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.