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I never wanted a big wedding: here's why I wish I'd gone with my gut & eloped

Not everyone has dreamed of a big wedding. So when you're confronted with the planning of one, there might be some lessons learned the hard way: "If you want to have a gorgeous and huge wedding with all the trimmings, go for it! But if you're more like me, who never really thought hard about a wedding until you were with your life partner, and you love the outdoors, more intimate ceremonies, and really just can't wait to marry the love of your life without all the trappings of a more traditional wedding, I've got your back…"

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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Hankies at the ready: this couple made the decision to have a last-minute hospital bedside wedding

Life continues to happen even as we plan weddings. Alysson and Adam's circumstances led them to make a pretty huge choice. They decided to get married at Hackensack University Medical Center to be with Alysson's ailing father. Photographer Stefanie Murphy had received an inquiry for a "last minute wedding ceremony" and soon realized that it was imperative that she take it.

I hope you're wearing waterproof mascara for this one, y'all…

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An intimate bucket list wedding planned in two weeks after a cancer diagnosis

Due to circumstances beyond our control, our wedding plans changed in a major way. Ben and I had been together for 5½ years when he was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in the fall of 2016. Ben’s illness put a lot of things in perspective for both of us and we got engaged a month after his diagnosis. We had a simple, non-religious ceremony on the beach. Our friends graciously offered their family cabin near Seattle, WA (in Quilcene, WA if you want to get specific) for the occasion and we had the entire beach to ourselves…