A place for help, advice, and ideas

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Guest Post --- Featured Wedding I

Our first featured wedding comes from one of my closest, dearest friends whom without, I would have never managed to plan a wedding and stay sane. She was my confident and sounding board through the tears and laughter of my wedding planning journey, and of course, a fellow mental health guru. Here is her advice on how she managed to stay sane (and plan a truly fascinating wedding across the country) . Please take note of the amazing photos, all courtesy of Geoff Horowitz and Joy Moody, whos work we absolutely adore. Doesn't hurt that the bride and groom are absolutely stunning and madly in love.

This will hopefully be the first of many guest posts that Blythe will make, as she has an insane amount of information to offer all brides, not to mention creative and innovative wedding details

When asked to share how I stayed "sane" during my wedding planning process, these four things came to mind as the most important tools that kept me balanced, centered, humbled, and happy:

1. Friends. I am lucky to call both Francesca and Sherin my friends! And luckily enough, all three of us were planning our weddings around the same time—I had two equally creative, stylish, and smart friends to experience wedding planning with. They too understood curse of what we clinicians diagnose newly minted bride-to-be’s: Wedding on the Brain. That’s right girls; we become wedding-obsessed women with WOTB. Every other word out of our mouths is “florist”, “dress fitting”, or “table settings”….and from my personal experience, nothing cures that better than the look you get from your non-bride friends that says, “Girlfriend, snap out of it.” I found relief from WOTB at my job because it put me around people who weren’t asking me to make seating charts and re-edited church readings. Sure, there was the occasional inquiry—my coworkers were interested, but not life-line dependant on details of our wedding. That environment snapped me out of WOTB and back into the world of every day life. To those friends, I am equally as grateful as I am to those who taught me about the world of planning/obsessing neurotically about a wedding (S & F, you girls are the best!)

2. Yoga. Yoga came into my life about three months before the wedding. I was a recreational runner before then, but when a friend invited me to a yoga class, I became hooked. Yoga turned my world upside down. I found myself checking into my inner issues—impatience, perfectionism, control—and learning how to let go. If I can accept my body for what it can do and stop expecting it to be perfect in yoga, I could take my yoga “off the mat”, as my teacher says, and find my breath and patience in my wedding planning. In yoga, we begin practice with an intention. At the end of practice, we express gratitude to ourselves for what our body was able to do. My advice to you, as a bride-to-be, is to wake up and before the every day thoughts take over, say your own gratitude: I am grateful for the roof over my head…the love in my life…the clothes on my back…the ability to move my body… You will be amazed at how quickly it shifts your thoughts from negative to appreciative of what life is giving to you at this moment.

3. Furbabies: Nothing makes me laugh harder than watching our lanky, leggy, goofy, wobbly, and knock-kneed 2 year old Great Dane puppy run around the dog park. With her long tongue hanging out the side of her mouth, Kingston teaches me so much about the laughter in life. She makes me smile even when I don’t want to. She seeks out any one for a good booty rub or a slobbery kiss on a cheek. There is so much I learn from her: If Kinston is tired, she takes a nap. Or two. Or three. She’s always up for a snuggle (yes, a Great Dane snuggle is quite a sight to see) and a belly rub. She truly lives life to the fullest. If we can learn any thing from our pets, it would be that life is too short and every moment counts—Great Danes, for example, live an average of 7 years. And they LIVE IT UP in those short years on earth! Our girl Kingston radiates that motto every where she goes…..eating a whole pizza off the counter top in one fell swoop? Why not, it was at her eye level….no qualms about it. Life is too short.

4. Let It Go. Also known as “How I Planned a Wedding Across the Country.” Let me explain: My husband is from New York, I am from Pennsylvania, and we live in Texas. Not exactly an ideal situation, but when we decided to have the wedding in Philly, we put on our big girl/big boy pants and strapped in for the ride. I’d say 90% of my planning was via email, research online, and phone calls. That left 10% for the few trips I made back to PA, flying solo, to meet with vendors. I would schedule all of my appointments in that week. Freak out central? Check. All of our vendors knew of our situation—a couple living across the country with a groom knee-deep in active duty Army ER residency. I had to be the decision maker and do my best to represent both of our needs. It wasn’t ideal, but it was my reality.
My advice to you is work with what you got and BE FLEXIBLE! You will surprise yourself at how much natural beauty can radiate from the day itself—if you don’t have time or resources to make a bathroom basket, don’t worry about it. If you can’t transport wedding guest gifts on an airplane, you can’t. Our weddings give us this great opportunity to celebrate our love with those we love. Do the guests care about the linens? No, no one remembers the linens. Do the guests remember if the bathroom toiletry basket was lush and flowing? No, most people walk right past it. Your guests will remember the smiles on your faces, and the way you look at your new husband as you take your first dance. Your guests will remember your warm embrace and personal words of thanks to them for being there. Your guests will ultimately carry home the beauty of the day and it will reflect the gratitude you have for life—love, family, friends, food, and music.

The reality is that your wedding is going to be beautiful. Why? Simply because it is your wedding. Human nature teaches us that the simple gift of altruism—giving to others—feels good. Sharing your love with others is all you need. You and your future husband alone are the key ingredients for that beautiful day, not the accessories. Accessories are simply that—side notes to the bigger picture.

It took me awhile, but I finally made peace with not having all the “pieces” I thought were important. In a way, planning from a distance was a blessing, as working within my means forced this Type A lunatic to take a chill pill and just let love lead the way. I will confess, however, that there was one very LARGE wedding day accessory missing that I wish I packed on the flight from Texas: A certain lanky, leggy, goofy, wobbly, and knock-kneed 2 year old Great Dane puppy that loves the wind in her flapping gums, stealing pizzas from the kitchen, and who makes life worth living for…

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