To all the soon-to-be-brides out there, I get it. You want your wedding day to be perfect, and with good reason. After all, this is your day. The day you've dreamed about ever since that first Disney movie wedding tugged at your heartstrings. But can I let you in on a little secret, one that might just prevent countless headaches and bridezilla moments leading up to the "I dos"?
Your day isn't going to be perfect. No matter how many hours you spend plotting and planning. No matter how many times you've gone over the guest list, the timeline, the menu, the playlists. I'm here to tell you none of it will go as planned, or at least not all of it. But you know what? It's OK.
I say all of this from experience. On my wedding day, there was an unexpected tropical storm. Now, that wouldn't have been so bad had the ceremony not been held outdoors. But, on that late Summer afternoon, nothing could have stopped Mother Nature from taking charge.
Getting married in the small seaside town of Southport, NC, had always been my dream wedding destination. There was just something about this charming pocket of the coast that always made my soul happy. And on the morning of the big day, I don't think my soul could have been happier.
I remember waking up to a gorgeous golden sun shining high up above. Outside, the seagulls were going about their usual chatter, and the water sat just as still and serene as it could be. At that moment, I couldn't help but think everything seemed, well, kind of perfect. By the looks of the bright blue sky spanning the horizon, you never would have guessed that in the coming hours rain would be taking over.
Fast forward a bit and there they were. The big, dark storm clouds lurking out in the distance, ready to make their move.
As guests started trickling in, the sky became darker, and my stomach twisted even more with knots. By the heaviness of the clouds, it was only a matter of minutes before the sky fully opened.
And then it happened. The uninvited storm crashed our wedding.
As I was halfway through reading my vows, rain drops began racing from the sky. The ink of my written words started to bleed down the page. So many emotions swirled through my mind. I didn't know what to think, or what to do. All I knew was the hard work that went into making this "whimsical, enchanting, outdoor fairy tale" I had fantasied over for the past year was now being destroyed.
Yet, as I looked up and met eyes with the man I was about to say "I do" to, a sense of calmness flooded over me. As I glanced out over the audience to see my family still seated - now completely drenched - holding umbrellas as their shields, it was then I realized none of those decorative details even mattered.
When the weather took a dark turn, I could have chosen to be upset. I could have thrown a mini tantrum and had a meltdown, because hello, this was my wedding day. A day that was supposed to be perfect. But life isn't perfect. Things don't always go as planned. And, while there are some things you can't control - such as the weather - remember that you can take charge of your emotions.
During that moment, I chose happiness. I chose to embrace the unexpected and welcome it with a big smile, because what else could a girl do? This was my wedding day!
As your big day draws closer, remember this: no matter how far off course your wedding goes, there is one certainty. It will be magical. Because at the end of the day, you are vowing to spend the rest of your life with your best friend, your soulmate, the person you'll forever wake up to. Nothing can rain on that beautiful parade.
But wear waterproof mascara, just in case.