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One Thing to Remember When Planning a Wedding

“How’s the wedding planning going?”

Since getting engaged last October, this has become the number one question I get asked. It seems to be a sort of a default for anyone who knows about my engagement, replacing the age-old, “How are you?” with this new query. The question itself doesn’t bother me at all – I like to chat about the wedding. I am very excited, as one should be, about getting married! It’s interesting though, to hear the way people ask it. It’s almost never with enthusiasm, but rather with implied apprehension. As in, “I bet you’re really sick and tired of wedding planning, huh?”

Truth be told, yes, there have been times when I’ve gotten really stressed about the whole thing. However, those instances have only occurred whenever I’ve let myself lose sight of the reason for the event in the first place, which is easy to do. You’ve got to find the right venue to accommodate your attendees, you’ve got to figure out what food to feed them and how to make them feel included in the ceremony. Traditional weddings rely a lot on appeasing the guests, rather than paying attention to the couple who’s actually getting married. I mean, you’ve even got to figure out exactly the right way to ask people to give you gifts so as to not “offend” anyone. (Martha Stewart has a lot of opinions on this. I’ve read them all. And then laughed.) It’s natural, given all the decisions you have to make, to get stressed out.

Still, it’s unnerving to me, the tone that people use when they bring up my wedding. It makes me feel as if I should be dreading it or something. Nope. Not happening.

This is exactly what prompted my fiancee and I to decide to have our own private ceremony. We have dedicated an entirely different day to the actual wedding ceremony that is separate from the reception. We now get to have a day that does not involve catering or family drama or stiffly rehearsed aisle-walking. We’re just going to take a day for ourselves. After spending five years together, I think we definitely deserve that much.

As I’ve mentioned before, there’s no right or wrong way to have your wedding. Ours will be tailored specifically to myself and Chelsea, our personalities and our preferences. If you want a grand ballroom full of hundreds of people, please go for it. Go all out. Just make sure that’s really what you want, and not what people are telling you to do. Ballrooms are not really our style, so our reception will be a semi-formal, open-house style gathering of friends and family at a local park. And I love that. When Chelsea and I made this decision together (together is the key here), we both expressed feeling a weight lifted from our shoulders. It has simplified so much for us and helped us return to being absolutely psyched for the whole thing rather than stressed out of our minds.

Others may disagree, but I don’t believe that weddings exist to appease family and friends. They shouldn’t happen because anyone other than the engaged couple wants them to. Weddings get complicated when you forget about the reason for them:

The couple and their love for each other.

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