You’ve just gotten engaged, and isn’t it just magical. By the third day of your engagement, people are asking you if you’ve set a date, booked a church, and when you are going dress shopping.
I never thought about my wedding as a child. I knew I wanted to be married, but there was never a fairytale scene in my mind. I didn’t have any romantic notions to base my wedding on. I had been to a few weddings, and knew what I certainly didn’t want. I felt like I was drowning in decisions and questions. As an introverted, anxiety ridden 23 year old, I couldn’t make myself what a “bride to be” is supposed to be.
There was so much pressure put on from the people surrounding me. “This will be the best day of your life!” Really, will it? Are you sure? Granted, the day I married my husband and committed my life to him was a great day. Top five, definitely. But a day centered on show-ponying myself around was never going to be the best day of my life.
In retrospect, we should have eloped. We ended up cutting our wedding down to about 40 people and a 2 person wedding party, an early morning ceremony and an afternoon reception at our house. We received a lot of criticism from my all too opinionated family, but it all turned out fine in the end.
It’s okay to not be into it. There’s an expectation that all women will love throwing themselves into wedding planning; the colors, the food, the venue, minor dress alterations, the bridesmaids’ lipstick color. If you do, that’s okay. But if you don’t that’s fine too. At the end of the day, you’re no more or less married than anyone else.
There have been so many odds and ends in this last month of wedding planning that I have caught me by surprise. In my mind, the wedding planning was going to be pretty basic. Venue, photographer, dress, the end. The other day my mom said to me “what are you going to put the cards in at the reception?” What? So many little things left to tie up.
First I thought: let’s build a box! Then I had a better realization: let’s stop trying to over complicate things (sort of).
I skipped off to one of my favorite places for inspiration, Salvation Army. I wanted something with a lid, or at least a door. I stumbled across this old bread box. Yep, that was the one for me. I brought it home and cleaned it up with some Pine Sol and furniture polish.
I removed the panel that said “bread” on it and mod podged a Word document onto the glass.
I love the warmth of the wood and the hinges on the box.
That’s it, on to the next one!
I love words.
I love the meaning of words, and how they sound when strung together. Words carry so much weight.
When the priest gave us the booklet to choose our readings for our wedding, I was excited. When he told us we could write our own intercessions, I was ecstatic. After a childhood of dictating stories to my mom to write out for me, a B.A. in Creative Writing, and multiple publications, it felt like my life had led up to this. I was going to write something to be read at my wedding. As a Catholic, I had already come to terms with the idea that the structure of wedding itself was going to be out of my control. But this, this was going to be amazing.
I wanted something tangible in our home to commemorate the actual ceremony. I decided to use an excerpt of one of the intercessions that I had written for the liturgy.
I bought an 8 foot piece of lumber, and had it cut into 4, 2 foot sections. I then used wood glue to attach them together.
I stained the wood, and then aged it with a cream colored paint. To do this, I simply used a firm brush with a small amount of paint, and went briskly back and forth over the stained wood.
I purchased stencils, and got to work.
I’m still trying to find a home for it, but I’m so happy with how it turned out!
I found the fabric I wanted for my veil, but it did not come in ivory to match my dress. It’s a soft, finely netted tulle. Because I did not want to compromise on fabric, I decided to dye the tulle.
I mixed equal parts of brewed coffee and water, and heated them on the stove. I did not let the mixture get too warm, because I did not want to ruin the tulle as heat could. I placed my fabric in the pot, and stirred it around for six minutes. I determined this time by dyeing a small cut of the tulle beforehand.
Don’t worry, it’s going to look dark.
I removed it promptly from the dye, and rinsed it out in the sink. I laid it out to dry.
And once it was dried, it was done and ready to work with!
At less than 3 months until my wedding, it was time to get shaking on making my veil.
As I worked on the veil, I found that the comb I had wasn’t going to stay in my hair very well. My hair is pretty thin and straight, and without having an up-do I couldn’t figure out how I was going to make it stay on my head. Then it occurred to me: a headband.
I love the look of this headband. It’s relaxed and whimsical.
I bought 26 gauge wire, and cut five pieces that measured the circumference of my head. I then began to string my beads.
I feel the need to preface this by saying: I have no beading experience. I chose two sizes of oval, ivory and round, blue-grey pearlescent beads. Between each bead, I simply bent the wire a little with a pair of needle nose pliers to keep the bead from moving. Don’t worry about your strands not being straight.
I simply intertwined the five strands to create this headband, and twisted them together at the back of my head.
This worked out well for me because I was able to have complete control over the colors and look of my headband, as well as being able to fit it to my oddly shaped head. In all it took about 15 minutes to make (without attaching the veil).
Very exciting times!