Some of you may remember my announcement from a few weeks back that I got married at the end of 2016! (And, if you missed it, you can read it here along with a recipe for my favorite no-bake chocolate coconut pie.) Although I decided not to bombard you with wedding details during all the planning, I did want to share a few lessons and thoughts about the experience – plus a fun DIY tutorial on how to make a wedding bouquet!
The best thing I learned through this experience is to be authentic. I still don’t fully understand the cultural craziness we have about weddings, but we both knew we wanted a small, simple ceremony that reflected us. For that reason, we decided on a courthouse wedding (which, by default, meant a maximum of 8 guests).
Prior to the wedding, we met our photographer downtown to get some photos of us and family and then headed to our favorite neighborhood (grass-fed!) burger joint for dinner afterward. We also decided to ditch a lot of wedding traditions and events because they simply weren’t important to us (e.g. no bridesmaids, engagement or bachelor parties, wedding favors, etc). In looking back, my favorite part of the entire experience is that it felt like us and we didn’t spend excess time, energy, or money on things that didn’t matter to us.
This leads me to my next lesson (and words of advice), which is to be intentional with your time and energy. We picked our December 23rd date since our immediate families would already be in town for the holidays, but it also meant that the wedding was happening during one of the busiest times of the year. And, on top of the usual holiday craziness, Q4 is the most stressful time at my job and I had a huge contract project due at the end of 2016 so I knew I was going to be stretched thin.
Before going into December, I had to up my self-care game. This meant healthy eating, daily workouts, and getting 8+ hours of sleep were mandatory. Setting my self-care intention ahead of time definitely helped me to prioritize my health and well-being, especially on days when I really wanted to eat cookies that my co-worker baked or take a nap instead of going to yoga. 😉
This motto of being intentional with my time and energy also helped me to keep things in perspective, especially when last-minute or stressful things came up. A few days prior to the wedding I realized that my dress neckline was waaaay too low and hadn’t been altered. Although I could have taken it back to the place where it was altered and made a fuss, this was also an hour drive (each way) and I realized it would be much more stressful for me to try and take it back and hope that it gets altered correctly when I could just grab a needle and thread and fix it myself. This solved the problem in about ten minutes and the best part? It drastically decreased my stress and saved me hours of time.
The last lesson that this situation reinforced for me is that is doing stuff yourself is awesome and, especially in the case of weddings, will save you a ton of money. As if it’s not apparent from the situation above, I’m definitely a DIY-er, but when I saw what things cost simply because they’re associated with a wedding, I had to take matters into my own hands. Hence, this tutorial on how to make your own wedding bouquet!