Becoming whole through family life. Desserts help.
Planning my own wedding more than twenty-five years ago was easy. Get engaged to the love of my life then do what everyone else was doing. Be engaged for a year. Rent a big reception hall right away. Book the church with the longest aisle. Which live band to choose? Which elite photographer? Have your parents take out a second mortgage to cover the costs. Order invitations months in advance with lots of tissue paper inserts. Invite three hundred of your closest family and friends. Done!
Wait a minute. I didn’t do any of that.
We got creative way back before Pinterest existed and made the most of our three-month engagement. My sweet little parish was available. The family run Italian restaurant had a room open. I could make my own invitations. The best man’s brother could take pictures. We could invite seventy-eight of the best people in our lives at the time. Then… let’s pitch a tent in my parents back yard. Get a keg. Play some cassettes. Have more food. Done! Perfectly.
How to plan my daughter’s wedding? Get creative! Set a generous and affordable budget. Choose a venue based something unique such as great scenery, excellent menu, or top-notch service. Bring in some experts, such as the most experienced DJ, baker, or catering manager. Go to a Bridal Expo to spot trends, get inspired, and find discounts. Choose a broad theme, such as Desert Garden and be flexible with colors; shades of green with accent colors of coral, pinks, and purples. Make our own centerpieces and cute favors. Decorate a big tent with streamers, twinkle lights, fresh flowers without feeling obligated to use tulle.
But that’s all the easy stuff. The harder stuff is connected to time management. List everything that needs to be done in a format that is accessible to all involved, like Google Docs. Communicate via email to ensure a paper trail. Prioritize all the tasks; Evernote has been a Godsend for ranking tasks. Then get going! Put tasks on the calendar and move more quickly than I think I need to.
Yet the hardest stuff of all is to take care of everyone involved. Emotions run high and low and high again. Weddings touch people’s hearts and hurts so go forward with great care. Gentle, gentle, gentle. This is among the greatest opportunities in life to love many and to love them deeply by simply considering their wants and needs. To do all this loving, I need to take care of myself, pace myself, and get as much help as I can muster.
My daughter marries on June 8th, 2013. We’ve been creative and organized, dumb-founded and confused, elated and deflated. There has been a lot of crying, even more laughing, and very little tulle. And I can’t wait to watch the love of my life walk my baby girl down the aisle to the love of her life.
Gray Stripe Earned: Planning a wedding filled with love is worth it!