I attended a wedding in Alabama this past Fall. It was quite a change as it’s the first time I’ve been a wedding guest since going full throttle into this wedding planning business. I sat and observed and tried not to physically tick when I saw something that I would tweak. It was a lovely wedding for a lovely couple and I was blessed to be included on the guest list.
That night, after having been up since 3am local time and staying until after the sparkler exit at the wedding, my husband and partner in all things Best Day Ever asked, “what was the focus of this wedding?” He knows that back in NJ, as a wedding planner, I sit with couples and help them focus their budget down to what they, as a couple, deem most important. It's my top priority to see to it that my couples plan THEIR wedding. Authenticity is key. For some, it’s the decor. For most, it’s entertainment and bar. For a lot, it’s food. I recommend a set of preferred vendors based specifically on their individual desires as a couple for their wedding. At this wedding, the flowers were lovely. The wedding arch was to die for, but the bridesmaids’ bouquets were minimal and understated. The centerpieces were lovely. The entertainment did the required job. It wasn’t fancy with uplighting, spotlighting, or even an MC that I as a “yankee” could even understand. But, he did the job. The food was more of a cocktail style whereas back home, guests are expecting a full-sit down meal post cocktail hour. Again, it did the job. Guests were fed, had drinks of their choice, and danced the night away on the patio by the lake.
Speaking of the venue, it was a home recently converted to a wedding venue. What I’m guessing would have been the dining room was set up as the buffet line with a charcuterie-like display. The living room had 4-5 60” rounds. A walk-through area to the patio had the dessert display with a lovely cake and mini-cupcake offering (which were delicious, by the way). The lakeside patio was set up with a few more tables, high tops, the bar, a drink display and a designated dancing area. There were no escort cards encouraging guests on either side of the aisle to mingle under the Alabama starry night. So, back to my husband’s question - what WAS the focus of this wedding? I will tell you 100% exactly what this wedding was about. As a planner, it’s just what I desire to see in my couples’ best day. It’s what every single wedding day should be about. It’s WHY I am a wedding planner in the first place! October 12, 2018, in Helena, Alabama, the wedding was about the MARRIAGE. Nothing was more important than the fact or outshined the purpose that these two young beautiful people came together with family and friends to say, “I do” and mean it when they say it.
Each love story is special to me. I’ve experienced this one from afar through Facebook posts by the mother of the groom and stepfather of the groom who even performed the heartfelt service. I didn’t and still don’t personally know the bride and groom. I was happy to share in their day and be included on their guest list. But, as I leave Alabama, there’s one thing I know for certain. Zach and Emma got MARRIED that day. They didn’t just have a wedding. I hope that their wedding can be an example to couples everywhere. I know, for as long as I’m planning weddings, I will use their story to encourage my couples on how to focus their wedding days. Well done and best wishes, Mr. & Mrs. Freeze.