Do your relationship goals include living a more intentional life on your wedding day and beyond?
With the season of giving upon us, my partner and I have put a lot of thought into what we want most out of this time and what we want to remember when we look back on these days as a family… Each year, I find myself becoming even more drawn to living simply. I find that asking myself, “how does this serve me/them/us?” allows me to easily evaluate the importance of just about everything in my life whether it be gift-giving, buying décor for our home, what to focus on in my business as a professional Wedding Officiant and so on… I’ll explain how this relates to planning your wedding so, hang tight!
I’ve found this so incredibly beneficial to myself and my family because the cliche is true, time flies by in the blink of an eye. It is not possible to do all the things and if i try, i rid myself of the opportunity to be wholeheartedly immersed in any single experience in which I can look back and relish in the memory of because sadly, I was stretched too thin to be fully present in those moments. So over time, I’ve come to realize that I deeply value experiences over things which is also something I hope to nurture in my children. In my humble opinion, experiences are the best gift you can give.
This could be as simple as an afternoon of building gingerbread houses together or planning a day trip to somewhere extra special. Looking back on my own childhood, I honestly remember very little about the toys I played with but what I do remember is, going to the big zoo in the city where a giant gorilla held his hand up against mine on the window and singing Christmas carols to our elderly neighbors and the way their faces lit up. When I think about the legacy I hope to leave behind when I’m gone, this is it – I hope everyone I love feels that I made the most of the time I spent with them and that I was intentional about cultivating beautiful memories – ones they’ll never forget, no matter how big or small the experience was.
As a Wedding Officiant, I work very closely with my couples during the months leading up to their wedding day and one of the first things I ask them is, “what does your wedding ceremony mean to YOU?” What I hope to uncover is the true meaning behind what they (not their friends or family) feel is the most important part of their wedding day. Are you feeling the pressure to follow certain traditions because you think it’s what you’re “supposed to do?” Forget that mess – you don’t get any do-overs when it comes to celebrating the biggest milestones in your life and you want your wedding day film to fill you with joy when you watch it years from now, rather than feelings of regret.
How can you prioritize your wedding expenses to make the most of your wedding day?
After you’ve determined what your most comfortable wedding budget is, I encourage you to sit down with your partner to rate the level of importance of the different elements you hope to include in your wedding day. If you want the luxury of reliving your special day a million times over, you might decide that investing in an incredibly talented photographer and videographer is a high priority on your list. If having a wedding ceremony that is unique and personal is important to you, then hiring a professional wedding Officiant (like me) who will take the time to really get to know you and support you in your journey towards marriage, should be high up on your list. If focusing on just each other and no one else for one day is part of your vision, you might find that forgoing the big party altogether and planning an adventure elopement is a better fit for you. You’ll continue to move through this practice together so that when you’re done, you have a pretty solid idea of where you should invest your wedding budget to get the most out of your day…
If you’re like me in that you value experiences over things, you will likely find yourself drawn to vendors that you feel a natural connection to and who ultimately, are thrilled to help you cultivate an unforgettable experience that aligns with your personal values. Being on the same page with your partner as well as your wedding vendors, will limit opportunities for disappointment when you discover that the pretty Instagram-worthy cocktail drinks you had imagined your guests sipping on, actually don’t fit in your budget or the potential “sticker shock” you might feel over the cost of investing in one of your favorite wedding vendors – You’ll realize that it’s okay because fancy drinks aren’t as important to you as the elements higher on your priority list like, having a personalized ceremony. Based on personal experience, people want to support your values so don’t be afraid to accept some help – If your aunt Susan makes the best whoopie pies in town (Yes, those are a Maine thing), then skip the traditional wedding cake and let her work her magic. If your uncle Joe is a carpenter, then let him build you an arbor you can stand under on your wedding day and every day thereafter in your garden at home. Letting your friends and family support you in having a meaningful wedding day will not only help you achieve what’s most important in your budget but it will also make your wedding that much more memorable for them and for you!
So, as you plan your wedding, don’t forget to ask yourself these things: “how does this serve us?” and “what is most important to us?” (having a bunch of things that will last you ONE DAY or creating an experience that will last a lifetime?) However you decide to celebrate your wedding day, be sure that it reflects your own personal values.
Photos by Brittney Fairfield Photography