Tis the wedding season! We're headed to Minnesota this weekend for the first of seven. Ours was only nine months ago but it's interesting how I already have a different perspective on weddings.
Things I would have changed.
I would have video-taped the rehearsal dinner. I know, weird, but our dinner turned into a speech-fest. In that two hours, I do not think I've felt more loved in my entire life. Also would have brought more kleenex.
We love all our attendants, and they were all wonderful and fabulous every step of the way. These people can make or break your planning experience. They get you Starbucks on your wedding day, create a no-drama bubble of protection, hold your hand during toasts and teach you to suck through an imaginary straw so you don't cry. But we would have probably considered different factors when choosing who would stand up for us from the beginning. There are friends of the moment and friends forever. Friends that are tied to you by blood and those who may not be family, but feel closer than that. But, relationships change so much at our age - a fact neither of us really considered.
I would have bought less bubbles. Seriously.
I would have checked to make sure that the "modesty patch" that went in the back of my dress was there when I picked it up from being steamed. Doing that would have made sure my heroic friend Johanna didn't have to book it six blocks, five minutes before photos so that my butt crack wasn't showing.
Things I'm glad we chose.
We chose to see each other before the ceremony - something I was extremely unsure about. It was a courtesy to our guests who were already giving us so much. But also for each other. It meant less stress and less ugly-crying face in pictures. And I assure you the moment when I saw Shea as I walked down the aisle was no less special or emotional. I was just more lucid to be able to take it all in. And the 45 minutes we had together for pictures after the ceremony was perfect and fun. And one of the few "just us" moments we got those three days.
No kids under three. We provided a babysitter for the kids that did attend because we love their parents and wanted them there. And we welcomed them to the reception complete with a candy buffet. But the majority of our wedding planning went into the short 30 minutes we got to stand at the altar. It was the reason for the day, and in a hot, quiet church, the last memory I wanted was a baby crying during our vows. Those are the best, and most important, 30 minutes of my life. And I am glad I protected them.
We had breakfast with our families the next morning. It's one of my favorite memories because in the flurry of the day, there were things I missed. Compliments I didn't get to hear. Crazy stories I wasn't present for (layne elizabeth). So while still in the emotion of the day, we got to hear everything. And it was the perfect ending.
In the end, the flowers were beautiful, I weighed the perfect amount, the food was tasty, the cupcakes delicious, the colors complimentary. Not because I did a good job planning, but because they were good enough to not be a problem. Because what mattered at the end of the day was we left as husband and wife.
I hope this summer's wedding couples have the experience we did. I hope it's the very best day of your life. I hope you are overwhelmed with joy. I hope you feel loved by so many people from all stages in your life. I hope you realize the seriousness of the commitment you are making. I hope you know you are beautiful because even if you didn't lose all the weight you wanted or get the toned triceps you hoped for, a bride is always the most beautiful person in the room. I hope you are sincerely grateful to all the friends and family that helped make this day possible for you and the sacrifices they are making.
And most of all, I hope that this day is the day in which you love your spouse the least. I hope that every single day after this your love only grows. And I hope that at the end of this amazing day when your adrenaline finally runs out and you are alone together, you don't have a single doubt that this is where you belong. Forever.