I went thrift store shopping last week to try and find some crystal center pieces for our wedding reception and I stumbled upon “The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day” by Mindy Weiss. I have only skimmed a fraction of this book so far, but from what I can tell it is the best $1.50 that I have spent in awhile. She covers absolutely everything from the engagement period to cultures and traditions, creating a look, dressing the women/men, to answering some questions that all brides and grooms have, yet feel like they are the only ones.
The engagement/transition phase is an interesting one filled with a roller coaster of emotion and today’s bride reminded me of it when I asked her the following question:
Best advice you received planning your wedding?
“The best advice I received when planning the wedding was that, ‘it gets better.’ At first this sounded a little strange, but this advice came from a family friend who said: ‘You think the wedding planning is fun, and it is, but just wait because it gets better.’ Then you have the wedding, and you think that is amazing, which it is, but just wait because it gets better. Then you are on your honeymoon and you think this is awesome, which it is, but just wait because it gets better. Then you are married and living life together and learning what the ultimate meaning of marriage is, and … there are hard times, but it just keeps getting better.”
I thought this was great advice because it reminded me not to get too wrapped up in the details of the wedding day, but rather to remember the meaning of marriage.
Many couples do get wrapped up in the stresses of wedding planning and can easily forget about the meaning of marriage. The focus is all on making this one day perfect, meanwhile you can easily loose track of each other and the relationship. The engagement period will bring on all sorts of stress that you may have never experienced with each other. For yourself, when it comes to planning and perhaps getting obsessed over a few of the details, you may be feeling anxious, unable to relax and utterly exhausted. Stay self-aware and try and find out what the root of the cause is so that you can address it and move on. A good way to blow off steam is to write it down. Remember you cannot take it all on yourself.
Also, the relationship can be affected – you might find that you are fighting more than usual, feeling less close and being less intimate then when you were dating. I am telling you, if I knew back then what I know now, I would have most definitely eloped and skipped all the added drama and extra gray hairs!
Just remember that you are not the only couple going through wedding planning stress, many brides and grooms have fallen into this same slump. If you can recognize those feelings when they first start coming on, you are ahead of the game. Try to step back from wedding planning and remember the real reasons you are getting married. Then one night a week, instead of planning a wedding, plan a fun date night where wedding talk is not allowed.
Today’s romantic garden wedding was captured by A.J. Dunlap Photography and had a smaller budget, but a high dollar look and feel. You are going to love the bridesmaids’ dresses!
“The wedding took place in a beautiful backyard, owned by one of the most thoughtful couple we know. When you walk through the tree line, it opens up to the backyard with a pond and aisle lined with crepe myrtles. We decided to go for a romantic garden feel and added lots of flowers and ribbons for the ceremony and candles and lanterns for when the sun set.”
Bridal Q & A
“A very talented and sweet friend made our invitation suite. I told her what I liked and the colors I prefer, and she did the rest. They were amazing!”
Describe the bride/bridesmaids’ attire
“The bridesmaids wore navy lace dresses. I loved the dresses because of the scalloped detail along the edges, and I thought the sleeves would be nice in case it was a cooler day. Thankfully, we had a beautiful spring day! I wore a Tiffany necklace from my parents during the ceremony and switched to a monogram necklace for the reception.”
What types of flowers did you have?
“My bouquet had white spider mums, peonies, baby’s-breath, purple and pink lisianthus, ranunculus, and blush hypericum berries. I loved it! The florist, which is also a family friend, did an amazing job creating something we loved. There were two arbors and a twig house in the yard that she covered with flowers, and she put jars and lanterns lining the aisle and tree line of the property. Everything she touched was beautiful!”
How many guests were invited and what was the final guest count?
“We invited about 375 guests, and the final count was close to 300. From the beginning, our main focus was on the ceremony itself and the guests. We have so many friends and family that we wanted to share our day with, that we decided we would rather say no to certain wedding details and invite all the people who we love and who have seen us grow up over the years. It was amazing to have so many special people there to support us on our wedding day.”
Which pieces of music did you use during the ceremony?
“I walked down the aisle to Cannon in D. The bridal processional walk down to ‘How Deep the Father’s Love for Us’, and the recessional was ‘Something Beautiful’ by Need To Breathe. Robby’s younger sister, Kristin, has a beautiful voice, so for our music, Kristin and a family friend, sang together. They were great, and it very special to the both of us to have them singing at our wedding.”
“We were able to stay within our budget by making decorations and saying no to things that weren’t a priority. The biggest help came from our family and friends — they were a tremendous help with everything. One of my favorite pieces of decoration was a set of doors at the beginning of the aisle. My dad found old farm doors, and then he mounted, painted and distressed them for us to walk through once the processional started. I loved them!”
What were some challenges you faced planning your wedding?
“Thankfully, we have so many family and friends who were willing to help out wherever they were needed, so they were a tremendous help and made the planning process a lot easier. But, one of the most challenging aspects was probably narrowing decisions down. I fell in love with so many things I saw like flowers, bridesmaids dresses, decorations, etc that it made it difficult to bite the bullet and pick one!”
What were the highlight from the ceremony & reception?
“One favorite part of the ceremony was when we recited our own vows. It was so special to us and certainly something we had been looking forward to saying to each other.We also loved during the ceremony when our parents came up and prayed with us. I loved the relaxed feel of our reception. We wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather and the yard, and we wanted to make sure our guests felt encouraged to make themselves comfortable. We had rocking chairs and games around the yard for people to enjoy. It was so fun to look out at the reception and see our little cousins running around having a fun time. I also loved our exit with floating lanterns and sparklers too. It was so fun.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“For our honeymoon, we went to Turks and Caicos! It was a beautiful and a perfect week.”
Vendors in this Wedding
Photographer: A.J. Dunlap Photography Floral Designer: Dawn Guy
Caterer: Hunter Hill Cafe
Cinema and Video: Kayla Spivey Productions
Cake Designer: The Cupcake Stop Shop