As you may or may not know, I recently got married. Which is awesome. But sometimes, it feels more like I recently made it through planning our dream wedding, and the beauty and peace of marriage came after that madness, which was like a roller coaster in every sense of the word. The day went by so fast I could almost feel the wind rushing past me, I had plenty of jittery nervous stomach drops before the first look and the ceremony, and when I look back on the whole thrilling, wonderful, terrifying thing, all I can think is I WANNA DO IT AGAIN!!! I want to marry Tom every day (Ew, cheeseball. I know. That’s what love does to even the toughest broads, I guess) but I’m not sure I could handle another wedding! I have a million wonderful memories, some little regrets, and a lot of lessons that I learned in the 2 years that we were engaged and planning it all, and this grizzled old wifey wants to pass them on and hopefully help the future brides and grooms out there.
Planning seemed SO complicated and overwhelming at first, but I promise you, it all gets done. It does. I bought a bunch of books with lists and budget sheets and crap, looked at them once, and never did again. I bought every bridal magazine, even though every month is basically the same rehashed generic crap, cut out pics and made an idea scrapbook, and then didn’t even look at it the last year of planning. I made endless obsessive lists. I then stared at the pile of information I collected and had mini panic attacks at least once a day. I regret putting such stress into the process, because in the end, you know what you have to do, if you don’t you ask for help and figure it out, and all of it is a part of this beautiful process that you need to try to ENJOY. Crazy, I know, but it’s true! So. What’s the lesson here? Buy a magazine or book or two. Find some blogs, pin away, but do it in moderation. Get organized in a way that works for you. Do what you can off of that to do list, but take a deep breath, and when you need help, for gawd’s sake ask for it from the people around you. I promise they genuinely want to help you (to an extent, anyway!) make this day what you both want! So breathe, git ‘er done, but for goodness’ sake, enjoy your time along the way to this insanely, magically fun day with the people you love.
Which brings me to lesson number two. WHAT YOU BOTH WANT. Because in the end, that’s all that matters. Whether it’s city hall and lunch at a diner or a 500 person soiree at the Plaza, super detailed and DIY or simple and low key, quirky or classic, all this whole thing is is a day for two people in love to celebrate becoming a team for life with what makes them happy and the people that they love. I was so worried that my plans weren’t creative or unique enough, that my DIYs would look like a first grade art assignment, that Aunt So-and-So would think we were crazy, and I sometimes lost sight of the fact that although compromise is necessary along the way, that truly it was all about us, and what we wanted. Case in point: my wonderful Mama saw the invites I originally wanted and LOST IT (they were black and had skulls with ’til death’ on them), saying that she would NOT support this, that skulls would NOT be at the wedding, et cetera. Ooooh girl, I was pissed, and so was she. But time passed, I had different (better!) invites designed, stuck to my guns on the skulls, and she later bought us rhinestone skull encrusted glasses to toast with, and we were both happy. I also heard, secondhand, about negative comments people overheard about our choices (sweetie, wait to trash the wedding you’re at until you’re in the car home because the bride WILL hear about it) and you know what? I didn’t care one bit. Aunt So and So DID hate our ceremony and our centerpieces and all and we didn’t give a flying funk! They don’t matter. Do what you want, eat what you want, dance to what you want, and as long as you’re willing to compromise with those you love who are willing to compromise with you, have the day you want. With skulls!
Finally, lesson number three, one you’ve probably heard before, but one that can’t be repeated enough – stop. Take a moment with your new hubby here and there. Tom and I had countless little moments through the day that I will never forget, and all of the rest is a glittery, magical blur, which is what the video is for. But our first look? That’s in my heart forever. After the ceremony, holding on to each other, not saying much, just reveling in the moment. Waiting for our ‘big entrance’, everyone else having already disappeared through the doors into the crowd full of light and love and noise, holding hands and enjoying that last moment of quiet. When we sat at our sweetheart table and talked, just the two of us, while we ate the food we obsessed over for months. Before we played our set, backstage with two of our best friends, getting ready to do what we do best, when it *almost* felt like a normal gig on a normal day, laughing and warming up. Walking home from the after party, with aching feet and smiles that wouldn’t go away for days, rehashing the whole thing. Those are the moments that you will cherish. Take every one that you can. You won’t regret a single one.