THE SECRET TO A SMALL INTIMATE WEDDING!
I had a small intimate wedding .... 3 times! oops. ..
Ok let me explain. .
I married my first husband super young in Gatlinburg Tennessee! We grabbed our immediate family, rented a cabin, and had a beautiful small chapel wedding. Afterwards we tooled around Gatlinburg taking in all the beautiful sights with our family. It was perfect. ... the experience and the day that is. The marriage, not so much.
Which brings me to small wedding #2.
Fast Forward 7 years and I find myself planning wedding number 2 with the man of my dreams. It was a rushed wedding because he is military and was about to deploy to Afghanistan. We had been dating for 2 years, engaged for 6 months, and BAM. .. down come the orders to ship off. Goes to show you, the military doesn't care about your plans. So, we invited our families and close friends (total of about 25 people) and got married under this gazebo in downtown right at dusk. It wasn't the wedding we wanted, but hey... we were married and all was right in the world. Originally we were thinking we wanted a huge wedding. The kind I never had before. The big venue, the big dresses, the flowers, the dance floor, the music, the food... all of it. When we realized we couldn't have that right away, I settled for the smaller version and made the best of it. Looking back on that, I think our wedding was perfect for us. Our best friends were there, we had family members there that are no longer with us, and we celebrated our love for each other 2 weeks before he left for Afghanistan. We shared a very special time in our lives with the people who meant the most to us. The celebration was intimate as we were able to talk and spend time with everyone. There were lots of tears, hugs, and laughter shared throughout the room that night.
I am sure you are wondering "then where does wedding #3 come to play within all of this?"
Well. . we wanted to renew our vows on our 10 year wedding anniversary and have that big "wedding of our dreams".
Now this wedding... was AH-MAZ-ING and I will tell you why.
When I started planning this "dream wedding", I quickly understood that our personalities didn't fit the hustle and bustle of a big wedding. Little did I know... I never wanted that. I just wanted the special moment between myself and my husband to be witnessed by people who truly loved and cared about us. I wish I had understood that during our first wedding. I would have done some things differently.
The big secret to how amazing our vow renewal felt wasn't because of who was there, (even though we are very lucky people to have some of the most amazing family and supporters in our lives) or the amount of food we had (even though we had food for DAAYYSS).
The reason why this wedding was so perfect in every way was simply the fact that we were true to ourselves and our personalities and what we really truly wanted!
THAT IS THE BIG SECRET!
We didn't consider anyone else in this vow renewal but ourselves. We didn't check to see if the date worked for people. We didn't ask if the drive would be to much. We didn't try to please everyone. The only two people that mattered were us and we did everything exactly the way we wanted.
Our ceremony was on a dock overlooking a gorgeous lake that my husband and myself found ourselves kayaking quite a few times throughout our 13 years together. We popped champagne, we had the decor that fit our marriage perfectly, we involved our children, we had our immediate family and close friends (15 people total), we ate cake and good food, had the best conversations, and made memories that will forever sit in our hearts. We had zero drama or stress and of course, we got those beautiful pictures to hang on our walls.
So if you are struggling with trying to decide on a big wedding or small, think of me and this story. Think of the "big secret" as it will always call you home! Just be true to yourself and what you truly want. Everything and Everyone else can come second to this day. After all, it is the most important day of your lives. You owe it to each other to start your marriage peacefully, happily, and stress free. If that means that you need to be selfish for a minute and have a small intimate ceremony, then don't hesitate to do what is best for you.