Editor’s Note: On August 13, I am remembering not only my reception day one year ago, but also the day I met my husband 5 years ago. To me, August 13 will always be our “true” anniversary. It is when my life long adventure with Mark started, and then 4 years later, the day we gathered our friends and family to celebrate.
Wedding “Graduate”, continued from A Very Short Engagement:
So the party planning began. And it was so much easier now that I was already married. It mostly stayed in perspective, especially reading APW daily. We decided we weren’t doing a sit down dinner and what we really wanted was a big cocktail party and dancing.
We decided to spend money on our venue, The Catalyst Ranch, because it was unique and more “party” than “wedding”. It reminded me of Pee Wee’s Playhouse which happens to be one of my all time favorite shows EVER. They had vintage tables, chairs, and couches so no decorating or linens were needed and the sound system was also included.
I found a 50’s vintage dress in gold satin with a petticoat that made me feel like Ms. Yvonne (see Pee Wee reference). Our friend’s 3 piece jazz band played for the first 2 hours and then we played ipod DJ with some classic Motown and dance tunes.
Part of me still wonders how different it would have been had we just done a “normal wedding”. It almost sounds easier to have a template to follow, although I know that its not! Eloping is a lot harder emotionally than one might think. I felt like maybe I missed out on something that I’ll never get back. We were engaged just before the holidays so no one had time to throw us any engagement parties or bridal showers and there wasn’t a bachelor/bachelorette party (which was actually just fine with both of us!)
At the same time, I can’t imagine having a ceremony in front of everyone. I wouldn’t have had fun. And I probably would have lost my mind planning the reception had I not already done the important part: be married! In the end, I love our elopement story and I wouldn’t change a thing.
I was pleasantly surprised by who made the effort to travel to our party (hello Vancouver BC and Alaska friends!) and truly missed the ones who couldn’t make it. All in all, we had a beautiful representation from both of our lives of family, old friends, and newer relationships we had established together. Its crazy to be immersed into a room full of people that you love. Everywhere you turn, there is one of your favorite people! Everything felt perfect and I didn’t have a care in the world during the party.
Of course it wasn’t perfect, but in the end the little things didn’t really matter and the bigger things were out of our control. Thankfully I didn’t fret over my DIY simple flowers, or the fact that my hair flower piece arrived on the day of the party, or when a song I didn’t plan to have on the playlist took over the ipod. I laughed when my brother in-law accidentally dropped his dessert on the bottom of my dress (apricot sauce blends nicely into gold satin) and when my bra cups kept falling off my sweaty dancing body (note to future dancing brides: invest in a good bra!)
I’m glad that I let it all go and took in all the love and friendship that surrounded me. I just wanted to soak in every moment and really be in it. The best part is that I got to go home with my very best friend and lay in bed and giggle and replay the whole night back to each other until 4am. Let the happily ever after begin!