Our wedding was full of tears and imperfection… and I loved it

March 16 2016 | Guest post by Kelli Hector-Rademacher
weddings.dennisdrenner.com photos (c) dennis drenner 2015
Photos by Dennis Drenner

Our wedding day was not perfect.

It was waaay colder than expected, our venue had half a dozen hiccups, and one of our ceremony readers, along with a dozen of my guests, didn't make it to the ceremony. There was one trip to the hospital, one birth, and one rival college football game. (It turns out the world doesn't stop just because you're getting married.)

But when people ask me how my wedding was, all I can say is "like a dream." Then I ache and wish it was three times longer, and I could live it ten more times over.

We wanted our wedding day to celebrate our love with family and friends who have been there for us and meant something to us at different stages of our lives. Our friends and family joined us from California, Florida, New York City, and Michigan, as well as the UK and Grenada. We had guests from the age of three to well over 80.

The day had started with my Mom, her best friend and my Grandmother decked out in green and white for the big football game. You see it wasn't just any college football game — rivals Michigan State University and University of Michigan were playing on my wedding day. Normally a number of my guests may have been at this particular game. So the getting ready suite was full of green sweats and even green beads that made some of our snapshots look more like St. Patrick's Day.

Just in the hour before the outdoor ceremony, what was an otherwise mild Autumn day took a turn, and the temperature rapidly dropped 20 degrees — making it pretty chilly even with a space heater.

Then, in the afternoon, my Aunt stopped by my parents room because she wasn't feeling so good. Over the next hour this developed into a life threatening medical emergency, and she was taken to the hospital in an ambulance from the hotel. It would turn out she was going to be fine and make a full recovery.

But, through all of this, my sister made sure I had no idea what was going on, and kept me clueless. The more I think back on it, I'm amazed by what my family and friends did that day! How they came together to help, even save my Aunt, and how they protected me from from the chaos.

Then, as the reception was coming to a close, our DJ came to say goodbye and informed us that he had not slept in a day and half because his wife had a baby the day before! It was a healthy baby girl and they were doing fine. We were all shocked he hadn't canceled, and showered him with congratulations.

I will always remember that moment, as the wedding came to an end, standing next to my new husband, surrounded by the sweaty smiling faces of my friends and family and the tired new parent eyes of our poor DJ… I thought about this new life that had just come into the world and the new adventure my husband and I were embarking on together. At that moment I knew exactly who I was and that it, life, was all just a wild ride.

A lot of wedding websites send you emails every hour about how to have the "perfect" wedding. They make clear that if you expect your wedding to be featured it better be a certain type of wedding full of glossy pictures of all the things — the "wedding details." But why are we supposed to want that? Why are we supposed to fetishize such an important and personal life event?

My wedding was layered and alive, it crackled with the texture and the light of a Quentin Tarantino film shot on 77mm. It was full of tears and imperfection. A mess of beauty. A terribly wonderful love. And all of that, is as it should be.

So if I had any advice for other couples, it would be this…

  • Don't model your wedding off the formulaic "real weddings" that are marketed to you on the internet for the profit of a gajillion dollar industry.
  • Don't take too much stock in articles that list "X number of reasons why you do or don't have to do this to have the perfect wedding."
  • Don't go on a fucking diet.
  • Don't obsess over your wedding timeline.
  • Request a pound of wedding cake to be saved and brought to your hotel room on your wedding night.
  • Try on a hundred wedding dresses and wear yours again sometime soon.

Make it yours, love each other, and don't sweat the imperfections — revel in them.

weddings.dennisdrenner.com photos (c) dennis drenner 2015

    • Thanks for reading Kim. I am so excited to be sharing my experience with readers here at Offbeat Bride.

  1. This this this this. A million billion majillion bajillion times this. I may print it out and keep it to focus on for the rest of this year.

    This.

    • 🙂

      I wish I had someone or something that helped to pull me out of the wedding planning vortex a few times, so If this can help you stay focused on what's important I am truly honored! Have fun with it Terry!

  2. I love your attitude and this is exactly how I feel about my upcoming wedding! Please please please show pictures?

  3. This post is awesome- I'm sure there are lots of us who know our weddings won't go smoothly (ok, 99% sure) and hearing from someone who's been there that *it will be ok, seriously, it will be awesome anyway, enjoy it all* (my summary) is exactly what I needed to hear. And it's clear from other comments that I'm not the only one. I disagree on trying on 100 wedding dresses- I personally hated that part- but having fun with the silly, froofy parts you enjoy totally translates. Anyway, thanks so much for your post.

    P.S.- You two are so cute!

  4. My guests and groom and flower girls all were amazing at keeping the problems out of my scope of knowledge – afterward I gobbled up the stories with amazement! I thought everything was great and then I found out how much people were doing to keep me feeling like it was all perfect. And I don't mean wedding industrial complex perfect, I mean how my groom and I had pictured it perfect. It was the best gift we got, hands down. The gift of kindness! Also it was fun as balls despite the hiccups.

  5. I freekin love your tips!
    I am so glad you came away with that (and the man you love)
    Congrats and thank you for sharing honestly!!
    Much love
    Rebecca x

  6. I absolutely love this article! Our culture places such unrealistic expectations on us to have the "perfect" weddings resembling the glossy bridal magazines. But if anything, imperfect weddings show what marriage is really all about. We promise to be there for our husbands, through better or worse…so we might as well get a little early practice loving each other through "worse" on our weddings!

    My own wedding was rainy and colder than expected. But in hindsight, it shows me what our marriage will be made of. It showed us how we will love each other and stand by each other in the rain too, not just bask in the sun.

    There were also some silver linings in that weather too. The photographer said that photos actually come out beautifully in overcast weather, because there's no glare. He was right! My engagement photos were done in sunny weather, and although they are also beautiful…I actually prefer my rainy wedding photos. The overcast weather somehow made my skin look better than it's ever looked, by blurring imperfections (hey that's why a lot of dates take place over candlelight dinners and not under fluorescent lights! Darker lighting really can be more flattering)

    Let's not get too bogged down by those unrealistic visions of "perfect" weddings. I know wives who had imperfect weddings, and they've all got happy marriages anyway. On the other hand, I also know women who DID have the "perfect" wedding ceremony…that later ended in divorce. Don't sweat it too much and just revel in the ride.

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