This post marks my return to the blog after a six-week hiatus. I tell you, it’s been a wild ride. Driving cross-country. Interrupting the drive for a flight to a job interview. Getting married. Changing my name. Starting a new job. When thinking of what to say about all of this, I came up with a few strategies that got me/us through the month of August.
If you don’t want to stress much over your wedding, always keep it in perspective. People thought we were nuts for getting married in the same month that we moved, changed jobs, and started up in a new city. But it kept me from making the wedding a gigantic vortex of time, worry, and energy because there was always something else in front of us that needed immediate attention. Some people end up balancing a wedding planning with other things out of chance, not choice, and that’s extra hard because you didn’t see it coming (i.e. my good friend suddenly got laid off a couple months before her wedding). I don’t wish that kind of blind-siding on anyone, but one benefit of either scenario is that it puts the wedding into perspective, and you don’t feel compelled to fuss over all the little details. A wedding is an incredible, life-changing, and powerful event…but none of that hinges on the table centerpieces or the groomsmens’ shoes or what kind of dressing is served with the salad.
Nowheresville with Sam at the helm
As you keep the wedding in perspective, try to also generalize your expectations. If you’re like me, you tend to create very specific expectations in the planning of an event, but in doing so you run the risk of getting hung up on changes that have no real effect on your core intentions. It rained all morning on the day of our wedding and showed no signs of letting up. When my dad told us they’d decided to move the outdoor ceremony to the reception barn, I was genuinely sad. I talked myself out of it with reminders that there was no reason our heartfelt, simple wedding ceremony couldn’t play out exactly the same way indoors. I was merely mourning the loss of my detailed expectation for how the ceremony would look: sunshine, puffy baby clouds, a little breeze. Let go of these details to make room for all the unexpected things that actually do happen. Right after saying our vows, the sunshine broke through the rainclouds and came through the barn windows in bright beams. Pretty cool. And definitely something I hadn’t imagined.
When trying to generalize your expectations, remember that guests will not miss something they never knew existed. For example, I wanted people to have copious amounts of good beer to drink at the wedding, so I envisioned some friends from Cleveland bringing kegs of a local microbrew. But with less than three days till the wedding, it just wasn’t working out. My uncle offered to call his friend-the-beer-distributor who could bring like a giant kegorator with taps right on the outside, but he didn’t have any microbrews available. I started to get hung up on the equation “good=microbrew” until Read pointed out that a”any beer was better than no beer and we’d better just go with it.” Thank goodness I married him. The kegorator was a huge hit, and I watched guests drink copious amounts of Blue Moon and Killians without ever hearing a wish for microbrew.
Take a few moments for just the two of you after the ceremony
Finally (and I think I read this on APW somewhere), at some point just cut loose and enjoy your party. We had a receiving line and we stood up at the start of the reception to welcome everyone, generally introduce the groups of people present, and publicly thank friends and family who donated their time and talents. I highly recommend both. Some of my parents’ friends approached us after dinner and said they loved the fact that we introduced who was at the wedding and thanked everyone for coming…it made the event feel very personalized. Since we’d front-loaded our connecting with guests, we felt comfortable spending a lot of time on the dance floor. There were some soul trains, Read’s dad did the splits, and we ended it all with a big, swaying, group hug to “Piano Man.” Read and I agreed that while we knew the wedding would be fun, we had no idea it would be THAT MUCH fun.
Do you have any suggestions for how to keep wedding planning in perspective, not lose your cool, enjoy the day, etc.? Later this week I want to post a little on the “nuts and bolts” of putting together our event, but I also have some new knitting and apartment projects to share.