Boy proposes to Girl.
Girl says yes.
Boy goes to war.
Girl plans a wedding.
Girl misses Boy.
Girl gets overwhelmed.
Girl breaks down.
I walked in the living room in a daze.
I could hear my mom talking but I wasn't listening to her words.
"We need to talk... I think this wedding is stressing you out."
Then came the tears.
And the breakdown.
I sat in her living room that night and we talked through all the things on my mind.
The wedding that I couldn't seem to make any decisions about.
The boy I love that is across the country.
The happy time this is supposed to be but what it was turning into.
We decided it was time to find a solution.
"What is most important to you?" She asked me.
As I thought through that question... REALLY thought through it, I came to a simple conclusion. There were 3 things that were important to me:
1. That I marry J
2. That we are surrounded by the people that are closest to us
3. That we have beautiful pictures
Did I care about the colors or the bridesmaid dresses or the centerpieces?
Not so much.
Did it really matter if we had a garter and bouquet toss?
Not when it came down to it.
At the end of the day...
the day that we save and spend so much money on...
the day that we plan for months on end for...
the day that takes weeks to prepare for and hours to get ready for...
at the end of that day what we have left is a marriage and pictures.
So I decided to simplify.
I am a wedding photographer. I see so many weddings every year. In addition to the weddings I shoot myself... I read tons and tons of blogs. Blogs of my photographer friends, wedding planning blogs, blogs that feature real weddings... SO MANY BLOGS.
There is a sense in which I started to feel this pressure when I got engaged.
I started out with plans of planning this super wonderful wedding with 100 of our closest friends and family. I wanted it to be a great reflection of us individually and as a a couple. I wanted it to be unique... full of things that had never been done before.
Then somewhere along the line things got blurred... I felt like suddenly I was planning a wedding and thinking about all the blogs... instead of about our wedding. Suddenly the wedding felt like it was getting in the way of being married to the man I love.
Believe me, I am all for weddings. I'm a wedding photographer, DUH! But at the end of the day, it comes down to one thing. Being married. Marrying the man I love. Becoming his wife. Everything else is secondary.
So after deciding what was important to me, I was able to make more decisions.
This was HUGE.
I haven't been able to make a decision to save my life!
The first decision was this: I no longer wanted to wait an entire year.
J found out he would have R&R (rest and relaxation... where they send the soldiers home for 2 weeks to get a little break) during March. We decided that would be a perfect time for us to get married.
Next we decided that we wanted to go away... do a semi-eloping kind of destination wedding. As for where to do it... well that will take a whole blog of it's own.
We also decided we would keep the wedding to just our close family.
About 30 people.
Simple, small, understated.
No big ceremony venue with lots of decorations... something simple and outside would be perfect.
No big reception with tables and centerpieces and seating charts... a simple dinner at a restaurant instead.
Our bridal party? Yes, we still want them, but they will be more honorary. And they can pick what they wear :)
I alluded to some of this in my blog yesterday about my brooch bouquet. Because of these changes, we will not be able to have everyone we love at our wedding. But our family and friends are so important to us. We want to have a piece of you there with us. And we are working on some pretty cool things so that you can share in the day with us anyway. More on that coming.
As for the photographer... again, that is a whole other blog... however I will say this. One of the 2 things left at the end of this day will be the photos. And being a photographer myself, I know how important the photos really are. So so so important. The most important thing to me aside from the actual marriage. So we will be bringing a photographer with us. We will be carving out a very large chunk of our day for pictures. I am planning pictures as well as a wedding. I know this is where the majority of our budget will go and it will be well worth it. Because when the flowers have died, the dresses have been hung in the back of the closet, the centerpieces are trashed, the cake is eaten... what remains is the marriage of two people who love each other, and the pictures documenting that love.
And so the preparations begin. We now have 4 months instead of 12. And lots of decisions to make. But not nearly as many. I am so much more relaxed knowing that I will get to be married to J in only 4 months! And that this is so us. Relaxed, laid back, and simple.
I can't wait to share the rest of the details with you! Because believe me... even for a simple, relaxed, laid back wedding, there will be details :)