The day before my wedding last summer, my godmother hosted a beautiful bridal luncheon for me at Just Rennie’s, a gourmet bistro Downtown. My closest female friends and family members passed around a gold, tasseled rope. As the rope reached each guest, she tied it in a knot and shared wishes for me. Their messages were heartfelt and appreciated. However, no one gave me advice on how to be a great bride. As a newlywed, I offer some simple thoughts to the lady of the day.
You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you have a wonderful support system of family and friends to share in your joy with you.
What you want isn’t always what you want.
Recently, I came across a handwritten note titled “My Wedding Day.” It was a silly exercise my college freshman roommate and I engaged in 14 years ago. When I married my husband Jason last year, I didn’t do anything I had written on this list. That was fine.
Consider your fiancé.
Discover something important your fiancé wants to incorporate into the day. My husband Jason didn’t want his groomsmen to rent tuxedoes. Instead, they wore black suits and dress shoes they owned and felt comfortable in. The guys looked great and saved money.
Saving money was a key factor in our wedding plans. Weddings can be financially stressful. We were open about our budget and the wedding details most important to us.
Be true to yourselves.
We’re a laid-back couple. We love the outdoors, and we care little about formalities. With an outdoor ceremony, nature serves as the main decoration. Victoria National Golf Club, a nationally ranked course, proved an ideal setting. With the clubhouse’s floor-to-ceiling windows, I didn’t need much decoration for the reception either. I relied on T.R.U. Event Rental, a mobile rental company, for what Mother Nature couldn’t provide.
Remember: It’s your day.
I’ve been to many weddings that felt so rushed to stay on schedule to ensure all the traditional moments happened. We preferred a looser timeline, so we ditched the ceremonial cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss, and first dance. Instead, guests casually grabbed cupcakes after dinner and danced when they wanted to.
Let your experiences shape your wedding.
With that sentiment in mind, everyone behind the scenes at our wedding had a personal connection to us. I graduated from high school with the event coordinator at Victoria National. My longtime family friend officiated the service. I had known Daniel Knight with Studio B Photography for years through my job. Jason’s culinary teacher from Vincennes University made our cupcakes. Guitarist Scott Winzinger provided the soundtrack to our first date several years ago, and we were thankful he agreed to play live music at our reception. These people were an intimate part of the day. Besides, by working with people I trusted, I found a calmer state of mind, especially when I woke the morning of my outdoor wedding to a downpour. Fortunately, the sun eventually came out.
Rarely do things go as planned. I’m grateful my wedding didn’t go according to the plans of my college freshman outline. I needed to meet more people who would be instrumental to achieving my dream day. And I needed to develop a sense of style. Why did I ever want baby’s breath in my bouquet?