Plan I Must: The Wedding. Go There.
If you're sitting there contemplating whether you will ever throw years of savings into a wedding while shaking your head in knowing resistance, I'm here to tell you that you're wrong.
A day that you dedicate to you and your life's partner, planned in detail to suit you and your guests — it will leave you grinning from bejeweled ear to bejeweled ear. You won't be able to stop smiling on your day, with larger teeth and likely more gums than you ever thought you had. You'll still be smiling when you think of that day . . . even two months later.
All photos by Heather Elizabeth Photography
I know because I'm that newlywed, the one who is completely distracted from necessary tasks because of the one thousand pictures I need to flip through from our fabulous wedding photographer, Heather Elizabeth Photography. Each snap of the grin spread across my face or complete strangers sharing air microphones to a Journey hit on the dance floor makes the egoist in me smug, as the romantic in me tries to keep my heart from exploding all over my computer screen.
We were completely right to pay all the "wedding premiums," round up our loved ones, pile on the details, and throw a giant party in my new favorite place on earth: Sand Rock Farm, the secret garden wonderland grown from authentic, Aptos, California soil. Weddings are, in fact, the best. Go there.
Well, don't go there if you're not in love, not ready, or really can't afford it right now. In actuality, the time my now husband and I spent under the towering redwood tree, reciting our vows while trying to keep our candlesticks aflame, eyes locked on each other, were beyond question the most important moments of the wedding. You can have those moments anywhere with the right person, surrounded by the right people.
But if you have the means and endurance to add on the pieces that represent you – whether a globe to sign instead of a guest book or Bill the Oyster Man to shuck oysters and entertain during cocktail hour – do so unabashedly and without guilt. It's your wedding and it will be gushing with fun.
I woke up the morning after our wedding and wished we had added hours if not days onto our party. Then I might have had more time to wear robes and drink mimosas with my favorite ladies. I might have had a few more minutes to watch the ring bearers become fast friends, or to spend that nervous time with my husband pre-ceremony during our first look session. I could have had more time to watch our guests pop champagne corks five feet into the air, mingle with my favorite people, and dance in a circle with all of the fantastic and adorable kids (kids are the best thing about weddings, by the way). We might have continued the dance party until all the signature cocktails wore off.
From the bride and groom's perspective, there is never enough time built into a wedding because we've created the ideal world to live in with wonderful, happy people, our favorite colors, smells, music, libations, sparkles, a cat (well maybe not the cat). We've manufactured our wonderland – and who wouldn't want to live forever in their own personal wonderland?
As much as I flip through my photos, grin plastered across my face, I can't seem to will myself back to that place. But that's ok, because I'll always have this grin, the people who showed us so much love on our special day, and the indistinguishable memories.
Our wedding was the best. And we're glad (and so right!) to have gone there.