‘I’m Right There With You’
as she prepares for her fast-approaching wedding, Renee gives new brides tips for minimum stress
photos by Randy Lee
Dear fellow brides,
If you could just pay attention for one minute here and remove the god-forsaken glue gun from your hand (the wedding favors can wait), I want to give you all a written hug. This wedding planning stuff is for the birds ... unless you actually like it – then feel free to go back to Pinterest. This letter isn’t for you.
Anyway, I’m right there with you, sisters. In a few short weeks I get to marry my best friend and start 2016 off with a new last name. And while I’m a firm believer in marriage NOT being about the wedding day, but rather being about your lifetime together, planning a wedding is the first step in the “lifetime together package.” It feels sort of important.
You’re only going to get this one day … one time. It’s not like anyone is going to say, “Oh these decorations are hideous and the cake tastes like a dead cat covered in fondant, but I’m sure they’ll have a nice lifetime together.” The reality is they’re probably going to Instagram a picture of the littlest detail you happened to overlook with #weddingfail in the caption.
OK. Maybe people aren’t that mean. But I’m guessing you’re probably right there with me in your own version of my wedding catastrophe nightmare, so I’ve written down some of the reminders I’ve had to give myself over the last year of wedding planning:
1. You’re going to be beautiful, but pick out a flattering dress.
You don’t need to lose a ton of weight, tan yourself into a skin-cancer-laden future, or grow your hair out longer than you can stand. He’s marrying you because he already loves you and thinks you’re amazingly gorgeous. In fact, I’d be willing to place a bet on the fact that he thinks you’re insanely hot in your pajamas on a Saturday morning with drool crusted to your face and your hair all a mess. Do what you need to do to feel beautiful, but don’t go crazy. Just make sure to pick out a dress that is flattering and makes you feel great. If you pick out what Pinterest – or your mother – demands that you have and you don’t like it or feel uncomfortable in it, you’re going to hate all the pictures anyway.
2. You can look at Pinterest for ideas, but never for comparison.
Your wedding should be about you both as a couple. If you love the whole mason jar thing, do it. If you want to have a wedding where everyone wears fedoras and eats pizza, do it. It’s your day.
3. It’s not about the money.
This one is especially important for all of us who are funding our own nuptials to remember. The magic of the day doesn’t come from expensive centerpieces.
4. If you haven’t talked to them in years, you don’t have to invite them.
Or even if you have, and you still don’t want to – you don’t have to. Despite what your parents or anyone else may say, it’s your day. Spend it with people you want to spend it with.
5. Remember your groom probably isn’t as into this as you are.
He definitely wants to marry you, but he probably isn’t really all that invested in which style of flatware the wedding party uses. Try to involve him as much as possible – occasionally he’ll surprise you with an actual opinion. But at the same time, don’t get too bummed out when he falls asleep after you’ve made him look at napkin stamps on Pinterest for two hours. And to all of you that are marrying someone who is super into the whole wedding planning thing, no one wants to hear it. Just sit there and count your blessings in silence.
So, darling future brides, I hope this helps you breathe a little easier (even if it is into a paper bag). Your wedding is going to be wonderful if you just relax, do your thing, and have fun. Remember, it’s not about the day; it’s about the rest of your lifetime together.
With much love,
Renee Melton (almost Sommer)