Thursday, June 19

Wedding Advice From Newlyweds

On May 31, 2014 we got married. And it was by far one of the best days of our lives. We realize we haven't written a post in a while (wedding planning will do that to you!), so we figured we'd make our comeback with this. Because it is now most definitely official: we're going to Live Better Forever... together!

Post-reception in our getaway car

Throughout the entire wedding planning process, and even post-wedding beyond the honeymoon, we have tried to be very attentive. We’ve made a deliberate decision to remain tuned in to the present, soaking in all the details along the journey. And throughout it all we’ve had many folks give us advice. Advice on the wedding, and marriage in general. Some of it has been incredibly valuable. But like all advice you receive in life, some you take, some you don't. We certainly aren't qualified to give much advice on marriage -- 20 days experience doesn't sound to impressive on the resume! -– but what we can do is give pointers on some aspects of the wedding weekend.

To all our friends getting married in the coming weeks, months or years, this is for you. And feel free to do as we did: take it or leave it!

It's OK to stress about the details

If you're getting married soon, there's a high probability that by now you've probably been stressed out over something. Floral arrangements, place settings, guest lists, you name it. The details that go into event planning of this magnitude can be overwhelming. Often times we heard: "In a few weeks, it'll all be over" or "After the wedding, these details won't matter." We appreciated the intention of those comments, but the truth is that they never helped much. It's kind of like telling someone "It could  be worse." Well yes, yes it could be worse. It could probably always be worse. But how does that help the current situation at hand? The fact is that many of us get caught up and stressed out during the planning of one of the most important days of our lives. And guess what? That's OK! Embrace it as part of the process that makes the end result that much sweeter. Because in the end, the stress will have been utterly worth it.

We stressed about this (OK fine, Jessie stressed about this)
Be present at the ceremony

This doesn't mean show up (which of course isn't a bad idea!) -– it means try to truly be present. Spiritually, emotionally and mentally there in the moments. You’ll have a sanctuary or room filled with people staring at you, people you haven’t seen in years, people you’re anxious to greet and chat with. But don’t let this deter from the point of the ceremony or distract from the importance of the ritual. There’s been a lot of chaos leading up to this moment, and for a few minutes you get a subdued environment to take a few deep breaths and pause. A few moments to let the hectic nature of wedding planning, nonstop events and out of town guests become secondary to what ultimately matters most: each other, in those moments. Take it all in. You’ll love it and be thankful for it looking back.

Don't feel bad about not talking to every guest

Depending on the size of the wedding and the amount of guests that are in attendance, there's a chance you won’t get around to saying hello to everyone. Don’t feel guilty or anxious; simply accept it and realize that many married couples go through the same thing at their wedding. Expect 10-second conversations before you move on to someone else. No one gets their feelings hurt as they've been through it, too. With that being said, get on the dance floor and have fun. It's your party and you don't want to spend all of it mingling. 

Ask people if they had a good time

Here's an interesting one. If your honeymoon is immediately following your wedding, then there's a possibility that this will happen to you too. Here's what happens. Your whisked off abruptly from the reception and inevitably fall off the grid on your honeymoon. Upon return from your honeymoon people naturally ask about your trip. The odd thing is that enough time has elapsed that people don't say much about the actual wedding. You spend about 1,000x more time and energy planning the wedding than you do the honeymoon, but people ask you about what's most relevant. Yet you want to hear feedback about the big day. Did people have fun? Did they like the cake? Were there any funny stories about people partying too hard or a cousin dancing with a friend? Don't be afraid to ask people for feedback on their experience. It won't change the outcome of yours, and you'll get to hear other peoples' perspectives on the evening which is fun.

Let the current take you

People will tell you to "cherish every moment." To be honest, we're not entirely sure what that means, nor did we have any clue on how to execute on that. How does one cherish? Now this may seem contradictory to being present in the moments of the ceremony, but the fact is that there is over-stimulation going on at the reception. People pulling you in every direction. And yes, the perception of time does seem to speed up. So just have fun. Don't worry about how much time you have left or who you haven't seen. Let the inertia of the night, or "the current" if you will, take you. It's one hell of a ride.

Expect a post-wedding come-down

That sounds depressing and incredibly pessimistic. We know, but hear us out, as there's actually quite a bit of literature on this topic. For months you've been focused on this day, diligently planning and preparing. An abstract date on a calendar has finally become reality. It's been all about you for a long time... and then it's over. We think every married couple has the right to feel a little bummed out the day after their wedding. It's like the day after Christmas on steroids. If you don't feel this sensation, great! If you do, know that you're not alone and it passes quickly. We have had so much joy in re-living some of our wedding weekend moments. You see, like anything in life, there's more than one way to look at things. The fact that your magical day happened far out-weighs the fact that it's over. You've got a memory to re-live for eternity. 

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