical time of pre-wedding bliss. Then. You actually get engaged and the reality hits that half the things you pinned are too expensive, some you just can’t seem to find in real life and the other things you realize that you (and your budget) can easily do without.

This year I got married, was lucky enough to be a Bridesmaid twice and attended 6 weddings overall this summer. So, even though I can’t boast years of wedding planning experience, I think I’ve seen and experienced enough to know some things.

One of the things I realized is that wedding planning is hard. Rob can attest to the fact that it brought us closer but that it also generated a lot of “discussions.” I am all about details and I love organizing, but a wedding is not just any other day. However, it is only the celebration of the marriage and therefore it’s not the grandest of weddings that give way to the grandest of marriages. Thank God! So one of the main things I learned was about not letting this day become the goal. Rob always reminded me of what was ultimately important; this covenant we were getting ready to make to God and each other. Being reminded of that helped me a lot and kept my perspective and anxiety in check.

I mentioned Pinterest earlier because I think that idea of having the “Pinterest perfect wedding” rings true for a lot of us. And if not Pinterest then there’s some other medium we look to for our wedding day #goals. I was on Pinterest looking up ideas for EVERYTHING. And no, this doesn’t end with how I was delivered from the bindings of Pinterest but I did learn to use it for what it was: inspiration. Instead of trying to have a wedding that looked like all the weddings on there. One of the things I noticed and enjoyed from all the weddings over the summer is that they were all different, but yet all such a beautiful reflection of the love between each couple. From a string quartet entrance, to the first dance outside under the West Texas sky, the sweet personal vows read in the sweet barn location, the very fun and upbeat father-daughter dance, the beautiful display of the Texan and German cultures coming together, to the very clever receiving/buffet line, ha! The point is, your wedding does not need to be just like everyone else’s. It should be a celebration and reflection of who you are as a couple. Don’t lose yourselves in the process!

As I talk about the wedding day, I’m reminded that Rob and I almost did not have a wedding. We seriously talked about simply going to the courthouse and doing the deed. That is also a viable option and not one to be put down. Couples choose this option for varying reasons and during wedding planning I was ready to take this route for all those reasons and more. I think there are two things that helped us to make the decision to have a wedding. The first was that although my Mom was ok with whatever we chose to do, she wanted to be here for it. It made sense that if she was going to come all the way to Texas, then we might as well have a celebration. The second thing was brought up by mentor and friend. It was the idea of regretting the decision to not have one. We ultimately decided on what was best for us and I think that’s what couples should do.

Be careful not to allow the stress of this time to permanently damage relationships with friends and family. There are so many decisions to be made and you will make one or two (or all) that may not sit right with someone. That is expected and that is ok. However, plan the day you and your future spouse wants and not do things just to make someone happy. Your friends and family mean well and want the best for your wedding day, so they’ll continue to be supportive when they see how happy you are.

I’m not necessarily traditional. But I’m also not not traditional, if that makes sense. If you google wedding traditions there’ll be thousands of hits talking about that something old, new, borrowed and blue you need to have. If all the traditional things are you then pursue that wholeheartedly, but if that’s not your cup of tea there is no need to force it. I guess I stuck with tradition by walking down the isle in a white dress but I also walked down the isle with my Mom, in a dress I ordered online from Dillard’s, so there’s that.

If you happen to be going through the wedding planning process, congrats and good luck! If you happen to have someone with whom you are close going through said process, good luck!

But seriously, go out and plan (or not plan) the wedding that is best suited for you and your spouse. Don’t allow the details to steal the joy from this truly joyful time. All the while keeping in mind that the celebration is for this beautiful union ordained by a beautiful God, that starts and not ends with your wedding day.

xoxo,

Shaneil.

P.S. It’s such a blessing to have friends and family help and support you through the wedding planning process. Rob and I were grateful to have had just that.

P.S.S. My Bridesmaids are rockstars.

Advertisements