Let me just start by saying that I am a very detail-oriented person in everyday life. So, naturally, when I was seemingly laid back over any and all wedding details, my closest friends assumed I must be on an IV drip of Xanax. The truth is, I was never the girl who dreamed of my wedding day my entire life (although I am guilty of creating a wedding Pinterest board simply because I am highly lacking in the creativity department). I had heard the story time and time again - things WILL go wrong, don't let it ruin your day. So I decided to take the laid-back route through all the hustle and bustle of wedding planning. That being said, I still had my fair share of I Guess I Do moments.
Joey and I had been together for around eight years. I was in my first year of graduate school and he had just graduated and landed a great job. A great job that was four hours away, might I add. So we spent our entire engagement living in different cities and planning a wedding in our hometown of Sandusky, Ohio. Planning a wedding in the midst of graduate school is not the most ideal situation. Add driving eight hours almost every week to the list and you have my I Guess I Do moment number one.
On top of all that, making decisions was not my forte. This is somewhat of a problem seeing as wedding planning involves one tedious decision after another. Luckily, I had an amazing florist/decorator who made mostly all of the décor decisions (and did a fabulous job, might I add). I also had an awesome planner at my venue who took care of all the play-by-play details of the wedding day. With the help of these lovely characters, my parents, a few close friends and other family members, we were able to pull everything together.
Now, my mom had begged me to have a destination wedding. In retrospect, I probably should have listened to her. A destination wedding would have fit my laid-back (or maybe just lazy) approach to planning and decision making. But being the stubborn little diva that I am, I decided to have a traditional wedding. A nice, big, expensive, everyone-and-their-second-cousin-has-an-opinion traditional wedding.
Flashback to the day I was engaged. I was on cloud nine, floating in la-la land, never thought I would come down from the happy feeling that I felt in that very moment. Until we chose a wedding date, that is. I actually ruined a few relationships over a wedding date, which brings me to I Guess I Do moment numero duece. Listen up, future brides, because this is a lesson I had to learn the hard way: Choose a wedding date that works for you and your husband and have no regrets. There will undoubtedly be people that cannot attend, but unfortunately no one (at least I hope no one) has the time or energy to send out a survey to 200 people asking what date will work best for them. People who love and care about you will understand this. Trust me.
I think almost every bride can agree with me when I say one of the biggest I Guess I Do moments in any wedding is the guest list. I had been to the weddings with 500+ people, and they were a great time. However, Joey and I both agreed that we wanted a more intimate wedding with people who were actively a part our lives and our relationship. NEWSFLASH: this decision will never go well when getting married in a small town where you both grew up and attended a small Catholic school. But any bride knows that - at the end of the day, you have to make cuts somewhere. So make a decision with your fiance, draw the line, and stick to your guns. After all, it is YOUR day, and YOUR paycheck (and by YOUR I mean your parents).
Now flash forward to our wedding day. After all of the I Guess I Do moments of wedding planning (some of which I shared above and some of which you're glad I didn't share), my husband and I had made up our mind that we were not going to let anything ruin our day.
The day started out fabulous, listening to fun music and drinking mimosas with all of my best friends. Being that I was trying to be so laid-back, I essentially had made no plans or had any serious expectations. And by no plans, I mean no plans. I had a makeup artist coming to do makeup for a few of my bridesmaids, my mom, my grandma and I. I didn't plan a time schedule for everyone to get their makeup done which resulted in my grandma missing her makeup appointment which resulted in a not so happy grandma. In addition, I thought it would be a good idea to have everyone get ready at my house instead of the church. Wrong again. I was the last person to arrive at my house and it was mass chaos – I couldn't find my makeup, jewelry, overnight bag, etc. On top of that, the strap on one of my bridesmaids' dress broke and the other bridesmaids were frantically trying to fix it.
Finally, the dress was fixed and I had gathered up what I thought was everything I needed. I headed to the church, arriving a casual 20 minutes later than when the priest had told me to be there. Everything from this point on was in fast forward – we lined up, music was playing, and the next thing I know I'm standing at the altar with my soon-to-be husband. The night before he had given me a beautiful bracelet that I wore on my wedding day. He has a slight obsession with watches and in return, I had bought him a really nice Michael Kors watch with a traditional mushy-gushy-I-can't-wait-to-be-your-wife note that I could not wait to give to one of his brothers to give him before the wedding. Standing at the altar and for the first time in the last several hours I was able to take a moment to breathe and think, it suddenly dawned on me that I had no idea where his gift was (I later found it and gave it to him the next day).
After the ceremony I realized I had forgotten the party bus playlist that I had spent an hour making the day before. However, at this point in the game I was done entertaining any I Guess I Do moments. I was married to my best friend and surrounded by all of my favorite people in the world AND my favorite drink, Great Lakes Christmas Ale. I don't think life could get any better than that.
In the end, I always remember the advice of one of my good friends: “You need to learn to live in the moment.” You have to be completely in the beautiful, once in a lifetime moment that surrounds you. There are going to be many things that go wrong – but there will be so many other, more important things that go right – and that's the beauty of it. Remember what this day is all about – you and your husband. You got to this point because of love and you should spend your entire wedding day fully taking in that love and the company of all of your favorite people in one place. It really is a magical thing.
And as an added treat, here is Shana & Joey's wedding highlight video!
Photographer: Sandusky Bay Photography Videographer: Pix n Flix Florist: Kirk Miller Floral Design Venue: Kalahari