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Wedding Day Recap: A Rainbow of Love

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We did it!

I woke up July 5th as Ms. LaBranche and ended it as Mrs. LaBranche.

Getting married is truly and overwhelming experience. I had a feeling it would be, but was in no way prepared for just how much emotion was going to be packed into one day. Here is the story of our wedding and how two excited cats became two excited married cats.

Part 1: Humble Beginnings

Right from the beginning I wanted a small wedding. In my mid 20s I had my mind set on some kind of massive wedding where everyone I had ever walked past in a grocery store was invited. Reflecting on the costs, the logistics, and the stress, I realized this was not at all what I wanted or what suited us as a couple.

But then…

Part 2: Pandemic Bride

The pandemic swept through Weddingville, upending everything in its path. I remember accessing a wedding group I was part of on Facebook, filled with mostly younger women planning the exact kind of enormous wedding I had been thinking of in my 20s. The women there were divided over just how seriously to take the pandemic once lockdown was put in place.

Some women posted their weddings were postponed until 2021. Others insisted on carrying out their weddings come hell, high water, or Coronavirus. While everyone scrambled for a plan, Dan and I realized we had to make changes.

We tried several different wedding scenarios and ran into obstacles at every turn. Not only were we on a time crunch, but we had a pandemic to consider. Finally, we settled on the one plan that made sense.

Part 3: Who’s Got the Wedding?

I called my future mother-in-law and asked her if we could have the wedding in their backyard in a week and a half. This brave, brave woman not only agreed, but ended up putting together a crack team of impromptu event planners, coordinators, and all-around miracle workers to put the entire wedding together for us.

Part 4: Showing Up in a Dress

I’ll be honest, between the pandemic, my mental health concerns, and my inability to handle stress gracefully, I was so over the wedding part of getting married that I was bulldozing wedding traditions like I had a checklist.

White dress? Don’t think so. Bachelor/bachelorette parties? Nope! Don’t see the groom before the ceremony? Impractical. Something old/new/borrowed/blue? Eh. No.

When I started getting some pushback on my sheer disdain for wedding traditions, I was more than over it. I was #OverIt.

The idea of just showing up to your wedding in your dress might sound scary to some people. However, at that point, I could not have thought of a more welcomed idea if I had tried.

Part 5: The Ceremony that Changed Everything

As I walked to the wedding arch with my beautiful and colorful bouquet, I could not have been more dazzled. I adored the decorations, saw our friends, family, and finally laid eyes on our officiant. When Dan and I arrived at the arch, he told us to hold hands and look into each other’s eyes.

When I passed my bouquet off to my mom and took my very near future husband’s hands, everything else just melted away. In that moment, nothing else mattered except I was there with the man I wanted to marry and everything else was white noise.

The ceremony was beautiful and being announced as a married couple at the end was the cherry on top of a sundae.

Part 6: The Reception

As Dan and I sat down with our plates piled high of delicious food, I couldn’t have been more pleased. I could have planned a wedding down to the last second and it wouldn’t have gone off as wonderfully as what the family put together. Best of all, each member of the family had an important job in helping us tie the knot.

Part 7: The Pool

After the ceremony and reception was over, it was time for the pool! We had a frozen wine drink and cooled down for a bit before heading home for the night. Jumping in a pool after your nuptials? Highly recommended.

Final Thoughts

It might seem like the right shade of pink and the perfectly matching shoes are what’s really important in a wedding. We sure get fed enough wedding media nonsense to assure us it is. But when you’re up there with your spouse, all that matters is the two of you. You could be wearing no shoes and you wouldn’t even notice.

If I was to give any advice post-nuptials, it would be to focus on what really matters: your fiance and the people around you who are making this event so wonderful. At the end of the day, it’s a few hours of your life. Those few hours can be the most special, emotionally impactful of all. But it doesn’t require a $10,000 ballgown you can’t move in.

Don’t let anyone tell you your wedding will be horrible or less than if you opt not to put yourself into crippling debt for the big day. No amount of materialism could improve the emotional experience of your wedding day. A special, meaningful day is not reserved for those who spend the most money. In fact, studies have shown couples who spend less on their weddings, tend to stay together longer. And that’s what it’s really about.

Forget the clothes and the food and the chocolate fountains. You want to cement your commitment to another person in front of friends and family. The marriage is what counts. Not the wedding. The wedding is a few hours, the marriage could last the rest of your life. Which one do you want to be more prepared for?

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