What I Loved About My Wedding Despite the Trauma

All photos by Michael Meeks Photography/ NonPareil Photography

What I Loved About My Wedding Day

Ever since writing about why I hated my wedding, it’s been in the back of my mind that I should honor what was good about the day as well. Because, truly, there was more good than bad. It’s just that the bad was quite traumatic which makes it even harder for the good to feel dominant in my experience of the day.

My Ceremony

The ceremony we planned was 100% custom to who Kevin and I are. We put so much thought into making it a unique, personal, heart-filled event. We hired a piano player who did the music for the ceremony and reception which was so so special. I walked down the aisle to him playing Canon in D. The song that I grew up watching brides in movies walk down the aisle to. From the time I was a little girl, I always wanted to find the love of my life; that person who was my other half, who understood me and supported me in a way I’d always dreamt. Walking down the aisle to music that to me had always represented true love was emotional to say the least.

I had my mom and dad walk me down the aisle- representing my close relationship with the both of them. Dad had us all crying halfway down the aisle. It was beautiful. One of my best friends read part of  the children’s book “I Like You” by Sandol Staddard Warburg which happened to perfectly sum up Kevin and I. Here’s an exerpt:

“I like you. And I don’t know why. I like you because you are a good person to like. We have good ideas. When I say something funny you laugh. I think I’m funny. You think I’m funny too. That’s because you really like me. You really like me don’t you. And I really like you back. And you like me back. And that’s the way we keep on going every day.”

We wrote our own vows. And had a wine box ceremony. This is such a cool thing, and I recommend it to anyone looking for something unique for your ceremony. I’ll do a more thorough post on this in the future, but here’s a summary. You get a wooden wine box, fill it with champagne flutes, and a bottle of wine to open on your one year anniversary. During the ceremony you place a love letter you have written to your partner in the box together and lock it up. Each year on your anniversary, you drink the wine, read the letters to each other and then replenish the box with new letters, wine, and any special momentos from the year. It also serves as a reminder should you fall on hard times, you open the box, drink the wine, read the letters and remember what brought you together in the first place. So romantic. We also use it as an excuse each year to try a fancy bottle of champagne. It’s our one time a year splurge on a $50 bottle of vino.

During this part of the ceremony my best friend who is an amazing vocalist sang my favorite song by my favorite musician, “Love is a Verb” by John Mayer to the accompaniment of the pianist. It was magical. I am still kicking myself for not having this amazing ceremony recorded! Such is life. It remains strong in my memory and heart.

Family

This was one of my best days ever with my family. Our niece and nephew, 3 and 5 at the time were flower girl and ring bearer. Duties they were thrilled to have. I truly can’t explain how special it was having my family there to celebrate with us and witness our ceremony.  And most importantly, I’d say, is that they were there for me during our reception when my in-laws behaved like barbarians and left me crying in my wedding dress and red lipstick. I just remember laughing through tears at some story my aunt and uncle who came all the way from Kentucky were telling. My niece was my little shadow and twin in her white lacy flower girl dress. My brothers were both on the best behavior and even got along for the day! Ha! Our family portraits from that day are precious to say the least.

Friends

We only had our nearest, dearest, oldest friends present. Our total guest list was 45. It was so fun having everyone there, but I know the fun was dampered by the extreme stress Kevin and I were under due to the conflict with his family. The knowledge that they hated me and didn’t want us married obviously cast grey skies over the entire weekend, but we truly did our best to enjoy what we could. And having friends there was definitely a part of that. That night after all was over, we had everyone gather in our room with pizza and bourbon and laughed it up. I’m sure that helped us a little to recover from the trauma we faced from his family.

Style

This includes my bridal style, my husband’s groom style. The floral arrangements and set up of the reception. The beauty of the spaces we chose. Big, bright windows, fire place, ranunculas, snapdragons, pink, white, grey. Food. I’ll include that in style too because it was damn cool. We had an eggs benedict bar. Hello! Delicious. As per everything I do, it was planned beautifully and executed well. Perfecto.

Hind Site is 2020

Truthfully had I known all that was to happen, I don’t know what or if I would have done things differently. My answer varies by day on this subject. I think a beautiful compromise between the wedding and elopement would have been a good way to go. I’d have loved an exotic elopement, just the two of us with a beautiful brunch reception with our nearest and dearest at a later date. What I do regret the most was ignoring all the signs that my in-laws should not have been at our wedding. They had more than shown us what they thought of me and our relationship, and on the very horrible advice from a crappy therapist “people typically behave at weddings, don’t worry about them”, we invited them anyway. Shame. I should have listened to my gut. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. But I’m eternally grateful for those who did support us and made us feel loved that day. Thanks ya’ll!

If you had terrible things happen on your wedding day, what are some of the good moments? Some of the best things to remember? It’s so important to honor the beauty in the darkness, as hard as it can be.

 

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