Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We have a dee jay!

So we had two milestones this past weekend.  First, we attended our first bridal show; second, we booked the dee jay for the wedding.

Now, I have to say that calling this a bridal show might be a little bit of a. . .stretch.  To be fair, it was the first year for this expo.  It was held at a Holiday Inn Express about forty five minutes north of us.  After church on Sunday, Devyn, Greg and I drove up to Orange City, not quite sure what to expect.

We signed in and paid our small admission fee.  As we waited at the registration desk to complete the prize tickets, the first thing we saw were brides.  Well, actually, they were models dressed as brides, but the way that they wandered around the vendors and other attendees was a little creepy.  They had other worldly smiles pasted on their perfectly made up faces, and they didn't look quite real.

Offsetting the weird brides was a pair of children dressed for a wedding party.  They were adorable as they distributed booklets of information and ads to each person entering.

The breakfast area of the hotel housed the first set of vendors.  There was a caterer serving food, a chocolate shop and of course, the dee jay, whom we had come to see.  Another room offered a few more vendors, but as we wandered the tables, we realized how much we've accomplished already in planning the wedding.

We listened to the dee jay as we ate.  We were impressed with her musical mix and equipment, and when we chatted with her, we liked her sensible attitude and willingness to make the wedding music completely tailored to Greg and Devyn's wishes.  After some discussion, we decided to go ahead and book her.

Interestingly, we realized that Greg was the only groom there.  "Isn't that cool?" I commented.  Greg replied, "If by cool you mean awkward!!!"  But we were glad he had come with us to hear Chris, our dee jay.

So. . .another item crossed off the list!  Our only 'big' things left are the invitations, the flowers and the cake. . .and we're feeling pretty good about all of those.

Two hundred and thirty five days, and things are moving right along!

Friday, October 8, 2010

An Ordinary Wedding

Last month, I bought Devyn a subscription to a bridal magazine.  She's been having fun checking out the pictures of dresses and flowers, reading the advice and ideas of both experts and other brides.  But we've also realized something that maybe we knew before--but that has now been brought into glaring focus.

No one wants an ordinary wedding.

At first glance, that sounds reasonable, doesn't it?  After all, we've been told that the wedding is the biggest day in a girl's life.  In some ways, that's true.  In the best of all worlds, each young woman and young man has only one wedding day.  It should be memorable.

But when the bride's goal is to throw a wedding that no guest will ever forget, she's missing the mark.  And when she--or her mother--begin to obsess over every detail, they're setting themselves up for heartache, because I can assure you of this:  the perfect wedding does not exist.

I've talked to brides over the years who understand this.  "I'm not really worried about what the tables look like, but the food has got to be wonderful," one might say.  Or "For me, if the music isn't exactly what I want, I'm going to be really disappointed."  And that's okay, because it's not too difficult to make one aspect of the wedding just about perfect.  Really, it's probably not impossible to have even two or three parts go amazingly well.  It's only when you attempt to have everything exactly 100% right that you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

I'd love to tell all brides that it's perfectly all right to have an ordinary wedding.

My sister is a midwife, and she sometimes encounters patients who have very high expectations for their births.  Because nature is a funny thing, more than once those moms who go into labor and delivery envisioning a drug-free, intervention-free birth end up having some assistance or even a caesarean section.  And sometimes after the fact, the moms are disappointed because the birth didn't go as they had pictured it.  My sister reminds them that the successful outcome of a birth is a healthy baby and healthy mom; everything else is extraneous (nice, but not the goal).  I feel the same way about weddings:  as long as the bride and groom are man and wife at the end of the day, it's all good.

There are weddings where every detail is addressed with great scrutiny.  At every turn, the guests are pampered and feted, amazed and delighted.  From the flowers on the pews to the covers on the chairs to the croutons on the salads, all decisions are agonized over and debated.

And then there are weddings where the venue, the food and the flowers are great, where the guests have a good time and leave with happy high hopes for the new couple.

Neither of these weddings is better than the other, because the reality is that if the marriage is successful, the wedding day is not the pinnacle of the relationship, only the first in a string of happy memories.

Here's to weddings, both ordinary and extraordinary.