That bride-to-be over there? Tell her your stories.

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on February 24, 2014

I was mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest the other day and found myself bemoaning the fact that I got married in a pre-Pinterest world.

Only, if I’m being honest with myself, I don’t really regret it all that much. I just get distracted by those barn loft-mason jar-candle lit-wildflower weddings that are so gosh darn charming and lose my mind a little.

But really, you brides-to-be must be dizzy when you think of all the options available to you these days. There’s just so much creativity right there at your fingertips. How do you not want to do all the things?!? Is it making you mad? Are you drowning in it? Do you need me to send you a life-preserver? Because I totally will.

When I think back to my wedding and ask myself what I might change had I the help of Pinterest, the truth is that I wouldn’t change much at all. I loved our wedding. The ceremony took place inside an old Spanish Catholic church at dusk. There were a few flowers here and there and lots of candlelight but mainly there was just simplicity and love (and a killer mezzo soprano who gave me chills with her rendition of Ave Maria).

Our reception took place on the back patio of a downtown Mobile restaurant. They took care of everything. The trees were lit with twinkling lights, there was a small dance floor, and the food was provided (as were all the tables, chairs, and linens). All we brought in was the music, the Margarita machines, our cream cheese and pecan frosted butter cake, and our centerpieces — floating candles surrounded by the the most intoxicatingly scented gardenias.

It was all so uncomplicated and lovely. I’d say it was stress-free — and it really should have been — but I was kind of an emotional mess. So, while it’s true that I occasionally see things on Pinterest that I would love to have incorporated into our special day, mostly I just wish someone had told me to take care of me.

I wish I’d scheduled in more time to connect with Dan in the days leading up to our wedding. I wish I’d spent more time in prayer. I wish someone had told me to take a Benadryl before going to sleep on the eve of my wedding because even if you don’t have cold feet (mine were warm as toast) it’s unlikely that you’ll sleep very well and being exhausted on your wedding day can make even the little stresses feel overwhelming and disastrous. I wish I’d had a Mimosa to take the edge off so that when I found the hem of my dress covered in black dust I would have laughed it off instead of bursting into tears. And I wish I’d had a woman who’d gone before me take me out to lunch and tell me all of this ahead of time. I would have liked to have heard her stories so that I could have known to expect the unexpected, that “disasters” are part and parcel of a wedding, and that truly, a wedding is just a day.

An important day, a day that is the start of a whole new breathtakingly beautiful life, but just a day.

So, let’s make this a thing. If you know of a woman who is engaged, call her up and invite her to lunch. Sip wine, eat cake, and tell her your stories. Laugh at yourself so that she’ll be able to laugh at herself. Let her know that you are always there, day or night, to listen to her fears and answer her questions (including the awkward, embarrassing ones). Even if it looks like she all the support she needs, give her a little more because you just never know. She might just need you, too.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Melody February 24, 2014 at 9:20 am

I got married last year and Pinterest made it 10x more stressful than it should have been. It’s very overwhelming being bombarded with all the ideas that are so perfect (my card box certainly didn’t turn out like the ones on Pinterest). It left me frustrated because I couldn’t live up to what I thought was expected of me. It was also very hard on the budget: just when I thought we were finished buying stuff I’d see a great idea on Pinterest and all of a sudden we’d spent more money!

If I could tell engaged women anything it would be to have the wedding YOU want! Not the one that the magazines and the internet says you should have. If you can, don’t buy any magazines or books or visit Pinterest. All those things are done by professionals and that’s not you; you don’t have a professional florist or decorator making your centerpieces so don’t beat yourself up if they don’t live up to Pinterest expectations! :)

Anna February 24, 2014 at 10:32 am

I stayed away from Pinterest and kept everything as simple as possible. We had a tiny bridal party, my mom did all the flowers, and our luncheon reception was at a restaurant nearby that handled pretty much everything for us and had a nice banquet hall. But the Mass was beautiful and reverent, the guests were happy and well fed, and it was the perfect wedding for us.

My biggest advice for other brides and grooms: pray for peace. Ask God for the grace to be peaceful in the days leading up to the wedding and on the wedding day itself. He answered that prayer in a profound way for me; the whole week before the wedding and that day I was incredibly peaceful and happy, not stressed at all, and only nervous for a couple of fleeting moments here and there. It was incredible.

Kierstin February 24, 2014 at 11:20 am

When I got married it was pre-pinterest but only barely. Now I have friends who are getting married and copying some of my ideas and putting them on their pinterests! I wish I was a good enough person that it didn’t bother me but it kinda does. However, I agree, I was blissfully ignorant of lots of the possibilities. My wedding day I didn’t even kind of pay attention to decorations and things…it was all second in my mind ;)
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Erika February 24, 2014 at 11:25 am

Love this :) and I wish that someone had done this for me (or that I had at least read your post before my wedding). Pinterest gave us some lovely ideas but overall I stressed way too much over things that didn’t really matter. Our wedding was beautiful, and like yours I wouldn’t change anything (except the silly things that stressed me out beforehand).

bridgette pidel February 24, 2014 at 11:57 am

Getting married in May and I am really overwhelmed because we are having such a large wedding and even without tons of decorations it is still so expensive and you need twice as much of everything. I’m doing a lot of it myself to save on cost which I enjoy mostly but as its getting closer and closer to may the to do list keeps on growing. I’d appreciate the prayers that I can keep the main focus of that day to be the blessed union of myself to my spouse with God. Thanks for sharing!

Caroline M. February 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Two of my best friends are getting married back to back weekends in September, in different states. Thankfully I’m only a bridesmaid in one! It has gotten me thinking about my wedding of course, which was only 2 years ago. Honestly, I had no stress the week of because at that point I was like whatever, at the end of day I’m marrying my best friend and the love of my life. And the day was awesome, even though I tried to kiss him before he had lifted my veil (what can I say, I like to be kissed). If I could tell any potential bride anything it would be just that: remember what the point is. The point is not to impress people (though you may), or to make everyone happy (you won’t); it’s to marry the person you love. The real adventure starts the next day.
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Caroline M. February 24, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Prayers sent! We had a big wedding and much of it was DIY. Here’s my advice: don’t get a manicure, or if you do don’t get French tips. I’m the silly woman who got French tips and then promptly spent the next four hours knuckle deep in soil making table arrangements. Remember to breathe, and have fun!
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Leticia Adams February 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I love this. I was blessed to have my mentor take me to lunch at Z Tejas and do just this for me. :)
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Little Wife February 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Yes! I wrote a post a little while back because man, I spent so much time freaking out about our wedding.. and really, it’s just one day. Waking up to my hubby’s sweet morning snore every day is way better than any centerpiece. (Okay, maybe that doesn’t *sound* so great, but really. Maybe I’m a total weirdo. Whatever.)

I found this wedding planning book that was really a devotional- that was an amazing thing for me. I got it from the church library and didn’t return it for like, 8 months. I read it over and over- it was that great.
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Jennifer @ Little Silly Goose February 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Hallie, your posts about marriage are always so touching. Reading them feels like the lunch with a friend that you describe. Thank you for continually advocating for marriages– it is important.
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Emily February 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Thank you for this! I am getting married in two months. (One week before I graduate and I am student teaching this semester…) I just keep praying that I will be able to stay focused on what really matters- the marriage, and not get too caught up in the details and what doesn’t go as planned.

Moira February 24, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Oh, Hallie – I thought you were going to “host” a lunch type conversation, only online… wink wink…You are so much fun with your ideas – want to?? I would love it! Everyone chip in their funny/awkward/disaster story and the 1 thing they wish they knew!??

Martha@RomancingReilly February 24, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Oh my goodness — amen amen amen. Especially the part about making time to spend with your man in the days leading up. I won’t lie. I was definitely frustrated and even jealous of all the bachelor/bro time that was being had. On my end I had good girlfriends in town with me all week, but still …

Now we’re working on making “us time” now because somehow that always seems to be what gets put on the back burner and we’ve realized that we just can’t let that happen any longer.
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Suzanne February 25, 2014 at 12:04 am

Aww!!! Thanks, Hallie! I always read but never comment, but I just can’t not comment here… I’m two and a half months away from the big day, and this is such great advise. I’ll really take it the best I can over these last few weeks. Thank you :)

Suzette February 25, 2014 at 2:08 am

” Even if it looks like she all the support she needs, give her a little more because you just never know. She might just need you, too.”

I have been thinking these thoughts lately – mostly about first-time mommas (I’m 32 weeks into my third pregnancy, so these waters are feeling familiar!). So many new mommas around me are denying every attempt I make to cook/babysit/visit/exercise. I’m trying not to get bummed-out some days! But my prayer is that when they DO need they can remember my willingness and reach out. :)
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Rachel G February 26, 2014 at 7:07 pm

This is such an excellent post. I got married just before Pinterest days–and honestly, even if it had been around, I probably wouldn’t have used it because I was totally single-minded about my wedding. I wanted to get married, that was it. If it weren’t for my hardworking family we probably would have had a pastor, a wedding dress, a church, and that’s it. :P Other brides are much more interested in the wedding preparation process, and I’d say that’s a good thing, but it’s sad when wedding preparation simply turns into a source of stress!
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Kayla February 28, 2014 at 12:53 am

I can’t wait until I have my friends get engaged because I’ll be ready to give them any advice whenever they need it. I hated being given unsolicited advice but was okay with it when I *asked* for it. I’ll try to keep that in mind ;)

Getting married during the time of Pinterest was super stressful at first — mainly because I had never envisioned my wedding before and I didn’t even know what I wanted! There were so many styles of weddings and cute DIY projects and it was hard to figure out exactly what we liked. Darn you Pinterest and your zillion cute ideas!
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Sara April 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

I’m getting married in 4 months…so happy I stumbled on this. Pray for us, please!
-Sara

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