About five to ten years ago, you would have never heard the words ‘intentionality’ and ‘wedding’ in the same sentence. Thankfully that has begun to change...
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One of the biggest, and in my opinion: least talked about, aspects of the entire wedding and wedding planning process is how to navigate the selection and relationships of the bridal party.
As brides, we’re lead to believe it will go one way which is basically an unrealistic mirage that everyone will be excited, everyone will drop everything and be there, and everyone will feel the way you do about your wedding day. Reality? Not the case. Not with everyone, at least. The good news? It’s okay. It’s for the best, even.
GUEST POST + PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY LOSS
This might sound odd coming from a wedding photographer/former wedding planner, but your wedding day is not the best or most important day of your life. Perhaps you are nodding and agreeing with me that it is one day in a sea of many. But if you are anything like me when I was a bride, a small little voice tries to remind you that it needs to be a “perfect wedding” day - where there is no rain, no bugs, and everyone gets a long.
I get it - I’m a hippie wanna-be lady trapped inside a type-A planner personality body. I’ve felt that push and pull between what you think we should do and what you want to do when it comes to celebrating your wedding.
In case you need more convincing - tell me, does the most important day of your life -
Make you feel as if you can’t eat anything you crave for the next six months, in order to wear a dress that is incredibly uncomfortable?
Encourage you to follow traditions that mean nothing to you and perhaps even go against your own values?
Require you to pay for dinner of people you normally would never go out to eat with, much less pick up the tab?
Involve taking two hours of photos that you never hang on your wall?
Make you feel you need to spend hours picking out the right combination of food that you will never have time to eat yourself?
Have to delegate task after task to your best friends when all you want is for them to have a great time on the dance floor?
Suggest you spend the least amount of time with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?
Maybe you don’t think your wedding fits into any of the questions above. (Extra bonus points for you!) And maybe you won’t admit it to yourself, your mom, or soon to be mate, that deep down, you still feel that nagging inside to create the perfect celebration for “the single most important day of your life”.
Giddy up, here’s my advice that I’ve learned from twelve years of marriage and lots of weddings as a photographer/planner. Your wedding day can be the most beautiful day of your life, but it can never guarantee the beauty of your marriage.
Why be content with only one day of our life being the most important? What I hope for you is that instead of one day of importance, you’ll many years of memories strung together to create a gorgeous life.
Celebrating life events, should be fun and exciting. Not stressful and overwhelming.
My challenge to you: as you plan your wedding, think of it as marking a period of time - a special day, like the birth of a baby, but one that you accept “as is” without expecting it to prepare or define your life for what’s to come.
Need further help in making your wedding day “not the most important day of your life?” Here are some of my favorite tips:
Instead of something new, something borrowed, something blue - pick three unique traditions that you want to incorporate as a new family and then drop three “old school” traditions like a hot potato.
Choose an untraditional date, time, or location to get married. Make it your own special time.
Forgo all wedding portraits, except one. I promise, one is all you will need.
Wear your favorite dress-up clothing instead of a white wedding dress (white is not everybody’s color, right?)
Spend the entire cocktail reception holding the hand of your partner as you chat with your friends and family. You will never say, “Gee, I wish we spent more time taking photos.”
As you plan your wedding day - tell me, how will you make it not the most important day of your life? How will you make it the start of something so much more?
by Kelly Loss
Hi! I'm Kelly Loss - a documentary wedding and family photographer just outside of the nation's Capitol in Alexandria, Virginia. I raise my two boys on a suburban farm, complete with 3 chickens, 2 dogs, 1 cat and hamster alongside my super smart (and hot!) husband. I love chatting and connecting with people, learning what makes them special in this crazy world. Reading, crocheting and doing yoga keep me grounded, even though I'm a dreamer at heart.