Friends, you have been so generous to let me take all this time to share our wedding with you – thank you! It was so fun for me to revisit such a special day, and I hope that any of you in the midst of wedding planning will be able to take something from me blogging about my experience. I wanted to take one last post to share some of the things that aren’t necessarily obvious or visible in photos, but that are as much part of a wedding as all the things you do see.
It’s easy for blogs and magazines to show you the design and the details, but not so easy to convey how things tasted, or how the music sounded, or if everything went smoothly. I hope by sharing our menu I’ve given you a little idea of how delicious all of the food at our wedding was, and by seeing photos of everyone dancing you can see how awesome the band was. But that’s only part of the day – so many other things contributed to what it was…
…starting with our planners, Laurie Arons and Jenna Lam, who not only helped with our wedding design and details, but who also handled vendor communication and coordination, made sure everyone was where they needed to be and that everything happened on time, and troubleshot anything that went wrong (Jenna did such an amazing job the day-of, that Ryan and I were totally unaware of any issues that might have come up with vendors or timing, etc.). I know that a wedding planner doesn’t fit into every wedding budget, but for us, having them be part of our day ensured that everything went smoothly and allowed Ryan and me to be guests at our own wedding.
In a city with limited parking, and with so many out-of-town guests, the shuttles and valets were two of the keys to making our guests comfortable – and they’re really some of the unsung heroes of a wedding. Bauer’s shuttles brought guests from their hotels, to the church, to the reception, then made trips back to the hotels all evening. And for guests who drove to the ceremony, Soiree Valet saved them the trouble of finding parking or having to walk in the rain. (Soiree’s owner even drove a guest’s car to the reception when the guest decided to hop on the shuttle!) I think when your guests feel taken care of, they’re bound to have a good time.
One thing you hear all the time in the wedding world is the word perfect – I know I use it here on Snippet & Ink, and it’s all over wedding blogs and magazines. And when you’re looking at pretty pictures, and reading about the parts of a wedding that someone decides are worth sharing, it’s easy to think that perfect is a reasonable expectation for your wedding day. To me, our wedding day was as close to perfect as you can get, thanks to our incredible vendors, planners, friends and family, and the decision that Ryan and I made to be fully present at our wedding. But the truth is, when you think of perfection as everything looking and happening exactly as you have it in your mind, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Because even if things are as perfect as can be, even if you’re the most organized bride and have the most incredible vendors, things never happen just the way you imagine: flights get cancelled, it pours rain, cakes get stuck in traffic, babies cry during the ceremony, cousins give embarrassing toasts. Or maybe you just feel all around different than you thought you would feel.
And the only thing you can do about any of this, is to let go. Go into your wedding day as free of expectations as possible, and let yourself experience each moment for what it is. My older sister called me about a month or so after we had set a wedding date, and told me that she was pregnant with her third baby, and that he was due on our wedding day. In a perfect world, I’d get a healthy nephew and have my sister in attendance, but unfortunately that was an impossibility. I knew that she was going to miss my wedding day, and it broke my heart. But in some ways, it was a gift – it forced me to let go of the Perfection Myth. When your would-be Matron of Honor can’t come to your wedding, the color of your ushers’ ties seems totally irrelevant. So does having a runny nose at your own ceremony (I had to grab Ryan’s pocket square in the middle of the blessing and blow my nose – not solemn or romantic!), or getting cake on your dress.
The flip side of this, of doing away with expectations, is that you open yourself up to feelings and moments that you never could have imagined. Things like: the feeling of total love and support as I stepped into the church with my parents on either side of me; making eye contact with my groom through the window as he smoked a cigar outside; our friends surrounding us in a giant hug circle while singing “Stand By Me” a capella after the band packed up; jumping out of our getaway taxi at a stop light to hug my cousin who was in the car right behind us; the utter joy that I felt all day long. MARRYING MY BEST FRIEND.
And the most awesome part of all? The end of our wedding was just the beginning of our life together – how wonderful is that?!
Photos by Magnolia Photo Booth Co.
Bauer’s Transportation, Laurie Arons Special Events, Magnolia Photo Booth, and Soiree Valet are sponsors of Snippet & Ink.