As part of my personal blogging I wanted to share with you a book that I have been reading over the winter months that has helped me shape my wedding. As a photographer, I am obsessed with all the beautiful images that wedding blogs and Pinterest boards provide. I love trawling through them and getting inspiration. However, as an engaged woman I have become aware of the fact that when you are planning your own wedding, there is a lot more to it than your inspiration boards. There's a lot questions I had about etiquette, what matters to me, as well as difficult life situations I was facing.
Enter Meg Keene.
I fell in love with her blog A Practical Wedding while doing research for A Sunday Smile. Once I found out she had written a book, I decided to spend my Christmas Chapters giftcard (a very coveted prize) on the hard copy. This book really help me break it down and let go of my own insecurities while planning a wedding. You can pick up your own copy on Amazon unless you too have a coveted Chapters gift card, (in which case I'm jealous.) After reading the book there were three main concepts that really resonated with me. I wanted to share them with all the other engaged ladies and gentleman out there in hopes that maybe you might be feeling the same way too.
1. It's Not Always About How Your Wedding Looks, It's About How It Feels
Now this isn't an absolute, I'm guilty of secret pinterest boards and lots of DIY projects. I also consistently contemplate what type of decor will suit my fiance and I 'as a couple.'
"We're nature people, we aren't beach people."
"The wedding needs to look a little 'live in."
These are hilarious things you will hear me say to my confused wedding party. However, when I read this part of Meg's book I thought about all the couples I had photographed and what really stood out to me was their love for one another and the emotional attachment I had to these people just as their photographer. I thought if I get teared up watching couples as their photographer, their loved ones must be feeling the most amazing emotions right now. When I realized this, I knew what Meg meant. You can have the most pristine wedding in the world but you can't fake authenticity. Weddings should be full of emotions, fun, love and spirit. So of course plan your pinterest boards but maybe also spend some time crafted a really meaningful ceremony or practicing how you are going to be mindful and present on your wedding day. Those will be the things people remember. And your love is what is going to create beautiful photographs for years to come.
2. Decide What is Meaningful to You
This is really important to me. I think some wedding traditions are adorable and some seem dated and not really my style. It was really important to me to have the wedding I wanted. I still took into consideration what my family and my fiance's family wanted but I didn't want to add traditions for the sake of them. A Practical Wedding actually takes you back through time and explains the history of a lot of different traditions, why they exist, and what they mean to a modern bride. The book gave me license to question everything about my wedding and decide what makes sense for us in 2014. Many brides might err on the traditional side, others might be super non-traditional. I think what is important is to not do things just because someone says you should. Have the wedding you want and feel free to mix match. If you don't like cake you don't have to have cake. If you want to have a modern wedding but wear a veil and have a church ceremony do that too. Create a day that feels like you, not the pressure you are receiving to conform to any traditions.
3. When Life Hurts, Plan a Wedding Anyway
This advice was really surprising to me. When I lost my father I thought I should put everything on hold and that it wouldn't make sense to plan a wedding. The timing would be off, it would be too much emotionally, it might even be insensitive were all thoughts I had. However, after reading Meg's book I found out that she herself had planned a wedding after she lost her father. She explained to me that when hardship comes along we can't forget to celebrate life and love as well. We need those happy celebrations when times are tough. It's also important to remember that our loved ones would want that for us.
She gave me the strength to plan a wedding anyway.