Can you and I be honest with each other? I feel like you probably know me well enough that I can be straight with you. So here goes:
My head was not screwed on straight when we planned our wedding. My priorities were out of whack: I was more focused on throwing a wedding party than I was on marrying Matt.
I blame part of it on my competitive nature; during my senior year of college, I lived in a house with five other CRU girls, and of the six of us, FOUR were planning weddings. I had the smallest budget by far, but I was bound and determined to “throw” a wedding that was just as beautiful as my friends’ weddings. I know how stupid that sounds, now, but at the time, I thought it was totally reasonable.
We were married in the church where Matt grew up with our friends and family surrounding and celebrating us, but as I look back on our wedding photographs, I feel ashamed. Not because we had a small budget (that my parents generously provided), and not because our heavy-hours-d’oeuvres-and-dancing reception took place in the church banquet hall.
No, I feel shame because I know my attention was on the wrong things. Instead of my marriage, I was focused on the wedding. To some, that may sound like one and the same, but they’re two very different things.
Over the past few years, I’ve often expressed the sentiment that I wish we’d just eloped- I wish we’d gone to Manhattan or into DC with our immediate families and a few of our best friends, been married at the courthouse, and then gone out to a fancy dinner in a swanky restaurant with those who love and know us best. Oh, and we’d have hired Justin & Mary, for sure. And that would have been it. No invitations, no cake, no bridesmaid dresses to quarrel over, just me & him, a simple white dress, and nothing complicated. I wish we could go back and do it RIGHT.
Because it’s impossible to go back in time, we decided on a vow renewal. A sort of “re-do,” to re-commit to him as my husband without the distraction of all the pomp and circumstance. To really focus on the thing that matters most in the end- marriage, not a wedding.
So I found a little white dress from BHLDN, with the lace sleeves I so desperately wanted five years ago but couldn’t find because Kate Middleton had yet to make them a thing, Holly Chapple made me the most beautiful blush and ivory bouquet, and Matt got a new sharp suit. And we brought in our dream photographers, Justin & Mary, and met our parents and my brother at the DC War Memorial. And it was perfect.
These photographs are the proof that it happened, and the evidence of one of my favorite days to date. Enjoy, dear friends!
The incredible vendors who made it happen-
Photography: Justin & Mary
Bouquet: Holly Chapple
Hair & Make-up: Alison Harper & Co.
Venue: The Mayflower, Autograph Collection
Shoes: Kate Spade
This might have been my favorite part- dancing to our first dance song right after renewing our vows.