Wedding Series || From a Bride with Dreams to a Wife with a Vision
Updated: Mar 15, 2019
I was one of those brides that had been planning for THE BIG DAY since “she was out the womb”, as my husband would like to say. I had double-digit number of Pinterest boards, computer folders and real files and a collection of wedding magazines to rival Exclusive Books bookshelves nationally, all dedicated to this Once in a Lifetime, Best Day of Your Life, our Wedding Day. For those of you who are brides you will know (or if you don’t you will come to know) that Pinterest is both your friend and your foe. It will suck you into its vortex of #realbride #styledshoots #weddings #morelikethis and before you know it hours have passed, and you’re planning a Modern-Romantic-Vintage-Disney inspired-Beach wedding with touches of Woodland Whimsy (there might just be the perfect pin for this exact theme on Pinterest, I am too scared to look!).
The moment I met Drew I knew that I wanted to kiss him… and marry him, and spend my life being the only one to kiss him. But actualising these 16-year-old girl’s dreams into a real-life wedding, post engagement spanned a 15-month period. And we took these 15 months very seriously. We made it our mission to make our journey to the wedding as memorable as the day itself. We took every opportunity to celebrate, and to create and record memories with our dream team of bridesmaids, groomsmen, friends and family. Determining our mission and vision for our wedding day was just one of many decisions we made together. Joel Barker and Nelson Mandela said: "Action without vision is only passing the time, vision without action is merely day-dreaming, but VISION WITH ACTION can change the world!" Now I cannot guarantee that having a wedding day vision will change the world, but I can guarantee that having a wedding day vision will make an outstanding difference to the enjoyment of your wedding planning process. And for your engagement season that will feel as if it’s changed your world!
Once the champagne has popped, the congratulations have bubbled over, you realise that there is a whole lot of planning and a million and one things to do before you can say I do.
I write this as a bride who didn’t start with a vision (unless: “I want everything I’ve seen on Pinterest” classifies as a vision), as a bride who got tired of having unnecessary arguments and sleepless nights, as a bride who had to accept that I didn’t need everything I’d seen on Pinterest, and as a bride who sat with her groom about a month into the wedding planning process to discuss and decide on our Wedding Day Vision.
Like with any idea, business, wedding or marriage, you need a Vision. A Vision is a vivid mental image of and your deepest aspiration for the wedding day you want to create. It gives you clear focus and direction. Better yet, if your vision is well thought out, it has the potential to become your vision for your marriage too. What is at THE HEART of your love story?
If you have been planning your wedding day in your head for years before the actual day you have probably thought of every conceivable option (we considered a traditional wedding, a weekend long destination wedding, eloping in Ireland, a picnic wedding, getting married on a cruise, on a train, an alfresco forest wedding, glass chapel, open air chapel, vineyard wedding, small town versus inner city, small wedding, big wedding, you name it). We narrowed it down to our top 3 options, we wrote down the pro's and con's, and we made our decision IN LINE WITH OUR VISION.
|| Our vision: CELEBRATION OF LOVE
We envisioned our wedding day as a Celebration. A Celebration of our Love Story, a Celebration for remaining pure for one another for 9 years, a Celebration of two families coming together, a Celebration of two people becoming one. Other than marrying each other, the single most important thing on our wedding day was our guests. From the bottom of our hearts we wanted to share in this joyous celebration with our favourite people, and make it as easy and as fun as possible for them to attend. We wanted it to be non- traditional, personal and authentic, we wanted the Lord to be at the centre of the day, and His favour to be experienced by all those who attended. 'Celebration' has become such a beautiful word for us in our marriage. A reminder that to have found the one whom our soul loves, to be his wife and him my husband is truly something worthy of celebration. It’s so easy to take this for granted, to get busy, for the euphoria to become diluted, to forget, so instead we incorporate random celebrations, to remind us that there is always something, even if it's small, to celebrate, when you choose to see your love story through this lens, to celebrate the gift of marriage even when the journey is hard, choosing to celebrate imperfections, not perfection.
The way we decided to achieve this vision for our wedding day is by giving our guests and ourselves an experience that we would never forget. From the outset we were committed to immersing ourselves in our wedding like guests (of honour). We thoughtfully and intentionally chose vendors who were a good fit for our vision. It all begins with the right venue: for us the newly built exquisite venue, picturesquely located in the Muldersdrift mountains, glass chapel overlooking a forest and glass reception hall with lights that tinkled late into the night provided us with the sophistication, style and freedom to express our vision perfectly. We dedicated time and energy into bringing our vision to life with meaningful details throughout the day: our interactive, cute wedding programmes, to our pinata wedding cake, our Market style - Mexican Fiesta canapes, to our alternative guest book that we called ‘Pop the Painting’ that now hangs in our lounge, to our candy floss and frozen lollies cart, caricature artist portraits as thank you gifts, food-stall style dinner and confetti canons. We wanted to give our guests an experience-based wedding, that enchanted all 5 of their senses, it was our way of saying THANK YOU for journeying with us, supporting us, believing in our love story, praying for us and with their presence keeping us accountable to the vows we made that day. We wanted our guests to experience our personalised touch in every aspect of the day. We are blessed to have found each other at such a young age, and we wanted our day to authentically express and celebrate our outrageous JOY!
|| Your turn to create your own wedding vision
1. Close your eyes. What do you see, what do you hear, what do you taste, what do you feel, what do you smell? Give this overall experience a phrase or an adjective that describes what you want this day to be.
2. Sit down and communicate your vision to your fiancé. Choosing the setting, and timing for this conversation is very important. I would often choose inappropriate times to have serious conversations with Drew and felt disappointed when I was unheard. Set aside distractions, allocate time to meet over a cup of coffee or home cooked meal, and share (I didn’t use the word impose, dictate or enforce, I said SHARE) and then together decide on your combined, overall vision.
3. Now you may have seen in the examples of how we personalised the experience for our guests and ourselves: the repeated mention of FOOD. That’s because food was one of our MUST HAVES. In line with creating an experience of celebration for ourselves and our guests we had to acknowledge that we were still bound by a budget. For this reason we chose 3 main focus areas that we felt would achieve our vision: VENUE, FOOD and ENTERTAINMENT. And it is these three areas that we allocated a large portion of our budget.
4. Refine this vision in line with your budget and time frame. Together share this vision with your family and your vendors so that everyone is on the same page. We were very fortunate to have families who placed little demands on us and they were open to and trusted our vision.
5. Write your vision at the front of your wedding planning book and apply it when making all decisions.
I always say that wedding planning is the best practice for applying the all-important skills of negotiating, compromising, communicating, problem solving, decision making, resolving conflict, delegation, prioritising, heaps of praying, planning and dreaming in marriage. Remember we are planning for a marriage and not only for a wedding day. Deciding on your wedding day vision will give you the tools to decide on your VISION FOR YOUR MARRIAGE. God has a purpose for your marriage, let Him reveal to you what that purpose is. By creating a God-led vision for your marriage, you are both committing to this shared vision with passion and energy. It is exciting to be married, the fire becomes more like a flame over time, but it takes frequent bursts of passion to keep the flame from burning out. And because you have decided on your vision as husband and wife together, you are unified, the desires of your heart align, you are committed to living out your vows – to love and to cherish till death do you part.