It’s a couple days afterward, but my husband and I just celebrated our two year anniversary!! We celebrated early over the long weekend by taking a lovely stroll through the neighborhoods around our home, oohing and ahhing over the dreamy architecture, working up an appetite for dinner at a new restaurant that we fell head over heels for. They gave me a glass of sparkling rose on the house and they served surprise cotton candy with the check – what’s not to love?! And of course their food is creative and superb. We reminisced about all the favorite weddings we’ve been to and why and just enjoyed the pleasant company. But this post is really a little about my own wedding day and some practical lessons strewn about that I learned the hard way (so hopefully you don’t have to!)
It’s been a crazy two years in the marriage saddle and it was even more of a crazy whirlwind throughout our short dating and engagement. Let’s start at the very beginning…it’s a very good place to start! The hubs and I met through a mutual friend when he was visiting New York for a weekend at the end of a business trip. We hit it off on a Friday, spent Saturday and Sunday together, and figured we’d never see each other again since he lived in the south and I was in the Big Apple. Both of us had this funny feeling though, so we texted a bit, eventually talking on the phone a couple times, and then one day he told me he was flying up the next weekend and coming to meet my whole family! Well, he met me in Grand Central Terminal that next weekend to take the train to my family’s home in Connecticut with a bouquet in one arm for my mom, and a bouquet in the other for me. And the rest is history (yada yada, he’s a dream boat, my heart melted, etc etc)
Fast forward to exactly one year later and he was down on one knee at the same romantic spot he asked me to be his girlfriend, vowing to spend the rest of his life with me (or something like that, I was too busy crying to actually remember anything he said!) My sister’s wedding was just a few weeks away at that point, so we put wedding planning on hold temporarily to fully enjoy her special day! Then we sat down and put a budget together, started a rough guest list, and began the arduous venue hunt. And kept hunting. We only locked in our venue two months before the wedding when I literally had the invitations queued to print, just waiting on the venue name and address before giving the go ahead. THAT was stressful.
Lesson one: no matter how much you love a venue, unless you’re signing a contract with them THAT day, check all your options before making your decision. The venue dictates the entire aesthetic and vibe of your wedding so it’s THE key piece. We ended up going with a non-traditional space and did a tented wedding with full rentals, but we originally had our hearts set on a local barn and waited patiently on them for three months for a go ahead and when it never came, we had to quickly scout another location! Don’t do that.
Lesson two: rentals can end up costing as much or more than an all-inclusive venue and often is a lot more coordination, so just be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before signing contracts. You’d be surprised how quickly the tent, china, flatware, glassware, furniture, and caterer add up in comparison to a full service venue. We’ll be doing a blog post very soon about differences between full service venues and blank-slate venues with rentals, so stay tuned for that!
Lesson three: decide what’s the most important to you so you’re spending your budget in the right places. We’re total foodies, so we spent the largest chunk of our budget on the catering and were so happy with the menu and the food that was served that night. Giant paella anyone?! But if you’re music junkies, get a live band or hire the DJ from your favorite haunt. Or if you’re crazy about flowers, then allocate a much larger percentage of your budget to the floral design.
And lesson four: never, ever, EVER forget that the point of your wedding is that you and the love of your life will be joined in a sacred union and that’s truly the only thing that matters in the end! Don’t lose sight of that throughout your planning process or you’ll most likely turn into a bridezilla. And on the day of, who cares if someone has to make an emergency champagne run (yep, my dad really did that) or if there’s a little rain (umbrellas are adorable and overcast weather is the best lighting for photos!) I promise you that there WILL be hiccups, so instead of focusing on them, prepare yourself ahead of time to focus on all the beauty and love around you.
After all was said and done, we had a beautiful day that we got to spend celebrating with our closest friends and family and while there were small hiccups, I chose to focus on the 99% that went correctly. I fall more and more in love with our wedding every year that passes, and better yet, my husband and I fall more and more in love with each other too. We didn’t even think that was possible, but it is!!
Here’s to your lifelong marriage, a gorgeous wedding day overflowing with love, and all the hard work ahead to keep that marriage thriving!!!