A newly engaged young woman will hear marriage and relationship advice everywhere she goes. Some of this advice is sought after, some freely given and some is just down-right not welcome. Of course, the best thing to do is smile, thank them for the “advice” and move on with your life and wedding plans. Since I work in a hospital I am exposed to MANY different kinds of relationships and marriages. Even before I was engaged I would ask older couples about their key to a successful marriage. Some are sweet and easily taken to heart, the best advice I have received is to always respect one another no matter the difference in the opinions you have. Another great piece of advice is don’t let your marriage fall to the back-burner, always remember you are in love and you have this amazing person you get to spend the rest of your life with. You get to hang out with them on a daily basis which just makes everything more fun. The most important advice to having a successful marriage is to always have each other’s back and keep a strong front. Your families will always wish well but only YOU know if you have made the right decision. These are all key elements to a successful marriage. Some couples gave me advice that made me somewhat sorry I’d asked... One woman told me to spend A LOT of time apart (seems counterproductive to me). Another said to “train him” early (um…my future husband is not a dog); and the piece I get most often that I can’t stand is “just don’t get married”. Ever.
I understand marriage is not going to be easy. It is going to have its ups and downs, good moments and bad moments, smiles and tears. Some people become so jaded from past marriages or witnessing a nasty divorce at a young age that they forget why people get married in the first place. Getting married is the one of the ultimate expressions of love. It is a leap of faith, it is exposing vulnerability and at it is, at it’s very core, trust. It is finding a best friend to experience life with. It will not magically fix an unhealthy relationship, it will not guarantee unwavering happiness and it certainly does not mean you will be married forever. All those things are determined by and only by the two people making the ultimate promise to one another.
I have been searching for advice on everything from lighting to cake to music. As I have said before I want to keep a low budget and I want Tyler to have as much say as I do. I asked my best friend, Elizabeth, how she saved money at her wedding. She had 12 tables for which she hand made all of the centerpieces. She bought all the supplies from a dollar store and said it only cost her around $40 for everything. Putting effort and elbow grease into your wedding decorations will definitely save you a pretty penny. Centerpieces bought either online or from a store can range from $8 a piece to over $300.00!
Some other advice I received from a co-worker was to shop at outlet stores for a wedding dress. She and her husband were more interested in splurging on their honeymoon as opposed to having a giant wedding. She found a dress that was originally over $2,000 for $250 at an outlet bridal store. She paid $500 for the ceremony location and had the reception in her uncle’s backyard. They paid $500 for someone to make tacos at the reception (which I have thought about for my own wedding, I love tacos) and they got to keep all the left overs since they paid per person. She made the bouquets for her bridesmaids and the only one she paid to have made was her own.
I'm definitely ready to start looking at some wedding gowns. The issue that I am running into is that yellow is not a very common color for wedding dresses. The problem that seems to keep coming up is that the dresses within my price range just look downright tacky. And besides that, everything that I could picture myself in is way out of my price range. Another issue altogether is that so many dresses are strapless and let’s just say I don’t have the “assets” to keep it up and pull off the strapless look. Another potential obstacle is that I like to have a bit of sparkle to my look whether it’s on the dress or some jewelry I find. Tyler is not a huge fan of the “bling” look; it takes focus off of me as a person (and bride) and puts it right on the twinkling of whatever I am wearing. Obviously we need to compromise on this. The only thing I want him to be blinded by is tears as I walk down the aisle, not by what I’m wearing. So, in that case I think I’m going to have to start looking for some flashy shoes! Whatever I decide I know Tyler will think I look gorgeous and that is what really matters to me. I have been looking at some champagne colored dresses just in case.
I told one of my supervisors today that I am looking forward to being married, not just the wedding day. Too many people (not just women) are hooked on the idea of the perfect wedding. I obviously would like everything to go as planned but as most people know that is not how life works. Therefore, this is the advice I have taken to heart; this is the advice I am (hopefully) going to follow on my wedding day: 1. No phones/cameras/iPads or anything that will obscure Tyler’s vision when I walk down the aisle (don’t worry, we are paying someone to take pictures). I have read too many stories from heartbroken grooms that couldn’t see their wife in that very important moment. 2. Do not let ANYONE influence your guest list. A wedding invitation is not a tit-for-tat situation. You should invite who you want to be there. 3. Have fun, it’s YOUR day! Act like it (gracefully).