I’m not exactly sure who’s responsible for labeling a wedding as “the bride’s day,” but let's be honest. They got it completely wrong. A wedding is meant to celebrate two becoming one before God, friends, and family. A wedding is a ceremony that marks the beginning of a sacred union—one that requires mutual input from two invested parties in order to function in the healthiest possible way. Weddings are not just excuses to get our hair and makeup done and wear a pretty dress in front of all our friends and end up as the most "pinned" bride/cake/event of all time on Style Me Pretty…which, like many brides, I had to remind myself of (more than once) throughout my planning process.
You know what else I had to repeat more often than "om" in a yoga class? Mantras like, "It's going to be okay. This is all going to work out. I have more than enough time. I'm not going to end up using bedsheets as tablecloths. So what if Crate and Barrel is out of every single item I'm trying to register for?"
|photo: Suggs Photography|
One year later, here I am. A newlywed. Everything is okay. Everything did work out. I had plenty of time, I nixed tablecloths (and bedsheets) in favor of farm tables, and my Crate and Barrel gunmetal-instead-of-ecru napkins are working out just fine, thank you very much. But that still doesn't change the fact that planning a wedding can leave a girl feeling a little in the dark and a lot overwhelmed. Especially when she's fighting to keep her eyes on the prize—building a healthy marriage, rather than just throwing a fabulous party.
That being said, here are five resources I wish I had when planning my wedding.
[photos: @karleykiker on Twitter, teambrideapparel.com, bummedbride.com, iloveswmag.com, @hitched_in_a_hurry on Instagram]
1. A Christ-Centered Wedding by Catherine Parks + Linda Strode: Remember what I was saying earlier about how warped the definition of a wedding has become? Catherine Parks and Linda Strode totally agree. This mom-and-daughter duo wrote A Christ-Centered Wedding to remind brides-to-be of what's truly important—becoming forever teammates with someone who is going to push you continually toward Christ. This book constantly refers to the fact that as believers, we are the bride of Christ. Why is this important? Because all marriages—even the best, most beautiful marriages that feature love stories only He could have written—will pass away. Our status as His beloved? That's eternal. Christ's relationship with the church is the relationship earthly marriages are meant to reflect (see Eph. 5:25-27 for details). I so could have used this book and these reminders when planning my own wedding.
2. Team Bride Apparel "Wifey" Sweatshirt: Y'all, I needed this. I still need it. Soon, I'm going to have to break out the credit card and make it mine. Have you ever heard that saying, "Look good, feel good?" This off-the-shoulder sweatshirt looks good, and I have a feeling I would have felt a whole lot better about my Crate and Barrel registry process if I'd been wearing it while pointing my scan gun in every direction imaginable.
3. Bummed Bride: Why did I not know about this website when I was engaged? We all know that laughter is the best medicine, meaning that paying a visit to Bummed Bride is the equivalent of taking 100 (legal and healthy) happy pills. The editor's motto says it all: "Excited to get married. Bummed about stress, money, and drama." Um, me too. Check out their Twitter and Instagram (@bummedbride) accounts for your daily dose of real-talk. And then take this Hitched in a Hurry -excerpted Bridezilla quiz featured on their website!
4. Southern Weddings Magazine: Did this mag exist while I was planning my wedding? Yes. Did I know about it yet? No. But I have since come to adore and virtually stalk—I mean, admire and respect from a distance—the publication's editor-in-chief, Lara Casey. Lara and her team of belles have created a mainstream wedding magazine that is relevant, tasteful, gorgeously branded, mindful of the Mason-Dixon, and most importantly, God-honoring. That is so cool, y'all. I love what this team is doing, and I can't wait to get my hands on Lara's newest set of Power Sheets.
5. Hitched in a Hurry: Duh, had to sneak in five seconds of self promo. In all seriousness though, it's weird to say that I wish this book had been available when planning my own wedding, because if that had been a reality, I wouldn't have written it as a resource for other brides. So I guess I'll just say, I wish I had known that planning a wedding in fewer than six months was totally do-able. I wish I hadn't left the majority of the bridal salons I visited believing I was going to walk the aisle naked. I wish someone had been there to tell me how to organize my time, and approach a pre-marital counseling session, and create my own programs, and give thoughtful gifts to my fiancé, friends, and family. Which is why I created a resource that says and does all of that and more for current "Hitched in a Hurry" brides—gals set to say "I do" in six months or less.
|photo: Suggs Photography|