Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Planning a wedding

Since getting engaged, I've spent a bit of time on a wedding chat forum, picking up a few ideas and reading about other people's wedding plans. It's amazing to read about the sort of problems people are having as they make their plans:

"Both sets of parents are divorced and remarried, and all four sets are contributing to the cost of the wedding. How do we phrase the invitation?"

"I haven't spoken to my father for several years and now he wants to come to my wedding. How do I tell him I've asked my stepfather to walk me down the aisle?"

"We don't want children at the wedding - except for our own. How do we tell people without causing offence?"

It makes me realise how lucky New Man and I are. We're both Catholic, both getting married for the first time, both believe that marriage is for life, both have parents who have been married to each other for over 40 years, both get on well with all our families, and both have some fantastic friends who are delighted to share our excitement at planning a wedding and a life together.

I know there will be some hiccups along the way - in fact, there already have been a couple of misunderstandings involving other members of the family (all now resolved). With two Irish Catholic extended families to contend with and the need to book a venue for the reception as soon as possible, we're having a bit of a headache over the guest list.

But whatever problems we have in planning the wedding, and however fed up we might get with the wedding plans, two things stand out in our minds.

The first is that both of us recognise the nuptial Mass as the most important part of the day. Some of our friends will be invited to the Mass and not the reception, and we look forward to declaring our love and commitment to each other and making our solemn vows in front of God, with all the people we're closest to as witnesses.

Secondly, we know that all the detail we're worrying about is just that - the detail of a single day. And how can any couple get upset at having too many people in their lives who love them and would like to share their special day?

There may be times when we get fed up with juggling our guest list to try to keep people happy, or delicately explaining to offended mothers of small girls that there's a limit to the number of bridesmaids any one bride can have.* But hopefully we'll never forget to look forward with joyful anticipation to the years of marriage that (God willing) will follow that one day.

*Note for US readers - here in the UK, it's traditional to have small children as bridesmaids, often with only one adult as maid of honour (if she's unmarried) or matron of honour (if she's married). Apart from my matron of honour, all my bridesmaids will be aged 8 or under.


Ma Beck said...


Those comments are a trip.

You have the right attitude!

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

When The Soccer Dad and I were engaged, we were also blessed to have two sets of parents who were married to only each other. (His parents got divorced but remarried while we were dating. He got to be Best Man for his parents wedding without being illegitimate; he loves to tell that, too.)

Anyway...the photographer really liked our families. We got along well (still do), and he didn't have to worry about set-ups with step parents, step siblings, etc. No children in the wedding party that were our own, either. He said it was very nice. :)

It must be so hard for people who have to juggle all of that mess when they get married.

I am glad to see that for you, it's just ONE DAY that you are planning and yet are not going nutso. I worry for couples who spend so much time worrying about that ONE DAY that they forget that there is a whole lifetime after that!

diana said...

Prayer helps, though doesn't it!

I would have loved it if anyone had offered to pay for my wedding! They could have phrased the invite anyway they wanted! My wedding was tiny and cheap.

I watched one of those Bride shows and one episode had a groom invite his estranged family, who never came. They left pews open and everything in the hopes they would change their minds and come.

Sad...oh listen to me, I should be sharing your joy instead of depressing you!!!!

FloridaWife said...

I loved planning my wedding. So much fun! I even made a website for it on

We, too, were fortunate in having both sets of parents still married after all these years. What a beautiful sense of peace.

It's a day you will treasure forever.

newhousenewjob said...

Oooh, I love hearing about other people's wedding experiences.

My sister-in-law told me yesterday that when they were preparing for their wedding (in South Africa, where the divorce rate is as high as 1 in 2 in some areas), the guy who did the marriage preparation course said they were the first couple he had ever had on a course who both still had parents who were married to each other. They both rushed home and thanked her parents and ours for staying together all these years and being such great role models.

LauraSuz said...

I got to your blog through Beth Pack. I'm planning my wedding too! And yes, I completely agree with you...if Daniel and I are married by the end of the day then the day went as planned.

newhousenewjob said...

Nice to see you, Laura - and have fun planning the wedding with Daniel. Have you set a date yet?

LauraSuz said...

Our date is May 10th, 2008. Do you have a date set?

newhousenewjob said...

Ah, you're a bit before us, then. We're planning on next June, but don't have a date fixed yet - the church is apparently available (though we haven't pinned the priest down to a specific date yet), so we just need to find a venue for the reception and see which weekends it's available in June...