Jen over at Green Wedding Shoes, one of my most favoritest blogs, posts some of the most amazing photography. Due to our own personal budget, we weren't able to get our top pick photographer, but that doesn't stop me from drooling over some of the fantastic photos Jen posts on a nearly daily basis. What I really love about such blogs is that you can take pieces out of each picture that inspires you and find some way to make it your own. My budget doesn't have room for chiavari chairs or buckets of champagne, but we can set up a colorful and awesome photobooth or enjoy local made products with our friends- its all in the details that actually matter to me and Mr. P.
Sometimes the pictures from blogs like Jen's (see the gorgeous montage above) have been more helpful than all theknot.com has to offer. This wedding provided me with some inspiration for how you can do a wedding on a budget and still have it look elegant and fun, and focus on what really matters. It has been difficult to keep myself from falling into the flock of 'must look perfect' wedding drones, and I'll admit that in the early stages, Mr. P. was the most influental player in keeping my feet on the ground, but for a while I kept thinking 'But if only we could...' whatever, and it made me unhappy with the entire planning process. But as we got farther into the big W (wedding, that is), I realized that so many of the things I 'needed' to have (tall and short floral arrangements, green table linens) were really just wants that wouldn't actually improve the day. Mr. P and I are committing ourselves to each other for life- THAT is what I should have been focusing on.
So, with pared down expectations, I untied my knot and started following blogs like A Practical Wedding, created by Meg who is a veritable fountain of realistic suggestions for how to make 'your' day something meaningful, not an example of how much money whoever is paying makes. Rather than following a cookie-cutter model of brides-to-be, I've also found lots of inspiration from the ladies over at Offbeat Bride, led by Ariel, who have shown me a pantheon of ways to take the 'zilla' out of 'bridezilla'.
To put things into an even better perspective, today I was assailed with a flurry of marriage advice. It was my last day at work before leaving for our wedding and literally every member of our staff who is or has been married offered up some tidbit of advice. The vignette that I enjoyed the most was one middle-aged man said that 'Her dad wasn't so pleased with us being together, so we ran off and got married, spent a week on a riverboat, and went home to announce our marriage. Everyone thought we'd fail, but that was 37 years ago, and I love her more than I did then and wouldn't change a thing, even though sometimes it was pretty tough'. 37 years and still head over heels- what more can you ask for (except 50 years;). His story of their bare bones ceremony, followed by years of love and joy, helps put into perspective that the W is really just a party- what matters is the marriage, and that won't be made or broken by a picture perfect day or a train wreck. Our life will be what we make of it, not the result of a wedding industry stereotype- so why buy in? We have made some different choices, and you know what? From this side of married-hood, I wouldn't change a thing.
Marriage--a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters written in prose. - Beverly Nichols
*photo by Poser:Image and posted on Green Wedding Shoes