Summer for us always means weddings … no matter what, with big families and close friends, it’s inevitable. We count of total of nine we’re both invited to, one of which we’re both in, and zero – count zero – that are in the city where we live.
Booking the trips to attend, however, is never a question. We both love weddings. We do everything in our power to make it to the ones we’ve been invited to. Even if it means my husband scheming for a week on how we can attend two that are on the same day within just hours of each other.
Love. Booze. Food. Travel. Family. Friends. All wrapped up in one event. It doesn’t get much better than that.
To date, planning our wedding has been, by far, the most exciting venture of my life. So much so that whenever my husband and I get notice that a friend or family member is engaged, raging jealously runs lightening fast through my veins at the very idea of the couple planning their big day.
Now let me preface with two things. First, the 25 years previous to our wedding definitely hosted thrilling moments – ballet recitals, basketball tournaments, new siblings, road trips with girlfriends, prom, college, backpacking through Europe, and of course, buying a house to name a few. Second, I was a good bride as far as “good bride” standards go. I focused on the ceremony and the importance of our vows, wanted my fiancé to be as involved in every decision as possible, and really did “let everything go” the day of to focus on the commitment I was making. Scouts honor, really.
With that said, I am a wedding maniac. I might only be rivaled by a single friend who has kept a three inch thick book of wedding ideas she wanted to implement for her own event years before she even started dating her fiancé (whom, ahem, she just got engaged to this week). If I could plan my wedding every year, over and over for the rest of my life, I would. I’d even spend the same amount we spent the first time, despite the adamant objections I am sure I’d get from my husband.
You see, it all started with the dress. I knew the dress was ultimately going to set the event’s tone, and when I came across that LeAnn Belter gown, all caution was thrown to the wind as I deliriously smacked that $3000 down on the counter of Ania Bridal. Money was no object and I knew I was going make the event memorable no matter the cost. The dress was promptly followed by booking the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle, complete with a five course meal.
No detail was forgotten, with the exception of favors – on purpose. For those who enjoy wedding favors, congratulations, because they are a waste of money and utterly pointless. Sure, the stale but neatly wrapped cookies may be a nice treat for guests after they drink themselves silly, but I have yet to hear anyone walk away from a wedding – or throw one for that matter – and say “those favors were the best part of the day, I have never seen anything like it!” Perhaps I’m not spending time in the right social circles or attending luxurious enough weddings to be treated to anything truly stunning, but more often than not, the dumb things are left mercilessly at the tables, or if taken, forgotten within moments of the wedding’s end. But I digress …
As my husband and I prep ourselves as guests this wedding season, while watching brides and grooms frantically (and maybe not so frantically with some) get ready for that exciting walk down the aisle, one can’t help but reminisce about their own day and the immense love present. Here’s to weddings and all the great emotion that comes with them – and to the vow renewal eight years from now that I’ve already begun to plan.
Seven years ago my baby sister followed me on an adventure out to Portland, Oregon. After transferring colleges my Sophomore year to the University of Portland, my sister choose to attend UP a year later. The next six plus years is a time on which I will always look back fondly. For many of us, college is naturally a time to whimsically remember, and I am no different. My college years were extra special, however, because I could enjoy them with my sister by my side. We both remained on the West Coast for a number of years after school, much to my delight. Almost one year ago now, we both left Portland and moved to different cities—my sister back to the great Twin Cities and my wife and I to a city in the mountains we had never seen before. I have missed her on a regular basis since we both moved. Now, as my baby sis prepares for her wedding day, I understand ever so slightly how my father must feel. I am a little sad to know my baby sister is no longer my baby sister, but I am beaming with pride to watch her marry a wonderful guy.
If you can’t tell, I am very excited for the wedding next weekend. Call me sappy, but I love weddings. I love the ceremony, I love the vows, and I love the celebration afterwards. It doesn’t hurt that every wedding in my extended family seems to have Jesus himself catering the reception, not a glass of water in sight. There is something about the momentous marital occasion so full of joy that leaves me feeling honored to be present. Every individual has a number of life-changing moments, for better or worse. Whether that number is a dozen, or fifty, or a hundred, there are key moments in each of our lives that we can look back on knowing it forever altered the course of our existence. When you are lucky enough to be apart of one of those moments, again for better or for worse, you can’t help but feel a connection. Maybe weddings are much more facile than I suppose here, (it seems at least 50% of this great nation believe so), but I always feel that a wedding day is one of those momentous occasions and I am lucky to be apart of it.
So I sit here with excitement for the week to come. Not only do I get to return to the place I will always call home, but I get to stand on the altar across from my sister as she recites her vows. As many of you are celebrating the Day of Independence of this nation in which we are lucky to live, I will be celebrating a day of independence for my sister and brother-in-law. Unsaid jokes of ball-and-chain aside, that’s what the 4th will be for them. If the idea is true that a wedding is a momentous, life-changing occasion, then one’s wedding day is a liberation of sorts. As I drink one for the birth of the Union of States, I will most certainly drink one to birth of their union as well.
To my future brother-in-law, sorry you had to find a wonderful girl with five siblings, all male. You’re stuck with us now. Never forget that you have a wonderful girl, however. She has had an amazing influence on each of her brothers’ lives. She will have the same on yours.
To my sister, you have found a kind, gentle-hearted man with whom you will now share your momentous moments. Redundancy aside, cherish them. Continue to love the world the way you always have. Don’t ever lose that spark of joy you carry with you. I love you, Bugaboo.