The first time around: a big, white wedding
The first time around, there was a big simcha, most of which I planned over a six-month period when I happened to be on a sabbatical from my job. I threw myself into the process of planning, and even now I remember all the things — so many things — the color scheme (from the flowers right down to the napkins), the personalized cake-topper, the wedding favors we left on the tables for our guests. There were a lot of details. It was, I remember, event planning at its most involved. I remember the price tag for the wedding, too.
My first wedding was, in fact, a most beautiful wedding, one in which our guests walked away having been entertained, very well fed and having danced for hours to live music. The wedding sated the bridal fantasies I’d had since I was old enough to know what a wedding was.
The thing about fantasy is that it is the opposite of reality. The complexity of two individuals in any relationship with each other is a reality; unexpected curveballs are sometimes thrown when we least expect it. So it is that my first marriage was not to last.
Reflections after the first wedding
Now that I am in a different stage in my life, I feel that the challenges I encountered when I stared divorce in the face have made me stronger. My experience has given me a great deal of appreciation for what I have now with my fiancé; I take nothing for granted.
The most important thing — the key element when planning a wedding – is that the man you are marrying is the right man for you. Everything else is just scenery, background, backdrop.
I’m now in the throes of planning my second wedding, one in which there is no retinue, no color scheme, no sit-down meal. The most crucial detail, the one I think about daily, is that I’m marrying a man who makes me incredibly happy.
Our wedding date will be just three months from the date we got engaged. I’m learning that it is totally possible to plan a wedding in three months, and whilst working full time, too.
The process has been fun – my fiancé and I set a small-ish budget which we are firmly sticking to; it’s been so satisfying to find real bargains and to prioritize only what’s most important: for us it was: an atmospheric venue, great live music and an excellent photographer. It took us about three weeks to find these three things.
It was not all that long ago that I planned my first wedding, so I have the benefit of experience, contacts in the wedding industry in my city, and lessons learned from having done this before.