When we got engaged last June 4, one of the first things we talked about was how we did not want to jump right into wedding planning. We wanted to really embrace this season, be happy and celebrate us for right now, and just have fun at this special time that we would never ever have again. You really are only engaged to that special person one time, and that time is too often bogged down with stress over cake-tasting and dress-fittings, matching table-linens and candle colors, meeting with seventeen different florists to pick the perfect sized roses to accompany your arrangements. We vowed not to do that.
We live in Memphis and are getting married in our hometown in Maryland, and so for a large part, most of that decision was made for us. Honestly, my mom has called me an apathetic-zilla instead of a bride-zilla because I refuse to sweat the details of this wedding. It will be beautiful, people will come, it will be an unforgettable celebration of sweet love. Will it be a performance? Holy smokes, no. Will I be screaming at florists and caterers because some shade of yellow is just slightly off and the roses are the wrong size? My word, I plan not to!
We intentionally planned very slowly, with the mindset that we knew what we wanted to happen and it would all work out. We are getting married in my parents' church where we met as middle schoolers on a mission trip when I was 10 and Christopher was 12. The ceremony will be at five in the afternoon, technically not black tie, but late enough in the day that the reception will be dark and dancing and drinking can ensue under sparkling lights and tulle. The men ordered tan suits, I bought the third dress I tried on from a boutique in Maryland. I don't have shoes yet- I will wear white and gold Jack Rogers or my cowboy boots and be comfortable and feel pretty.
We booked a caterer, ordered tents for my parents' property (we're doing the reception in their backyard) and bought our flowers from Costco (who knew- they have a wedding florist! It runs about 1/4 of the cost of private florists and the arrangements are simple and gorgeous. Exactly what we are going for. Plain yellow roses. Delightful!)
The honeymoon is booked, I bought my invitations from exclusivelyweddings.com and they are to DIE for, and I handwrote all of them in one weekend infront of an endless SVU marathon on my couch. Sent them out this Monday.
There is too much stress about wedding planning, and not nearly enough emphasis on marriage planning. Christopher and I know we are getting married, and that the wedding will be a very important, special and magical day. But more important, special and magical will be our marriage. We want to focus our efforts, prayers, concerns and energy on planning for that. We are taking pre-marital counseling at a church here in Memphis, which is a prerequisite to get married in the Presbyterian church. But it's been fascinating to answer the questions and have the honest conversations, to hear about one another's childhoods in a raw honest form.
More-so than premarital counseling, Chris and I moved in with each other and living together before marriage has been so good for our relationship. I am so so glad that we did this before we got married. It has set up the most wonderful foundation for our marriage, and much more than wedding planning, I am so happy we are mutually focused on marriage planning. We now know who hates folding laundry, who really struggles with early mornings, who needs to listen to music in the shower to calm down. We understand who appreciates help with groceries, who needs to be alone after work and what it looks like when one of us really just needs a hug. We understand who listens to rock music when they're angry, who cleans as a way of dealing with stress. We now know so much more about ourselves and one another than we ever did before. We are marriage planning rather than wedding planning, and it is the best decision we could have made for our future success as husband and wife.
How did you plan for a marriage instead of just your wedding?
Any wedding planning advice?