Linking up with Morgan and the rest!
We are now fully immersed in wedding season! What are your favorite parts of a wedding? Where do you find the best dresses for the occasion? Have any unique gift ideas? Share anything and all tips and tricks with us!
Well…I meant to do a whole series of posts each Tuesday this month on weddings and marriage, as my first wedding anniversary was July 11!😀 Buuuuut my unintentional blogging hiatus meant it’s half gone. So here are some thoughts from a recentish bride who LOVED going to weddings and how she felt once she actually became one herself! Bonus: Some pretty pictures at the end!
Most weddings I’ve attended as an adult were Catholic Masses, or in one case, a church celebration of the Rite of Marriage (no Eucharist). By far my favorite part was seeing what musical pieces, hymns, and readings the couple selected. After attending a few, I came to piece together my own wedding liturgy…years before I’d even met my groom, PJ!
When PJ and I finally did pick out the elements, I did get some of my long-dreamt-of selections, but it was also surprising to see how certain things changed. Since it would make the post too long, I’ll do a future one on what we decided on.
And of course, seeing the bride and groom so happy and in love. Just overall the feeling of JOY everyone has.
Also, a favorite part, to be honest: open bar! Now, I did not get toasted after the customary champagne toast, but it’s always real nice to enjoy something delicious and bubbly without worrying about carrying cash. At one wedding, when I was 20, I had to pay for a soda, while the keg was free. Naturally when it was my turn to plan the reception, treating guests was a must. Plus, there are many classy ways to do so without worrying about people taking things to extremes.
I always like dressing up, and consider weddings, no matter how casual, to be special occasions, and as such, deserving of something a tick above my Sunday best, at least. Most of my favorites came from a consignment shop in the Boston area (also in CT), Second Time Around. Others were from random department stores. One came from Express. For church, I usually used a nice wrap, cardigan, or shrug. A tip for finding Mass-appropriate or modest dresses is to avoid the Juniors section or trendy stores and try the Special Occasions racks at department stores or shops like Ann Taylor. Though they may have had a past reputation for frumpy or “stuff-only-your-aged-aunt-would-wear,” the trend now is for classy frocks. Plus most women of most ages want to look youthful, but not ridiculous.
When I finally got to go wedding dress shopping (a whirlwind 18 hours over a Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning involving 20-some-odd dresses), I knew I wanted sleeves and an appropriate back, given my hair will not hold a veil. Thanks to Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, and Downton Abbey, sleeves are more of a thing now, so I got my wish all in one dress, ON SALE, at David’s Bridal. And for the showers, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner, I got them all at ModCloth.
When attending weddings, I usually just went in on group gift from the registry, or added a personal touch, especially if the bride and I were dear dear friends. For a non-religious couple in our family, my husband and I got them this wine storage box with some selections we knew they’d appreciate. They had bought a house together a year previously, so they pretty much had it all.
Some of PJ and I’s favorite gifts:
- A “bouquet” of Masses in our honor
- This prayer offering from a fellow Knight of Columbus, who just so happens to be be the brother of the Vocations Director at the Oblates, who was once a spiritual director of mine during a Spiritual Exercises Lenten retreat. SMALL, BEAUTIFUL WORLD!
But truly the best gift of all was seeing the smiling faces of family and friends who made it all the way to some random town in CT to see us wed and celebrate the start of our lives together. Auntie Seraphic wrote about weddings and acknowledged how sometimes the experience of attending weddings as a single person is not always a blissful one, but do know your presence and happiness for the couple is truly a blessing.
And now some pics from the amazingly talented Jon Cerritelli and Prestige Barkley Photographic Design!