First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage…I remember saying those words while playing patty cake as a kid.
But for us, it was more like…
First came love,
Then came a baby,
Then came a mortgage,
And next was “Marry me!”
It may not rhyme as well but it is real life and part of our story. I was planning a wedding with limited funds while raising our toddler and working full-time. It was the perfect recipe for the comedy of errors that ensued in the best way!
Since wedding season is upon us, I thought I might share four tips that helped us plan our modern family wedding!
1. SMALL BUDGETS CAN WORK
There are a lot of ways to cut corners that will cut costs drastically. Potluck receptions are becoming more and more common. I purchased my wedding dress at a gently-used bridal shop. We curated a wedding playlist and let it play during dinner in lieu of a DJ. Our bridesmaids were given a paint swatch of our colors and encouraged them to find a dress that felt comfy and gorgeous.
2. COUNT ON YOUR COMMUNITY
Accept the help. My husband’s parents’ friends from bible study wanted to help assemble the accouterments. Choose bridesmaids and groomsmen who understand that their help is needed on that big day. My mother-in-love is a project manager and the perfect person to delegate to others so I didn’t have to! We were fortunate enough to have our photographer, musician, make-up artist, and baby wranglers as part of our party. On the day of, my aunt transformed into an expert florist. Who knew?! She just knew what to do when she was faced with a table full of random flowers and baby’s breath we had collected from Costco and Sam’s dumping flowers day (yeah, that’s a thing!). Our wedding was a great opportunity for our community to recognize their gifts and to offer them as two worlds became one.
3. EMBRACE WHEN THINGS GO WRONG
Turn every gut-wrenching, terror-inducing moment into one of humor and frivolity. My dad was late to walk me down the aisle because my three-year-old brother was constipated. That’s hilarious! My grandmother brought a disposable camera. You’re probably thinking, “They still make those?!” The answer is “YES!” and all you heard during our vows were the loud clicks of the winding plastic wheel in between shots. She was just so proud and excited. Also, it rained. A LOT. Sometimes Plans A-Z don’t work out. The last thing you want to remember on your wedding day was how angry or disappointed you were. Laugh it off and roll with it!
4. DO YOU
Every marriage is unique and weddings should reflect that, even honor it. While some weddings have a mother-son dance that is a tear-jerker, we surprised my mother-in-law with Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). It was their song growing up and they CUT A RUG! The cacophony of laughter and rhythmic clapping that ensued will always be a fond memory. Since we had our 18-month-old son at our wedding and other friends had children as well, we had a bounce house!
Keep in mind that it’s all about the journey of marriage and not-so-much about the destination of a wedding. The best marriages aren’t measured by lavender flavored cake pops, the crystals on your dress, or by the brand of champagne. Even though it poured, we were blessed with a double-rainbow; a sacred promise. How apropos!