Redefining Tradition

In the earliest stages of wedding planning, the question I was most asked is "What kind of wedding will you have?"

With a decade of memories, trends and friends behind us, Mr. and I sat down and put our heads together about what we pictured for ourselves. It was important to me that decisions be mutual and not "bride exclusive" for what is to be our special day (though I did have to rein myself in when it came to flowers, cake design and DIY details a few times. I forget that gentlemen, generally, aren't so bothered. Sorry, darling.)

In my designer's mind over the years, I had planned several altogether different styles of weddings for us, from a nautical theme on Lake Erie to eloping to Europe. Europe only narrowly lost. But those variations didn't answer the question for me. "What kind of wedding will we have?" A happy yet serious one, surrounded by our very closest people . That was our priority. I couldn't stop picturing in my mind's eye -- walking down the church aisle to my love, my best friend. There was just one small problem. We didn't belong to a church and I wasn't interested in borrowing a church for the day. That just seemed strange; that we could enter this holy bond but never go back to the church for the other celebrations life has to offer? So we began what I snarkily refer to as" church shopping".

I know, I know. It sounds terrible, but really. You're going to try one more than one pair of shoes before you buy them, to make sure they're the right fit, right? Well, Mr. and I have varying degrees of faith and our beliefs come from different foundations, so it made it trickier finding a place we both felt was a church home. Can you imagine that we found it after 3 Sunday service visits? First Community Church. Amazing people. I love them. I feel happy when I'm there. I feel light of spirit after a service there. I feel community there. Becoming a member of a church, having never been such previously, was a big step for us both, but one of the best decisions I personally have ever made. After a little time, I knew in my heart that the dress, flowers, and all that other wedding stuff didn't truly matter. I was coming down that aisle in whatever I had and we were getting married in a happy place no matter what. Talk about feeling liberated from the Wedding Industrial Complex!

Once we knew where and how we'd be married, that's when the research began. Though the details of our wedding wouldn't effect our marriage, details are my thing. I'm a fussy britches designer; I simply can't help myself! Wedding blogs and magazines were a great help in keeping my creativity keyed up, but that was about it. To me, the most important thing was that our wedding be a reflection of who we are and that wasn't going to be found in any magazine. The idea that floated around me was how we would go about redefining tradition, learning from the past to create our personal version of holy matrimony. Classic. Honest. Elegant. A modern take on a vintage wedding, chock full o' love, laughter, food and memories. Yep. THAT is the kind of wedding we would have.

Back to the more than ten years we've spent together up to this point. You can imagine what many folks said when we announced our engagement to marry. "It's about time!" was a resounding anthem last year, but it was the very last thing I ever wanted to hear. We did what many people don't before they marry. We grew up. We just happened to grow up together. We gave ourselves time to figure it all out. Turns out, we kinda like one another! I don't want our wedding to be a countdown, something everyone has been waiting around for...those "it's about time" folks. I want it to be a celebration of our time together, our love for one another and dedication to one another. I want to focus on what it means to us to do this because marriage is pretty serious stuff, isn't it? It's all about the real. That's my new motto.

Now that the invitations are out and all those fun details are coming along beautifully (having the luck and grace of finding brilliant vendors certainly helps), we're approaching the 2-month mark with more excitement than we can contain. My darling Mister keeps wishing time would hurry up. Last month, I was nervous about getting projects done. Now? Who really needs them?! I wouldn't mind if time hurried up just a little bit myself.

Perhaps someone gave you words of wisdom that worked well for you or you've come upon learning something yourself...To all brides, old and new, what is the best piece of marital advice you would be kind enough to share?


Mrs. B said...

Oh my dear girl,

What a wonderful blog today. I do enjoy this site very much, but this one is very special. Thank you for sharing such personal feelings.

I was happily married for many many years to what I would call my very best friend, too. He was my only true love.

If I could give you my best piece of advice, it is to always appreciate the little things. Because in the end it is the adding up the little things that make it the big thing.

Appreciate and cherish each and every small thing about your mate, because we are blessed to have been given love. It can all too soon be taken. (Or I like to say "shared," as I believe I just had to "share" with the Lord when my darling husband passed away.)

Your church sounds wonderful and I just know you two will be blessed with a wonderful marriage.

My best to you both.

Tenille said...

Wonderful thoughts.

The man and I church shopped as well. He wanted to get married in the Church and I wanted to get married in a church that reflected us, that I was comfortable in, and that we would feel comfortable going to afterward. We eventually found one.

And we'll be marrying on our nine year anniversary, so I can relate to the "it's about time" comments. Heard it all.

But like you, I'm focusing on the relationship between he and I, I'm celebrating the relationship and all our history and I'm happy with how everything has been going.

No wisdom to share yet but I'll be sure to come back and see what everyone else has to say.

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