THREE FACTS: (1) Alexandra and Jordan met in college and have been together ever since. (2) They are planning a romantic fairy tale garden wedding inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream – LOVE! (3) Alexandra’s wearing Galia Lahav for the big day – one of our absolute fave Israeli designers!
Overcoming family drama: take a deep breath, have a positive mindset, and move forward!
Let’s be real – wedding planning is SO exciting and fun, but it can also be stressful! A LOT goes into a wedding and it may be overwhelming to get it all done (unless you have a wedding planner ????). Everyone has their own story, with ups, downs, and a whole lot in between. Today I’d like to share my three biggest wedding planning struggles with the STG community.
The first hurdle we faced on our wedding journey involved conflict with family. Very shortly after Jordan and I got engaged in May of 2017, we decided that we would get married mid-June 2019! We consistently shared this with family, friends, and strangers alike. About six months after our engagement, my older brother proposed to his girlfriend.
We were overjoyed, until they very quickly decided that they too wanted to be married mid-June 2019, which naturally created tension. Their defense was that they didn’t understand why our wedding was “more important” than theirs. Jordan and I have never felt that our wedding should take priority, however, we were engaged and openly settled on the timeframe for six months, so we did feel that they should concede.
They didn’t, as they had already found a venue and secured the date, whereas we had been taking our time venue-hunting with our long (2-year) engagement.
Image by Catullo Photography
Beyond the friction with my brother, this created difficulty in planning our wedding. Unless we changed seasons entirely, we had to decide between May (an important month for my mom’s job – she’s a costume director and has competitions and recitals) or July (an important month for my job – I am a furniture buyer and have my largest tradeshow).
We decided on May, and while we are incredibly excited, there have been many moments of stress and frustration when we wish that our wedding was mid-June as originally planned. I have spent countless hours reflecting on this, and while I will never truly understand why they had to claim our wedding month as theirs, I have learned to maintain positivity and grow from the experience.
Although our weddings are extremely important to each of our lives, our relationship as siblings is of too high value to let this situation tear us apart. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason, and our wedding (May 26, 2019) is exactly two years from the date of our engagement, which we have to admit is undeniably special.
My parents, Jordan, and I enjoying a tasting at a prospective venue
Balancing wedding with work: make plans to make plans!
Another difficulty has been balancing wedding planning with a demanding job. I work for a large e-commerce tech company in a high-stress, high-intensity role. I am quite passionate about my job, which has made it difficult to be able to take time for myself, let alone for my wedding!
Overwhelmed by work, plans with family and friends, and the need for some rest now and then, I decided that I needed to formally set aside time each week for wedding planning. This may sound silly, but it has greatly helped me hold myself accountable and accomplish weekly goals.
On top of working long weekdays (and often extra weekend hours), I also live quite far from our wedding venue. Jordan and I live in Boston, Massachusetts and are tying the knot in Cedar Grove, New Jersey (about five hours by car).
It has been stressful to find time to travel to New Jersey and fit in as much as we can during each trip. Making plans far in advance has been key in making the most out of our time in New Jersey and minimizing days I have taken off (I have to save those for our honeymoon to Greece and Paris!)
My sister and I at my first bridal fitting.
Balancing expectations: the wedding is all about the bride and groom!
While my fiancé and I have a clear vision of what we want our wedding to be like, it has been easier than expected to get caught up in wanting to please family and friends.
A great example of this is my wedding gown. I wasn’t looking for something low-cut or revealing, but that is what I ended up selecting (SHH don’t tell). After trying on many “not THE ONE” gowns, my mom had picked one out from our favorite designer, Galia Lahav. I had full-body chills when I first tried it on and truly felt like a bride.
Even though I knew in my heart that it was my dress, I couldn’t help but worry about what others might think or feel. I recall wondering, “What will my grandparents think of me in this?” and “Is this dress appropriate?” Thankfully my mom, dad, future mother-in-law, sister, and best friend were the best dress-hunting team and were all casting their votes for this gown as the winner.
Although I still find myself considering potential judgement or disapproval from others, I know that all that truly matters is how the dress makes me feel and how grateful I am to be able to wear such a beautiful work of art.
My MOHs and I at Bridal Reflections in New York City
Religion has been another topic where we have contemplated decisions based on our guests’ expectations. “Do we need yarmulkes if our ceremony isn’t in a temple? Is it okay to have non-kosher food when orthodox family members are attending? Will our rabbi accept us forgoing some Jewish traditions and mixing in some spiritual traditions of our own?” The list goes on and on…. We ultimately want everyone to feel comfortable, but we have to stay true to who we are as well. Our own Jew-ish style plus our love for each other and all of our guests is sure to make for a memorable wedding!
For every one of these challenges, there have been two times as many joyful moments that are important to keep in mind while working through difficulties. Relationships, time management, creativity, sanity (and more) have been put to the test, pushing my fiancé and I to grow both individually and as a couple. Even though there is still much to do, all of the hard work we are putting in will make our wedding day even more rewarding.
My Current Wedding Priorities
1. Finalize our menu: We have a tasting this month at our venue, which is when we will make our selections. We are major foodies and are very excited about The Grove’s culinary quality and presentation!
2. Plan the after-party: We need to book a DJ, plan club-like décor, and of course arrange for some fun late night drinks and snacks!
3. Enjoy my bachelorette party: My girls and I are headed to Breathless Resort in Cancun, Mexico!
May 26, 2017 / May 26, 2018
Click here to read all Alexandra’s planning posts to date.
Alexandra & Jordan’s Wedding Vendors booked so far: