Living Loving Learning

The Only Thing That Matters

In Family on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 11:02 pm

For nearly 7 months now, Andrew and I have been planning our wedding (less than 100 days to go!). As a naturally creative person who LOVES planning parties and events, I have done several DIY projects and designed everything from the stationery to the bridesmaids’ gifts to the cake. I’ve stressed and I’ve cried (though only a little) over all these details that are Oh-So-Important. Poor, sweet Andrew has listened to me wax poetic about the differences in turquoise, cerulean, teal, and aquamarine and wonder aloud why everything immediately doubles in price the moment you say the word “wedding” to a vendor. ((Fact: the average cost of a wedding in the USA is $27,490!! Can you say R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S?!))

And the truth of the matter?

NONE of it matters, except one thing:  at the end of it all, Andrew and I will be married.

My gorgeous gown will be worn once. No matter how good the cake tastes, it’s still just a cake. The ceremony songs we’ve spent hours choosing will be forgotten the moment the reception starts. The beautiful flowers will eventually be torn apart and discarded. The copious amounts of catering will be devoured without a second thought. The thousands of dollars we’ve spent will be gone forever, invested in one magnificent party that lasted only a few hours but signaled the beginning of a whole new life.

And for that reason, the stress and the drama and the expense is worth it to me. By remembering the real reason Andrew and I are doing all this (because we love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives growing and learning together), I have been able to keep things in perspective. I have grown to accept the fact that things won’t always go as planned, no matter how much time I put into planning them. When I’m even remotely tempted to spend a bunch of money on something extravagant, I tell myself “It’s only a party. Don’t worry too much about impressing your guests, they already love you.” After all, a fancy wedding does not a marriage make.

What do you remember about planning your wedding? Where did you splurge and where did you scrimp? What details mattered most to you?




  1. Abbi,

    I am an old friend of Andrew’s parents. I actually gave Andrew his very first sip of Dr. Pepper. He was still in an infant seat. I was just a teenager then…Erin was our flowergirl. My wedding dress was found at an estate sale by my aunt. My bridesmaid dresses were from a friend who decided not to get married after all. We didn’t have a wedding cake because we were all on a crazy diet (the whole church) that only allowed FRESH fruits and vegetables…so, mine was unconventional to say the least. But what I cherish the most, besides Jerry’s wedding vows, were the friends and family that surrounded us. Dirk spoke at our wedding(he was also one of the “best men” and Robin played the piano.

    You are on the right path with your perspective. My oldest daughter was just married last June, and although it was a beautiful outdoor wedding, what I remember was the look in her eyes as she said her vows and listened to Colin’s. And the look in her daddy’s eyes as he danced with her at the reception.

    FYI: if you are still getting married on May 29th, you are getting married on our wedding anniversary. I will be thinking of you both and will breath a prayer your way.

  2. It is our wedding anniversary too Belinda! How fun!

    We splurged on photos (the only thing you have left after the wedding besides your spouse). We were blessed with lots of discounts and freebies for the ceremony and reception.

    Neither one of us liked cake, so we had a giant cheesecake (cheaper and unique).

  3. Definitely the photography! Ten years from now that will be the only thing you will care about from your special day. Well, I mean, other than Andrew of course.;) If you can, journal about the photos immediately when you get them back. You’ll be surprised how fast the years fly and the memories fade, even with the pictures.

  4. I have to being married is so worth it. Its hard, but it is fun and such an incredible blessing. I was pregnant when Joe and I got married. At a courthouse. We have a few polaroids of the whole thing. The thing we most remember? I had to jump out of the car and throw up on our way to lunch at Furr’s because I had waited too long to eat. The only people who came were Joe’s brother and grandmother. There were so many people left out of celebrating our special day with us.

    We’ve always planned on renewing our vows with an actual ceremony on our 10th anniversary. That’s this year and we can’t do it. It makes me sad, but hey, were already married, right? Maybe someday.

    Get lots and lots of pictures and have fun! Don’t stress about it, because in the long run, its not as important as how you live your life together everyday.

  5. You are all so great! Thanks for your comments! YES, we are splurging on photography!! It truly is the only thing that lasts (besides the spouse!) 🙂

    Belinda: That would explain why Andrew can’t start his day without some caffeine. ;)May 29th is the best! How cool to be getting married on your anniversaries (you, too, Erin). 🙂 Thanks for the prayers.

    Deleise: Great idea on the journaling!! Very smart. Remind me to do that in a few months! 🙂

    Gina: The year is still young! I hope you get a chance to renew your vows…if not this year, then soon!! 🙂

  6. I remember counting down the days. I remember the long days of working three jobs and planning a wedding. The drama with my family…so not fun!

    We splurged on the dress and the flowers and the honeymoon. Looking back I wish we had splurged on the photos. Glad we spent the money on the honeymoon, especially since I was pregnant nine months later.

    Details—I wanted God glorified in our ceremony. I didn’t care about a party or reception. We wanted a ceremony that reflected our heart……”the wedding lasts a day….marriage a lifetime….and the Lord is the most important ingredient.

    Excited for you and Andrew!!! Your wedding day is going to be beautiful!!! Treasure your courtship. It goes by so fast and it is a beautiful time!

  7. Donna: Thanks! No, family drama is no fun. Luckily, we haven’t had to endure any of that. (whew!) 🙂

    I love what you had to say about reflecting your heart. That’s good stuff!

  8. Our Wedding was really cheap (we got a lot for free, always ask people what they have)

    But the best part of my wedding was I was married to Tim Knox and I felt like a princess.

    We went to Mexico after our wedding it was perfect!

  9. I remember asking myself during the planning, “What is important to me, and what is not?”

    The things that were important:

    Marrying Alexander
    Getting married in the church my grandparents and parents go married in
    Getting married on that day
    That all my friends and family were there

    I noticed that none of them were about music, decorations, colors, or food. It was all about the people and the place and I knew that if I got those things then nothing would matter, and in my memory my wedding was perfect!

    Just make a list of things you for sure want and if those happen then you will be a happy bride! Don’t cheat yourself out of the joy that you can have on your wedding day!

    I love you and I am so excited for your day to come!!

  10. Our best wedding memory was during the vows, the preacher was having me repeat and he said “I thee weld”….well I paused and he corrected himself, but me and the Hubs refer to ourselves as welded together 🙂

    And dont scrimp on the cake. We pulled the tops of our cakes out of the freezer on our 1 year anniversary intent on just having 1 bite of each and tossing them. They were AMAZING – we grabbed our forks, and sat down in the living room floor and devoured them – it was a fun and memorable 1st anniversary – we still talk about those cakes….

    So – I guess it all boils down to the food and the vows 🙂

  11. I wanted a harpist. And I wanted my kids to walk me down the aisle.

    Beautifully written Abbi – your perspective is so very healthy and refreshing!

  12. Thanks for all the great comments! Yes, my #1 priority is marrying Andrew. As long as he and our pastor (heck, ANY pastor) show up, that’s all I need! 🙂

    We are writing our own vows, and the hardest thing for me will be keeping it SHORT. haha. Just so many things I love about that man!

    And Kim, I bet you had everyone in tears with your boys walking you down the aisle!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: