On Marriage // Thoughts From a Newlywed

So, here’s the thing- I just got married. 

It’s strange isn’t it? One day you have the last name you grew up with, and the next day you have a shiny, new last name and a different title. Mrs. It’s weird and cool at the same time.

My husband and I skidded back into Atlanta at 9 p.m. last night from our 9-day Westbound honeymoon. Today, with bags of laundry and a stack of bills, we’ve started the long process of getting back to normal life.

While skimming through tweets this afternoon, I came across an excellent article from a fellow photographer that really hit home (see it here). And while it may seem a bit premature to share my thoughts on weddings/marriage, it’s still fresh on my mind, and I have approximately 97 friends who are engaged. SO. Here goes. 

Travis and I really had a lovely wedding. I don’t say that in a bragging way. We had a beautiful celebration surrounded by family and friends who love us and helped us create a really special day. But the thing is, the planning process wasn’t always so lovely. 

We got engaged at Red Top Mountain in March of 2010. He surprised me with a beautiful ring while out on the side of Lake Allatoona.

Upload from October 27, 2011

It was a really exciting time for both of us and we were initially planning on a wedding for that Fall. But then, I started to plan. And I bought wedding magazines and books and looked at blogs and venues and favors and I became completely overwhelmed (see fig. 1A,B).

Upload from October 27, 2011

The thing about me is that I’m a staunch perfectionist (which can really work against me in situations like this), but I also really hate dabbling in details. And to be honest, during this time I was dealing with some difficult medical issues along with a hearty helping of depression. It wasn’t a good time at all. And the more I tried to plan, the more discouraged I got. We eventually made the decision to postpone the date until a time when I was feeling better and could get some of my health issues resolved. It turned out to be an excellent decision, but I think it also generated a good amount of soap opera controversy among our social circle. It’s not fun unless you’re generating some good rumors. AM I RIGHT OR AMRIGHT?!

Fast forward to TAKE TWO. After a series of unfortunate events that Lemony Snicket would be proud to write about, I had the fortune to meet up with a wonderful person who took all my disjointed ideas about cokes and barbeque and baby’s breath and love and turned it into a beautiful reality. This was a month and a half before the big day. Alicia (the most excellent planner) did so much to put my mind at ease regarding details that I was really free to reflect on and plan for what was important that day- Travis and I becoming a family. 

The article I read this afternoon talked about how detail-oriented weddings have become. If you pay attention to magazines and blogs- you’d think it was about the place settings and the menu and how quirky it is and whether or not you have fake moustaches incorporated into your decor. But here’s the thing- it’s about the two of you. It really is. And it’s about making a commitment in front of the people that are important to you. 

Sure I had mason jars at my wedding. And I had ideas that I found on Pinterest. And yes, at times I became so focused on those parts that I forgot why we were doing it all in the first place. I’m not saying it’s easy to prioritize the correct things. But when I did, it became so much more meaningful. On the weekend of the wedding, I was able to focus on Travis and my family and friends, and I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so blessed or so loved. 

Your wedding day goes by so fast. Try to be present. Enjoy your family’s company. Hug your buds.  

It’s not a competition. It’s not a fancy photoshoot. It’s not going to be perfect. But it’s going to be yours. 

Upload from October 27, 2011[photo courtesy of Jeff Corbin]

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