March 21, 2012

marriage on my mind: Everything Espey

Today for Marriage on my mind we have the wonderful Meredith sharing!!

Hi y'all! My name is Meredith and I'm the mastermind behind Everything Espey. My blog doesn't fall into one specific genre, but is more of a random assortment of (to name a few) of our daily (mis)happenings, my thoughts on faith, marriage, life in Utah, and being a chronic Target shopper and bargain hunter with a little bit of sarcasm and humor thrown into the mix. I'd love to get to know you! I was so pleased when Amber asked me to pitch in for this wedding series. Thank you for having me!

My handsome husband Charlie and I got married last June on a hot, sweltering Texas day. People warned me about getting married outside in the summer...but I didn't listen (20/20 foresight fail). It was "unseasonably" hot (read: 100+ degrees!) and humid. However, according to the New York Post, June 17, 2011 was the happiest day that year, and I wouldn't change the one we picked.

I wasn't one of those girls that had her wedding day planned out from the time I could walk. I knew I wanted to get married, but heck, the vision continued to morph throughout the months we were engaged. I knew a few things about what I wanted for the wedding day: for Charlie to be there (obviously crucial), to be able to eat Tex-Mex, to make it as inexpensive as possible, for it to be a fun party, and to bring glory to God through the events of the day. Quite a list, eh?


I feel like giving wedding advice is like walking a tightrope. When I was planning, everyone had an over-abundance of strong opinions about what I should or shouldn't do. And for me, that was really tough to hear constantly. But, I think it's good to encourage of other women because frankly, this experience is totally unique. So take my advice with a grain of salt, and if it doesn't work for you, chuck it. You won't hurt my feelings.

1. Your budget is your own.

Inexpensive is not a word often associated with weddings. Seriously, call it an anniversary party and you'll be able to save thousands. THOUSANDS! I'm a super cheap bargain hunter at heart and the many dollar signs in front of all things wedding was hard to swallow. But it's very do-able. Recommendations from friends were the best and most practical way to go about doing a wedding on a budget. We chose an inexpensive city garden that had a gorgeous room attached, had a (very talented) college student put together our flowers, a friend of a friend make the cake, a budding photographer cousin of a family friend take our pictures, and one of my bridesmaids and her husband sing during our ceremony. And the list goes on. But it made a tremendous difference in our stress level to be able to automatically cross items off our list because of price when we considered the big picture and our strong desire to not go into debt over a 5 hour party.


2. Pick your battles.

The decisions you have to make will drive you capital c crazy. "Do you want 4 tiers on your cake or 5? Buttercream or fondant? Do you want the bridesmaids to match? How many people per table? Assigned seating or no? Buffet or served dinner? DJ or band?" Just creating that list stressed me out. Learning to pick and choose what is at the top of your list for that day will make your life much better. For us, our ceremony was one of the most important parts of the day. We made it uniquely us and our goal was for it to be God-honoring. We signed a covenant instead of lighting a unity candle or taking communion. The covenant signified the importance of Christ in the new marriage that was being formed. It's a binding spiritual contract that brings together the three strands of Charlie, me, and God. The rest of the stuff? It has to get done, yes, but it pales in comparison when I remembered what the day was really about.


3. Plan for your marriage, not only your party.

This might be one of the hardest parts of wedding planning. The options are endless and the lists can grow exponentially as you get closer to the "big day". But as someone wise told me, it's an amazing day. But it's just that: a day. There will be hundreds of days that follow that will require the same amount of effort and prayer that your wedding day took. Charlie and I did pre-marital counseling with our pastor and I would highly suggest having some counsel prior to your wedding day. We really didn't want to get home from our honeymoon and stare at each other and think "well our party's over, what do we do now?"


4. Remember that you're not super woman.

It is vital to your mental sanity to have someone who can be in the trenches of planning with you. We did most everything ourselves, and with Charlie being out of state, I needed someone to do the dirty work with me and give me very honest feedback on the things we were choosing. It's easy to become obsessed with everything being perfect and thinking you're the only one who can do it the "right" way. But you can't do it alone...your head will definitely explode. And that person may be your fiance, MOH, mom, MIL, or your best friend. I found that so many people were excited for our day that they wanted to be part of tying bows or decorating the venue before the wedding, or throwing a shower. For me, my mom and my sister were my battle partners. I can't count the hours they spent with me working to make June 17 the best party. Thanks y'all!


5. It's okay if you feel stressed. It's worth it!

I kept hearing that this should be the most fun time of your life and you'll love planning. I felt like a mental case because it was hard for me. It's an overwhelming time, yes. And it may not be your peak in life. I personally hope I didn't peak at my wedding and it's all downhill from there on out. But, at the end of the day, the planning isn't what the wedding truly is about. The commitment you're making and the significance and joy of that will outshine the crappy days you may have had leading up to it. the end of the day, you married the love of your life and had a very fun party. It's ultimately a win-win!

That's all I have for y'all today. Did I mention that I'm wordy? I'm impressed if you made it to the end. If you have more questions, be sure to visit me at my blog or feel free to e-mail me. Thanks again, Amber!


Thanks so much for sharing!!

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