Updated: Oct 23, 2018
Hi! The first of many wedding-themed journals is here!!! This post has taken me so long to write for so many reasons, but here are two that have helped me form structure for what I want to share.
1) No one tells you how imperfect a wedding day can be, so when you hear someone mention the reality that sometimes things go wrong, they seem pessimistic and ungrateful for the joy they so clearly must have if they found love. I had the best day of my entire life on the day I married Jon, so I want you to know I am very much so grateful for this.
2) No one tells you how imperfect a wedding day can be, despite you knowing life is full of flaws, so when I share my photos I cherish oh so much on my social media, certainly I must be full of shit and rainbows and butterflies that are far too fake for our smart little brains. Take comfort in the fact that the day was no where near perfect and I'll be the first to be transparent with you BECAUSE of point #1. I wish someone was more transparent with me, instead of showing all the rainbows and butterflies that I was already seeing through wedding blogs on Instagram.
Society, environment, family upbringing, the media and many other variables may or may not have shaped your view on how your wedding day should go. Key word: SHOULD. And amidst planning, it is oh too easy to get caught up in this word. What should my dress look like? What should our color scheme be? What should our little details be? How should my style be so unique it deserves to be in the knot? How should I save money but still have my dream Pinterest wedding without it really looking like every other Pinterest wedding?
I hope you start to feel the irony here. The day is about you and your partner, deciding to love each other even when you don't like each other for the rest of eternity. And we can't help but ask ourselves what we SHOULD feel, desire and opine on. Instead, we need to realize how imperfect this day can be, just like every other day of our lives is peppered with imperfection, and embrace the jaw-dropping humility of that fact. Because that fact alone is actually going to be what makes your day so memorable for you and the love of your life. You don't want that perfect BS -- only the photographer has time to capture that highlight reel. You just focus on your highlight.....~real~ Do you get it? Do you see what I just...? Okay moving on.
My entire life, I have been able to plan, prepare, work hard and determine a positive outcome in a lot of paths I've taken. It just so happened that things kind of worked out that way thus far in my life, and I know to some of you that sounds lucky. However, learning the lesson that sometimes you can plan, prepare, work hard and not determine every single outcome was the best knowledge I could've gained from this process. As I jump into my recap of my wedding that hopefully helps you remain calm for yours, I want to remind you how normal you are by stressing over some of the tiny details both before and after the day. Here are some of the things that remain in my memory - feel free to ask away if you want more detail on any of them so you can better prepare for your gorgeous wedding day!
1) I swore I wouldn't check the weather radar. All the bloggers said not to. And I did. And it said perfectly sunny and 75!!!! I ordered two cute clear umbrellas because certainly if I prepared for the worst, which wasn't even possible according to my weatherman, it DEFINITELY wouldn't rain! Wrongo. Poured. POURED rain. We had to cut our photo stops short in between the ceremony and reception, my hair deflating made me look like a wet rat, I told my bridesmaids I felt like a ....wet rat, annnnnd ultimately I got the hell over it and decided to have a fun day. I pretended to be fine, and eventually was fine. Your person, girlfriends, PBR and a room full of your favorite human beings can certainly do that to ya.
2) Timelines on timelines on timelines - this is a BIG one. The knot has this sweet tool where you can create a day of timeline, which you'll find some of your vendors request. Namely, your photographer, videographer and any vendors setting up at your reception will need a pretty specific timeline. It was helpful to wrap my head around all the moving pieces of the day, but that's the problem itself. There are SO many moving pieces. For example: Hair and makeup began at 7:30 because we had 11 hair and 11 makeup applications to do before group pictures, vow reading, a boudoir shoot, gifts, eating and leaving for the ceremony at 1:45pm. Your vendors and dads are all over the city, your videographer might be delayed due to equipment rental issues, you might need to change your makeup slightly after you thought it was done and the list goes on. No matter HOW MUCH YOU PLAN, no matter how much of a stickler your MOH is, nothing is guaranteed to be on time. Ugh, and I even planned for a 1 hour buffer at my house with my bridesmaids before leaving. Before we knew it, my bustle on the mermaid gown wasn't working and I needed it tucked for my overskirt during the ceremony, everyone was frantically running around before I rushed into my first look with my Dad, the priest asked Jon if we could start the mass when I wasn't even there yet because he was worried about time, our best man forgot to give Jon my vows and gift before the mass that he was supposed to read to the videographer... and that's not even counting the time at the reception that FLEW BY before our last dance. Moral of the story? Prepare for nothing to be on time, despite the hourssss of preparation put into your timeline. And guess what? No one can do anything without the stars of the day: you and your partner. So sit back and breathe, honey, because this is going to be a freakin whirlwind of a red carpet and you're about to SHINE no matter what damn time it is. No one to disappoint on this day, they won't remember if things are delayed and they certainly don't know about your 4 page timeline that you handed out to vendors.....this day is YOURS. Okurrr? Okurrrrrrrrrrrrr. Oh, and sip on whiskey it will calm your entire soul.
3) The sentimental moments aren't flawless. As my Dad and I waited outside the church, I kept trying to memorize the feeling. When would I know it was time to walk down? Were people already standing or sitting? Would I hear the music? Should I be saying like cute things to my Dad right now? Is this real life? Is this moment ACTUALLY here? Ope, I'm being told to walk down, I turn the corner expecting there to be another pause before the MAIN doors open. Lol no, just a straight shot down to my gorgeous groom. Holy shit!! I'm like actually walking RIGHT NOW! Omg quick smile at the ushers, wait is my train behind me pretty for pictures, omg why am I thinking about pictures, oh I should squeeze my Dad's hand. What did he just whisper? Oh that's funny he's making sure we aren't going too fast because we went too fast at the rehearsal dinner. Awww, my little cousin. SUDDENLY I was literally waving to people I saw in the crowd like I was the freakin Queen or something until finally I got to Jon, could see his face (I have bad eyes) and realized holy crap like I'm getting married to my BFF. If that run-on of emotions doesn't show it enough: your moments you day dream about most aren't going to be filled with cheesy perfect lines from the movies. Nope, you're just going to go in there, and feel all the feels, and know you're not wrong in ANY of it. This is your day, it's going to be weird to finally walk into all the frames you pictured in your mind for the last XXX months, and that doesn't mean it isn't amazing. You're going to feel like you're floating, you're going to be sitting there trying to be present so you can think back to this past tense version of yourself in 6 months when you're all nostalgic, and you won't be able to memorize it no matter how hard you try. So just enjoy it. Just breathe, and look at little features in your spouse's face, and remember how your grandma's perfume smelled, and be grateful. Grateful that you get to live a life where these blurry incredible moments even pass you by.
I hope this gives you some insight to how chaotic the day turns out to be, even if you've read a million pieces of advice telling you it will be. I was told it would be this way by every co-worker and friend who had gone through it, but for some reason you literally convince yourself yours is different because you've prepared differently. SO take this as your sign that even though you're incredibly talented at planning, something will be off and it won't stop you in your tracks much the day of because of how busy you are. But, my goodness, it can stop you in your tracks after the fact as you realize it wasn't as perfect as your Pinterest board full of highlight reel photos made you think it would be. So don't let it stop you in your tracks. Don't let yourself dwell on how you could've changed certain outcomes or better prepared for certain mis-haps. You quite literally can't go back and change a damn thing, so have your moment where you're annoyed and sad it's over. Have your moment where you cry on your way home. Have your moment where you're already wanting to plan vow renewals so you can "fix" a few of the mishaps. Sure, do what you must. In the end, though? Just start living your married life and enjoy the moments of peace, obsess over your photos and video, obsess over each other, obsess over the memories in your brain that weren't captured, unfollow all those BS blogs on instagram about weddings because you're not going to want to see other dresses or details for A LONG TIME and enjoy all the weddings you can attend in the future knowing exactly what that bride or groom is going through. It's quite the strong tribe :)
After all, the next chapters of your life together will be filled to the brim with moments you can never prepare for so let's just chalk this one up as preparation for one healthy marriage, one with a bond that's now officially unstoppable after making it through the busiest day of your lives. Go enjoy this!!
lol jk, it's me, Carley