Recently in talks with a bride to be and she is asking all the right questions. I love questions! it gives me a chance to get to know someone and what matters to them on their wedding day. It also gives me a chance to connect and educate brides on how this wedding thing works. While we were talking we discussed things that really matter on the day of.
Ok, I admit. I lived and breathed wedding planning for 11 months of my life. I read every wedding magazine, search online, had the mother of all wedding binders and thankfully there was no Pinterest in 2007 or I would have broke it. We live in a small rural area and do not have the vendors or fabulous venues that I get to frequent now as a wedding photographer. Even as a creatve go-getter type person, it didn't cross my mind to choose a venue elsewhere (wish I had) So made what I did have work. And it did. In 2007, I think my love of unique weddings started with my very own, short bridesmaids dresses were unusual, I wore my hair down, we seen each other before the wedding, we didn't do the chicken dance....Dun Dun Dun...our wedding was doomed right? NOT.
I confess I was a bit of a controlling bride, I did things my way and up till the day of the wedding I probably had a touch of bridezilla in me, not the type to yell at people or act a fool, more the type who knew exactly what she wanted and how she wanted it done. I had a vision, I was going to fulfill it. I understood not everyone seen my vision so I made sure it was executed. But come the wedding day, I let it all go and decided whatever happened, happened. I did what I could to make things run smoothly, I planned, I prepared, I visualized every scenario. The day of my wedding I woke up with a what will be will be attitude. I am so glad I did. It was a happy day and I was a happy girl. I I want to share with you as a happily married girl of almost 8 years, looking back I remember what REALLY mattered. I think these even surprise me because I worked so hard on details and my photographer did a fabulous job of documenting all the work I had done but none of those make my top 5 moments, read why....
- I was sweeping the kitchen floor one day and I called the store were I purchased my dress and asked what my balance was. She asked my name and some details and then said, "your balance is zero". I said that can't be my dress, I bought a $1500+ dress and I only paid $500 down. She said "Actually your aunt and bridesmaids paid off the balance" I still remember being silent for almost a minute. I begged her to recheck that is was my dress, and it was. Who am I to be surrounded by such amazing people.
- My husband and I decided to see each other before the ceremony, (that old wives tale about it being bad luck is so so untrue.) I remember seeing him when I pulled in and then I walked around and couldn't find him, when I did and he said he so excited he got nervous and hid. I'll never forget that sweet look on his face.
- We wanted something genuine and real for a ceremony, So, my uncle was our officiant, he talked about me as a little girl and how I was the daughter he never had and then he talked about Jason's brother who passed earlier that year. We laughed, we cried, it was very real, genuine and memorable. Please do not overlook the ceremony and your vows just because it's not the most stylish part of the day.
- We had a small, intimate ceremony of about 75 people, then we invited 250 more guests to the reception so when we arrived we had a big, loud, high energy grand entrance, it was the first time 90% of the guests had seen us that day and it was magic. It was our moment.
- Dancing with my dad at the reception and my brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. I never left the dance floor. We didn't do ANY of the traditional dances except the anniversary dance that my grandma had mentioned she seen at another wedding. I did it for them. They were of course the last couple left on the dance floor and they danced the entire song to themselves. We were all in tears. Later my friend Doug took me for a ride on his power chair. I can't even tell you how amazing it felt to have all of our friends and family as happy as they were that day.
Those were my top 5 moments. Not one of them were about details, decorations, flowers, cake, how good the food was, if my photographer was in the right spot, If the DJ played the songs I wanted, if the cake was just right, if my hair was perfect, if my bridesmaids were on time, If I had enough lipgloss on, if the girls had glitter in their hair, If my dress got dirty, if the centerpieces were set up correctly, if the groomsmen were drinking too much, if my mother in law wore the wrong color dress.....those are things I have overheard people worrying about. I love pretty details and gorgeous flowers and dresses at weddings, delicious food and all those things that make a wedding a wedding. But just know, those are not the things that you will remember in 10, 20, 50 years.
All Photos by my fabulous friend, Krystal Muellenberg Photography, she also took me under her wing after my wedding and is responsible for showing me all things weddings, she is wonderful.