The last week of this month calls for twice the barn inspiration! This chilly Monday morning has me wishing for more time to lounge around and enjoy the comfort of home. This living space would be a BEAUTIFUL place to do so! With the exposed wood and fresh white… Truly lovely. What’s your favorite thing to do on a lazy day?
Happy Friday! If you’ve been following along this week, you’ll remember that we have gotten through four of five steps for crafting your perfect wedding.
And now today, we arrive at STEP FIVE: Be present. Be grateful. Be hopeful.
So now, you’ve reminded yourself about why you’re planning your wedding; have picked your perfect place to look into the eyes of your love and commit yourselves to each other; you’ve allowed yourself not to be swayed by obligation in creating your guest list; and you planned details that share your story as a couple.
What’s left? BE PRESENT. A lot of people will try to remind you of this on your wedding day. Absolutely. Be present. Stop, look around, and soak it in. Breathe. Smile. Slow down. Give HUGS to EVERYONE. Don’t fret if something goes awry. Who cares? If at the end of the day, you are married to the person you are choosing to be with, then you have successfully started your life together. YES! But also, be present in the planning. The planning is part of the process. Part of the bigger picture. Planning gives you an opportunity to learn about your spouse-to-be, gives you chances to have discussions about what makes you two who you are, about choosing your favorite things you want to share with your guests. And planning gives you time to soak in all of these details. Because you know what? On your wedding day, time is going to fly by. And as much as you want to be so very present in very single second, you are going to have people to hug and places to stand for photographs and some of your ability to see these handcrafted details is going to get missed by you. NOT by your guests. But by you. So soak them in as you work on them. Enjoy them so on your wedding day, you can enjoy all the love in the air.
And then, BE GRATEFUL. Be grateful that you have someone special at your side. Holding your hand. Walking in this life with you. Be grateful for all the guests that will stand by you at your wedding and will do the same long after. Be grateful that you took the time to break some rules in wedding planning and created a day that could only be for you. Be grateful that you simply are fortunate enough to have a wedding. There is beautiful simplicity in that alone. And share your gratefulness with your guests and your loved ones. Wedding planning is not without its challenges and tribulations. That’s ok. That’s honest. There will be moments that are hard as you prepare for this special day. But be grateful through it and it will be worthwhile.
And finally, BE HOPEFUL. Be hopeful that the day you just spent thinking about and planning for will be full of love and life. Be hopeful that your life together will be full of the most amazing surprises and moments that you can’t possibly yet imagine. Think fondly on your wedding day each time you eat that favorite meal of yours that you served at your wedding. And be hopeful for more chances to cuddle together when you watch that favorite movie. Be hopeful that you have many days and years ahead to proclaim your love for each other as you visit your favorite spot that your feet stood upon when you said your vows.
And remember that your wedding day is just the START of so much more to come. Not the end all, be all show-stopper of all the days of your life. Your wedding your chance to honor your love, your authentic love story in a simple and heartfelt way.
There is oh-so-much beauty in simplicity and sharing authentic love stories. Craft yours well. And enjoy.
Today is day four and we are going to talk about the details. This is the place where it is so very easy to get caught up in the… I must have every single detail perfected – that Pinterestitis feeling – for my wedding day to be considered amazing. Let’s stop right there. Seriously, stop right there. I said it on Monday and I will say it again, YES… thoughtful details can absolutely add to the tone and feel of a wedding and they should be carefully considered. BUT… the point of details has gotten lost. You should not be styling your event. You should be adding details that let your guests in on your story as a couple.
Thus STEP FOUR: Plan the details of your day around WHO YOU ARE together.
Here’s an example – if you have to tell your special someone what a succulent is and why you should have them as a favor planted in a cute pot for each of your guests – it’s not the right detail for you. Whereas, if you two are gardeners or farmers and you love to spend time planting things together, then that makes good sense that you might choose that favor. But don’t pick succulents (no matter how exceedingly beautiful they are) because it is the trendy thing to do and looks so pretty in photos you’ve seen online. Of course they look pretty, but that is SOMEONE ELSE’S STORY.
Instead, honor your story as a couple.
Need some ideas to get you started?
Dance to your favorite songs. What? You don’t dance much as a couple? Then don’t dance at your wedding. You DON’T HAVE TO follow the rules about having a dance at your wedding if that doesn’t suit you.
Feel free to break the rules. Break ALL THE RULES if you want to.
Maybe you want to invite your guests to watch your favorite movie together with popcorn and Sour Patch Kids instead because that is what you two do together. I would love to attend a wedding where we did that and honored that about a couple.
Maybe you want to have a Wii tennis tournament because that’s what you guys love to do and you just might be uber-competitive soul mates. That could be sort of awesome.
Do you love to hike and your favorite place you spend together – you know, the place you then realized is the perfect spot for your ceremony – is also a perfect place to take your guests to enjoy the sunset together with a picnic and a glass of wine? DO IT. And when you’re doing it, let your guests in on the story of why.
Giving out favors to your guests? Do it because you want to honor and thank them for their support, not because you think you’re obliged to do something like wrap candies in wax paper and set them out at the table. Give them something they will love – maybe it’s a photograph from the wedding included with their thank you note. Maybe it is movie tickets to their nearby theater (you know, if you are the movie buff couple who watches a movie instead of dancing). But give it some thought. Consider that your guests are doing the following: investing in your relationship, paying money to give you a gift, taking time out of their schedule to be part of your wedding… favors aren’t meant to be throw aways. Favors are meant to acknowledge that you know your guests went out of their way and worked hard to be with you and you are SO glad they came.
If you think about ALL of your details with that in mind, you will have fun planning the little things.
Whatever you do, just make it represent you as a couple. If it doesn’t represent you – SKIP IT. Seriously, this advice will never be said enough. Make the details of your wedding represent you as a couple. It’s not cheesy, or egotistical, or silly. It’s important to allow the people who are surrounding you on this one day of your life where you are committing to something so momentous, to have the opportunity to better get to know you and support you in it all.
And it is your chance to tell YOUR STORY. With a captive audience. Embrace it. Give your guests an amazing story to remember.
Talk to you tomorrow as we wind down with STEP FIVE! I know you want to create your perfect wedding. So stay tuned!
So hopefully you’ve been following along this week as we walk through five steps to help you plan an AUTHENTIC and SIMPLE wedding. If not, catch up on day one here, and day two on picking your location here.
Today we are going to add to our five steps of planning your perfect wedding, STEP THREE: how to figure out who to invite. After all, unless you are eloping (which has simple and authentic written all over it), you are having a wedding to include friends and family in your celebrations and it only makes sense to give it some good thought about who should be joining you.
Guests lists can be a VERY tricky thing. I fully appreciate that it’s not easy to figure out who should attend, making people / parents / friends / co-workers / obligatory relationships happy.
But here’s my advice… Start from scratch. If you’ve already started a guest list. Put it away. Just for now. Now – take out a piece of paper, and list the people who have helped make you the couple you are today. Who have supported you. Who truly have your back. Who will support you going forward in your relationship.
We have likely all been to weddings where one of these scenarios happens…
If you aren’t attending to be present for the words they are committing to each other for the rest of their lives, do you think you really need to be part of their wedding celebration? If your answer is no, then think about it in reverse. Which of the people you are thinking about inviting would be in that same situation where they are NOT totally invested in your relationship? The point of a wedding celebration is to honor the investment in your relationship. To honor what you are committing to each other. To celebrate your love, the start of your lives together. To say OUT LOUD in front of these people who have your backs, that you are going to do everything you can to make this work. I know I wouldn’t want to include someone in my wedding guest list who doesn’t really have any stake in if we make it work or not.
If you put together the list of people who TRULY have your back, I think you’ll find the list of folks coming to your wedding will be much more manageable, and feel much more supportive. And I bet that will help boost the excitement to which you want to take good care of these guests on your wedding day. Then – take a deep breath, and let go of the rest of the names on the list you set aside at the beginning of this post. It might be hard to say NO to inviting some folks. I know – disappointment is not an easy thing to do to yourself or to someone else. BUT keep in mind, this is your ONE wedding day. It should be authentic to you. It is NOT up to you to manage how they will feel about their invite or lack thereof to one of your life’s most significant days. So if you can let that go, and look at the list of your supportive crew of fabulous people that you want to join you, you will KNOW with certainty that your relationship is off to the best possible start it can be. With people who want to see you succeed and will help honor your commitment as the days and years pass.
And on a side note – think about wedding guests from this perspective next time you are invited to a wedding. Are you going with the right intentions? Ok – so tomorrow we are going to chat about how to take good care of the guests you do invite to spend your wedding day with you… the details… the little things, without going overboard and getting lost in endless planning. Tomorrow will allow you the freedom to create your perfectly authentic details!
After all, shouldn’t just the thought of your guest list make you feel like handing out great big hugs?
From Teal Photography:
“The ceremony set in an apple orchard, provided shade on the July afternoon and set the stage for Marti & Steve to exchange their vows. One of my favorite parts of the day was Marti’s sweet giggle fit during the ceremony while exchanging vows with Steve! There were so many quirky and adorable moments to this wedding, from the Star War’s socks on the groom and groomsmen, to the thumb wrestling as we took photos during sunset at the “Golden Hour”, to getting a shot of the bridal party “running from zombies!”
“It is safe to say that Marti & Steve are some of the kindest people I have ever met. (And so are their family and friends!) Their sweet and gentle demeanor were evident to all.”
We can’t get enough of this beautiful, authentic wedding! Congratulations, Marti and Steve!