the beauty in simplicity

It is sooooooo easy to get caught up in picky details. We live in a world where every best moment is posted, every mediocre moment is deleted, and Pinterest-induced comas are epidemic among brides and wedding coordinators alike.

Our reasons are good. We’re caught in a love bubble. We want our guests to feel special. We want to create epic memories. We want to put our very best foot forward.

Then time speeds out of control. Before you know it, the wedding day is here. You’ve spent every moment poring over favor ideas, playing with your menu options, finding the perfect song…and you realize you haven’t been on an actual date with your guy in three months. You realize you put some extra dollars toward the cake, the jewelry, the place settings, the whatever, leaving less cash for the honeymoon, or a down payment on a home.

The Big Day should be a blast. And it should be bigger than a regular day. But it is one day where sometimes less truly is more. Nearly ten years ago, my husband and I tied the knot with what I considered a balance of extravagance and simplicity. If I could do it again, there are some things I definitely would have simplified. There are also things I would have spent more on. Katie Fox over at The Art of Simple expressed similar thoughts in an article she wrote earlier this year:

Anniversaries always make me wax nostalgic, and Shaun and I enjoyed reminiscing about the time we spent dating, our engagement, and the wedding itself. If there were ever a contest for the simplest wedding, I think ours would be a pretty solid contestant. It’s still probably the simplest wedding I’ve ever attended.

Back when we got married, we were young and idealistic. We planned to move overseas after getting married, and we didn’t want to accumulate a lot of “stuff”. In the same vein, we scorned the excesses of the wedding industry and rejected the idea of an expensive, extravagant affair. In the words of Dewey Finn, you could say we had a bad case of “stick-it-to-the-man-eosis”.

So, it was a simple wedding. Really simple. We reserved a pretty little city park in the middle of downtown for $60. We rented white folding chairs, and we asked a talented artist friend to do our flowers. Some other friends provided the music. I wore a white linen sundress that I found at TJ Maxx, with little white sandals, and I asked my two bridesmaids to wear sundresses of their choice. The men wore khakis and guayaberas. My dad even wore a Hawaiian shirt!

The reception space presented a little conundrum, until my aunt and uncle offered their home. Perfect. We asked four friends to each make one cake, and our biggest splurge of the event was that we catered a bar-b-que dinner, so everyone could go home with full bellies. It was simple, and it was all we wanted. We were deliriously happy.

Of course, we were young and poor, and totally constrained by finances, so it’s hard to say if we would have done it differently, had we had gobs of money. But honestly, I don’t think so. After it was all said and done, we heard a lot of feedback:

“I loved your wedding!”

“Your wedding was so YOU!”

“Man, you guys had the coolest wedding EVER!”
(I think that comment was from a fellow sufferer of stick-it-to-the-man-eosis.)

Today, if we were going to get married, would we do it the same way?

She talks about how difficult it can be to weigh the decisions in the wedding consumer-driven industry, and to keep your eye on the must-haves in a world of options. I know this pressure, too–in fact, when I meet with a bride, the very first thing I do is ask her to set her top three priorities. Knowing what those are going into the planning process keeps us on track for the vision. Katie finishes her beautiful post with this…

So, we looked at it like this: it’s just one day. One very important day, yet still – only one. But now, we’d probably do it differently. We might invite more people, or serve different food (I’m not even much of a bar-b-que fan!). I might wear a fancier dress, or choose a different location…who knows?

As with everything, it’s finding the balance that’s the challenge. In the face of our comparison-driven culture, it’s not always easy. We can get swept up into thinking that every possibility is a “must-have” without even realizing it.

10 years down the road from our sweet little wedding, we look back on it with great fondness and affection. But honestly, it’s everything that’s happened since then that really matters. Weddings last a day, but a marriage will (hopefully) last forever. I’m glad we did it simply.

You can read the whole post here. What about you? What are some ways you are simplifying your Big Day? What are you splurging on?

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *