Weddings take a lot of stuff. Just ask my dining room. With three days to go, boxes and bags of wedding gear have taken over the place where we have candlelit dinner every night …room we don’t really use anyway.
And the thing is, we didn’t budget for any of this stuff. I mean, there were generic line items in our budget for things like “decor” and “attire,” but I never put much thought into the specifics of what we’d need to buy up in the weeks leading to the wedding. I just wrote $500 next to decor. It seemed like enough.
Spoiler alert: It was not enough. Here are some of the things that we’ve recently shelled out for to complete our wedding day:
So…I’m getting married this weekend! To say we’ve been busy is an understatement. There have been lots of little details and decisions happening the past few weeks, and I’ll embellish on all of it in time. For now, here’s the final countdown.
I thought planning a wedding would be the best time of my life. The celebration, the details, the crafting: I live for this stuff. And yet, I’ve spent the later part of our engagement resenting our wedding.
First of all, let me say this: I don’t feel anything but joy for our marriage. I love Rooster, and committing to spending every day with him is the most natural and exuberant thing in the world to me. But when it comes to The Wedding, I’ve been feeling a bit lost. When we were first engaged 17 months ago, I anticipated spending a modest amount on a very practical party. For me, it would be all about the marriage. But somewhere along the way, I got caught up in weddings. I spent most of the time battling between what I could do and what I wanted to do, and I’ll admit that I lost sight of our practical goals. Or maybe I just recognized that the pomp meant more to me than I’d imagined in the first place.
Our small wedding turned into a big drain on our time, our thoughts, and our wallets. And if I’m being totally honest, I began to resent it. I’ve heard newlywed brides say that after their own hectic days were done and behind them, they wished they’d just eloped, and I certainly expected to feel the same way. I never expected, however, to feel that way before the wedding was even here.
After our first looks, it was time for the ceremony. Except for the heat and a stifling humidity, the weather was beautiful. Fluffy white clouds in a mostly blue sky defied the predictions of torrential rain and strong winds.
Mr. U and I opted for a Jewish-ish ceremony. I say “ish” because it wasn’t entirely traditional. We didn’t have a chuppah—mostly because my DIY attempt at making one was the most epic of failures. Instead, we made do with the venue’s gazebo. We did, however, provide custom yarmulkes for the gentlemen to wear. Mr. U even designed a cute logo for the inside.
The inside of our yarmulkes (aka kippahs) / Personal photo. Logo by Mr. Unicorn.
There’s apparently a fine line between “Oh that’s so interesting!” and “What the heck was she thinking?!”
Thanks to our small budget and pseudo-hispter desire to do things a little out of the norm, Roo and I have been coming up with creative solutions for our wedding. Things like serving food from a food truck and popsicles instead of cake. So I’ve been trying to think outside of the proverbial “box” when it comes to decor, too.
Already in the works for table decorations are crafty DIY projects involving dollar store candles, plastic succulents, and gold spray paint—a trio I realize sounds crazy, but I’m totally confident will look incredible. What I’m not so confident about? Kraft paper table runners.
Something I’ve learned about weddings as a bride is that they’re not about you. They’re about family. The family you’re creating by marrying your beloved. And the family and community that has supported each of you along the way.
There’s never a good time to lose someone close to you. But some times seem harder than others.
Roo’s dad passed away last December, just a few months after we were engaged and two days before our smiley engagement session (those photos will always be a little bittersweet for me). As tough as it was for us, I know their dad’s passing had to be tough on Roo’s sister, Mandy. When her dad passed away, she and her fiancé, Matt, were in that we’re-definitely-almost-engaged stage (you know how it is). They’re getting married this November. As much joy and love is surrounding them on that day, there’s going to be a huge something missing.
When it rains, it pours! My first ever bridal shower experience was double the fun thanks to a very special co-guest of honor, Roo’s sister, Mandy. We’re getting married just a few weeks before Mandy and her fiancé, so Roo’s side of the family decided to throw us a joint bridal shower over the Fourth of July weekend in his home state, the mitten of Michigan.
I think I can speak for both Mandy and I when I say that our amazing hosts did an incredible job of honoring us. Roo’s sisters Amy and Wendy, along with his Aunt Diann, coordinated a colorful brunch shower that was so full of love and laughter that I don’t think either of us will ever forget it.
Ponytails and pops of color. That’s what I was after for my wedding-day look. Inspired by Olivia Palermo‘s bridal style, I wanted hair that was laid-back and a little messy, with dramatic eyes and a bit of bright color on my lips.
So how did my trial go?
Even after years running a blog and promoting my personal brand on social media, I still feel a little strange just talking about myself. Weirder still is posting a bunch of photos of my face and asking you guys to comment on it. But it’s important to share things like a bridal beauty trial, especially for the brides looking to find advice for working with hair and makeup artists. For me, it helps to remember we’re talking about a hairstyle and makeup and not the hair and face beneath it.
So…here’s my face. The makeup on my face here was done by the lovely and talented Brielle Brenner.