Grace: We tell people that we met through my college roommate, which isn't too far off. Tim friend requested me on facebook after seeing that we had some mutual friends in common. I messaged him asking if I knew who he was and the rest is history. We chatted on and off for about 4 months before Tim asked me out for dinner. From that point forward we were inseparable. We did the long distance thing; taking turns on driving to each others hometowns (3 hours driving) alternating weekends. After a year and half of dating, we ended up moving to Belfast, NI together for me to attend graduate school. We moved back to the states and moved to NYC together. Shortly after our 4 year anniversary, we took a trip to Philadelphia with friends where Tim proposed. He planned an elaborate weekend - Friday he delivered 4 dozen roses to me, we went out to dinner at a great restaurant. Saturday we spent a day in NYC together doing things we'd always wanted to do. Then Sunday we went to Philadelphia where he proposed on a park bench in Rittenhouse Square. It was perfection. Some of our favorite things to do together are try new restaurants/food, travel, read, explore our city, spend time with friends, but most of all, lay on the couch watching The Office with some Chinese takeout.
Going into the wedding planning process, it all becomes overwhelming very quickly. We weren't sure what sort of "theme" we wanted. My parents have a barn in upstate NY. About 7 years ago, my dad suffered a brain aneurysm and the barn sat empty for a while. With it being empty, we thought it might be a good idea to clean it up and turn it into our venue. We, along with our families, friends, some good contractors, electricians, and all around handy people, worked on the barn from April of 2017 until right up to our wedding in October. We cleaned it all out, fixed the floors, fixed the walls, scrubbed bird poop off of everything, hung lights and chandeliers and poof! We had a venue. Our family friends grew and set up our flowers, we rented tables, chairs, vintage china. I found an old stove at a goodwill store that was turned into our dessert station. A family friend made all of the cheesecakes for dessert. I made our wedding cake. We had a lot of help and were shown a lot of love in helping make our day special.
As tiring and frustrating as it was driving 5 hours from and to Philadelphia every weekend for 3 months to do barn clean up, it was worth it. Our day was absolutely perfect in every way. I asked Tim and he said "Marrying you and the pizza we had after." Ha! What was worth it was all of the friends we invited. We were surrounded by people we loved.
The cake cutting was not worth it. Nobody watched it and it was more work than the moment it provided. Also, worrying about wedding colors was not worth it. I also wish we had done a first look. I guess it was my (Grace's) dream for Tim to not see me until I was walking down the aisle but in hindsight it would have been nice to have that moment alone together and to also help with Tim's nerves. When I got up to the altar to marry him, his hands were so clammy! ha!
Sweating for the wedding, favors, bouquet and garter toss, receiving line, I think we avoided most traditions. There was also a mix up with the florals on the day of which was fixed as well as it could have been.
Do premarital counseling. Work TOGETHER on everything. You won't always see eye to eye, but it is key that you sit down and talk about issues. Don't get hung up on pleasing everyone else.
I think the Fuck It Bucket episode was the best thing we could've heard in the middle of our wedding planning process. Also, just having a somewhat laid back attitude about things. You obviously want the day to be perfect, but at what cost? You have to take care of yourself too. Weddings shouldn't be as stressful as they are. We tried to put the emphasis on the fact that we were getting married - everything else was the cherry on top of the sundae.