The One with the Wedding Priorities

Someone once told me, "I'd just love to read your thoughts on marriage and being engaged and what it really looks like to plan a wedding."

So why not? These are my deepest thoughts on engagement, my insight to planning the most expensive party of my life, and my true love for true love with Kip Tyler.

Please note these are my personal opinions. They are not meant to harm any reader, to put down another's values, or to show-off in any way. These opinions are meant to be transparent and honest about a real wedding to celebrate a real marriage.

I've dreamed about planning my wedding since the introduction of Pinterest in college. It was never really the ceremony, the guests, or the future fiance, but rather the sub-details that require an organized mind and a big-picture heart to pull off the whole ordeal. 

Don't get me wrong – it's OK to dream about the details and OK to cry over total strangers' wedding videos, but when these pieces became the center of my vision for the big day, it was time to re-evaluate. In my opinion, there's three things that make our wedding unique to us.


1. It's our wedding

When Ty and I got engaged, I realized I said yes to another person that has values, dreams, goals, emotions, family members, friends, favorite colors, favorite styles, and more. When I said yes to marriage I said yes to stop being selfish and start dedicating my life to a bigger cause — our relationship.

As a result of this I said good-bye to the boho headbands, hipster suspenders, and country mason jars of Pinterest. I deleted literally every pin board dealing with dresses, hair, colors, and decorations. Then I started from scratch. Conversations in my head switched to conversations with Ty and I found real value in the small details I once obsessed over.

  • Who of our friends and family know us best as a couple?

  • What are you comfortable wearing and think you will wear again?

  • What will make our wedding party and our guests feel valued?

  • What complements us as a couple and tells our story?

It's a beautiful thing to join someone in the commitment to this life but it all starts with the relationship. After recognizing this, we've made a few promises:

  • We will not be selfish or make decisions purely because other people are doing it or telling us to do it.

  • We will choose to do things that make us happy and comfortable in our relationship.


2. It's all about compromise

Our wedding is our wedding because we're making decisions together. Sure I wanted to have an eight-month engagement, or a New Year's Eve wedding, or a May 7 wedding because seven is a lucky number — but it's not all about me or the stupid number. It's about us and our families.

My start-up workplace is generous with vacation time and flexible with my schedule. Ty is a teacher with only three vacation days because he gets a 3-month summer hiatus. Gosh, it took a considerable amount of prayer to accept that while other ideas and weddings may look cool on blogs, it's not realistic for our lifestyles or budget.

So far, example compromises from our brief five-months of wedding planning include but are not yet limited to:

  • Date

  • Location

  • Colors

  • Bar

  • Music

  • Guest list


3. It's not just us

While it is our wedding, it's also the union of our friends, families, and mentors. Our wedding is a celebration of who made us who we are as individuals, so that we're compatible together in marriage. To help us remember that, we're constantly asking ourselves questions:

  • Did we make information easily accessible and hotel rooms easy to reserve?

  • Did we offer a place for people to make music requests?

  • Are we offering food that suits the needs and diets of our guests?

  • Do we have a plan to thank every person for attending?

  • Are we offering a safe way for people to get home?

  • How can we make our wedding totally guest-focused?


"But Brandi, are you even looking at the details at all?!" OK let's be real, of course! What's a wedding without dessert, alcohol, and awesome music?

Ty and I have just chosen to reassess our priorities. And to be brutally honest, as more details continue to fall through, I'm trying my best to remember that it's not the end of the world — just the end of my unattainable Pinterest perfection.

Brandi ArnoldComment