Traditions [Wedding Wednesday]

Ahh, it sure feels good to be back around these parts! Let’s just say, as much as you may think you want an excuse to sit in a bed all day and watch TV for three straight days…you really, really don’t (unless it’s in your own bed at your house and you aren’t hooked up to a computer).  I was sprung from the hospital mid-Friday, and then had the most crazy, fun, sentimental, exciting, love-filled weekend EVER. It was pretty awesome. I’ll save the epilepsy speech for another post (one I’ve already put off for way too long), and instead, I’ll talk about traditions.

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I think that all of us in wedding-land have been hit with the idea of traditions. Honestly, the only traditions that came to mind for me when I got engaged were the bridal traditions (something old/new/borrowed/blue, etc.). Don’t get me wrong, these traditions are definitely important, and they’re important to me! I already have my old (lace from mom’s dress), new (my dress), and borrowed (earrings from my grandmother that my mom wore for her wedding), and I’ve got an idea for the blue…I digress. The traditions I want to talk about today are the ones I’ll be making with Zach, and as we’ve delved into November (I literally missed the first week, so I’m in shock when I realize it’s already November 12th!), the topic of the holidays has come up quite a bit.

First, I need to take a moment to rewind to my previous statement. The only traditions I thought of in July were the bridal traditions. The second we walked into our first registry (Bed, Bath, and Beyond…it was kind of a nightmarish experience), the registry manager asked us this question: “What traditions do you see yourselves taking on when you get married?”. Can I tell you what our reaction was? No, no, no…let me show you.

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We were literally just sitting there staring at her, then looking at each other, then looking back at her…for a silent two minutes. I wish that was an exaggeration, but this woman did not help us understand for a solid few minutes. It was awkward. But then she began to get us thinking. Holidays, events, parties, special things like that; what were we going to do for them? While we both said we didn’t plan on doing any of that (which is mostly true; we have no kids, no plans for kids yet, and we both have a lot of family commitments when it comes to those things). We both have had our own separate familial traditions for 23-26 years, and just didn’t have any plans of making these traditions for ourselves until kids were in the picture. Then the Thanksgiving debate arose…

Do we go to grandparent A’s house? Or grandparent B’s house? DO we stay home? It is Dylan’s (my little brother) 21st birthday, I’m sure he doesn’t want to be out of town for that. Do we just do parent’s houses? Thankfully, my parents answered the first three questions; no, no, and a BIG no (who want’s to celebrate 21 with their family Thanksgiving?). However, that was when Zach and I began to think of what WE wanted to do. I think two weeks ago was the moment where we kind of understood what the elusive registry manager meant; the traditions are the choices we are making as we go into this whole matrimony thing. We don’t have to do what we don’t want to do when it comes to holidays (even on the 4th of July – we could do whatever we want!); this is the time of our lives where we sit back and think about what things we want to do with our families, the things we want our kids to grow up doing.

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Two weeks ago, Zach threw out an idea that I just loved; since nobody in our families were making any big holiday plans, why didn’t we just make a mini-Thanksgiving feast at our place? As soon as he said that, I not only melted into a puddle of happiness, but I said yes! The man was reading my mind. I wanted to get a chance to see what marriage would be like on those holidays where our old traditions were just that – old. We started to think about our traditions, what we want to do until we start making traditions with a Jones baby. Honestly, I think it was the most exciting marriage talk we have had. It was a time when we just sat back and reaffirmed why we are getting married.

We don’t want to be the family that throws all of the big random-holiday parties (here’s looking at you, Memorial Day). We don’t have friends to our place right now because, honestly, we are about a thirty minute drive from all of our friends. We probably won’t ever host a Thanksgiving dinner at our house until we have children, and even then, it won’t be an every year type of thing. Instead, we want to have a private celebration for each holiday. This Thanksgiving, we’ll spend the day with our families, one in the morning and one in the evening. We’ll celebrate our mini-Thanksgiving that Saturday night, stuffing ourselves just one more time before heading out to see a Christmas light display near our house. We’ll ride in the car in our pajamas, listening to Christmas music (even though Zach hates it), and we’ll enjoy our first new tradition. This year, we’ll wake up in our home to open the presents under our tree. We won’t gather around at midnight like we have in the past so that we can wake at 7 and drive to our separate families to spend Christmas morning with them. Instead, we’ll lounge that morning, watch A Christmas Story, and then head off to our families homes together.

I think that as the holidays descend upon us (I’m already breaking out the holiday tunes…no shame!), it’s time to think about the traditions that marriage brings with it. You get to create your own celebrations, your own events, your own memories; and in the end, that’s what marriage is about. Bringing together two sets of traditions and making them into one family. I can’t wait to see the traditions we make as our lives change together, it’s a pretty awesome thing!

Linking up – like always!

Wedding Wednesday

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Your Timeline, Not Theirs [Wedding Wednesday]

Hi y’all! Happy Wednesday! I have to admit, I will be a much happier individual come 7:30 tonight (after my class presentation…), but until then I think I can dwell on some happier thoughts. Like the fact that the semester is over with in t-minus 6 weeks! I graduate in t-minus 415 days. I get married in even less! And on that note, lets run far, far away from the topic of school and head into the safe arms of wedding planning.

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If you all are anything like me (type-a, anyone?), the first thing you began to think of after the bliss of the proposal, or even before the proposal, is the planning! You will pick up a wedding planner or planning book (or books, in my case), and you will start to look at where you are, what you need to do, and where the book says you need to be. Alas, as soon as I began to see all of these demands that you “must do A before B, and A needs to be completed by this month”, I was worried. In fact, if you ask Zach, I was in an absolute terrified panic! We couldn’t do any of these things when they needed to be done; our date couldn’t be set until three months later; we were doomed!

(Please tell me you can taste the drama; I assure you, I was reeking of it for a few weeks at the beginning of the planning process.)

I think that this whole situation could have gone a number of ways; one, I could have absolutely read in to all of these mandatory suggested timelines and I could have panicked for the remaining 14 months of wedding planning. Two, I could take a big step back, look at the items I needed to do for my wedding, and create my own timeline. While I did continue the anxious complaints for a few weeks after this realization, I finally took the matter into my own hands, took that step back, and I made my own timeline.

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A book I got for myself (and my BFF when she got engaged) was A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene. One of the first things the book addresses is just how much the wedding industry can really push its ideas and its deadlines onto your plate. When I read that sentence, I immediately knew that I just needed to start looking out for Team Jones (laugh all you want, I just couldn’t say number one – there’s two of us, now!). Instead of letting these wedding industry-published guidelines guide my planning journey, I sat down one afternoon and created my own timeline based on the needs of our wedding. And you know what? I just melted into a pile of organized happiness. I felt like I was in control again, and I was ready to run with my own timeline!

Here’s how I started out; I looked at the different suggested items on the timelines in my books and other magazines. I looked more at the items than the months listed so that I was more focused on what our timeline looked like individually. We knew the date wouldn’t be set until – at the earliest – late October, so we planned accordingly. We know what we do and do not want at out wedding, so we knew that we didn’t need to hear bands try-out for us. We didn’t need to do a huge cake tasting thanks to my gluten sensitivity and the fact that we had already picked our cake shop due to their gluten-free capabilities. We won’t need to look for a caterer because they are a part of the venue, and so on. Each wedding has unique attributes that either the wedding books miss, or that the wedding doesn’t need that the books include. This is what I came up with in my Google Docs for just an easy to follow wedding timeline (or my wedding goals as I like to call them):

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As you can see, I’ve already got a lot crossed off from September until the beginning of January. Just because I’ve crossed something off two months from now does not mean that I’ve screwed up my planning; rather, it is just an item that I got to before it’s due date! I think that looking at the list this way helps me see what all I need to be working on when and how soon it is due. We had to block the rooms early due to a home football game the day of our wedding – and it’s the rival game at that! So, needless to say, that point became more urgent than we had thought originally. Having my own individual timeline has really helped me see where I am and where I need to be, not where a wedding magazine thinks I should be at this point in my wedding planning.

I hope this helps, and if you all need any advice or have any other questions regarding this whole process, please feel free to ask! Just remember, this isn’t just something you can copy and paste. You can easily take the same concept, but make sure to apply your needs to the list, not the needs of some preconceived bride!

As a quick catch-up, I think now is a good time to show you all where I am on my planning goals for October (November starts on Saturday – WHAT?!):

October (11 months):
•Get ring insured (I SUCK. I’m getting the appraisal on Friday)
•Engagement pictures (10/20 @ 5pm)
•Begin registering for gifts
•Make the guest list FINAL
•Finalize the budget
•Choose top three dates
•Book the date!
◦Contact venue and photographer to see if top date is available

Linking up – like always!

Wedding Wednesday