Challenging "normal" wedding planning when I lost my mother while engaged

I considered myself to be an "ordinary bride," that is until my mother died, and then I discovered that the definition of normalcy is what you deem appropriate, especially when it comes to wedding planning.

For the first few months after she died, it was only natural that my upcoming nuptials were the furthest thing from my mind. Then, as the year of my wedding date began to approach, suddenly friends and family became concerned that I wasn't living up to being a "traditional bride." It begs the question: what's traditional?

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This wedding was all about fairy garden meets Godzilla realness

When we talked about what we wanted most for our wedding day, “fun” was the number one item that came up. It was important to us that our wedding be joyous, loving, and a little silly, just like us. Once we found our wedding venue, a beautiful & bohemian private garden on the Allegheny river complete with a meditation hut & wandering chickens, the rest of the wedding came together fairly naturally.

Avoiding wedding fights: how to plan your wedding planning

Your engagement should be a joyful time. You have a lifetime ahead of you with the person you love. What could be better than to celebrate that love surrounded by friends and family? And yet, somehow things go awry. Conflicts flare. And the time that should be so happy — the build-up to your wedding — is fraught with possibilities for strife.

The good news is you can avoid most of the problems by planning your wedding planning. That's right. Plan how you're going to plan.

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Vintage science-themed wedding and elopement inspiration in this genderfluid shoot

Just wait until you see the dopamine-driven vision that came to fruition at this eclectic wedding inspiration in Seattle. Two breathtaking vintage-inspired dresses, opulent jewelry that will have you panting, lush flowers by that look plucked from a dreamy field, and organic nature-meets-science decor.

(Also, these photos are an awesome celebration of how partnerships come in lots of different sizes, shapes, and structures. You'll see…)