Sunday, April 28, 2013

Greatest Hits: My Wedding Day

Read the introduction to this series HERE as well as #1 and #2 if you wish. :)

"Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name." - The Avett Brothers // Murder in the City

I am soon approaching the one year anniversary of one of the best days of my life, the day I married Brandon. I'd like to say that right off the bat I feel that weddings are highly influenced by the media + popular culture and that in general they've become something not very much about a marriage, but about a party. And not much about the bride + groom but about everyone else. For those reasons, Brandon and I took a minimalist approach. Here's the story of how we went against all most influences for our big day:

We were married in front of our immediate families, grandparents, and my two best friends. That's it. It was a simple ceremony (less than 10 minutes!) with a nice dinner at a local restaurant afterwards. It was just what we wanted and all that we needed.

Do I knock brides who decide to have big weddings? Absolutely not. I love weddings. I have a wedding board on Pinterest just like everyone else...  full of gorgeous dresses, pretty bouquets, stationery, and reception ideas. Though I am completely happy with the wedding that I had, I certainly wouldn't mind renewing my vows again someday with a large crowd and a fun reception. It just wasn't right for May 9, 2012.

Growing up attending various weddings, seeing them in movies, in magazines, and on television, I knew there were a few things that I had to do for our wedding:

  • Be careful with the guest list
  • Have bridesmaids + groomsmen
  • Dance
  • Wear something old, new, borrowed, blue
  • Wear a fancy white dress

Just trying to establish a guest list catapulted me to a freakout only comparable to Steve Martin in Father of the Bride. Remember the hot dog bun scene? We swiftly nixed the idea of a normal sized wedding, thus alienating many of our friends + family. I would like to publicly thank those who were gracious towards me about our decision to keep it small. For those who didn't understand, who didn't bother to talk to me about it, or who spoke out against our decision, I am sorry. I don't regret our decision, I only regret that it brought some pain.

With an entire wedding for only 20 people, we obviously didn't need to worry about a wedding party. Or worry about dancing. I like to think that I did my dad a favor by avoiding the overly-sappy father/daughter dance.  ;) We also avoided another dance, a first dance for the newlyweds. I was a little sad to go against pop culture and not have a dance, because it meant that we didn't have a song. My friends have had some great first dance songs and I sadly don't have one to add to that list. The lyrics you see at the top of the post were used in our wedding stationary, so I like to think of that song and this one as our wedding songs.

My wedding dress came from Macy's, where I purchased it about two weeks before the wedding. It didn't cost much more than my wedding shoes. I didn't exactly say YES to the dress. I bought it on a shopping trip alone and took it home to show mom. I actually almost wore a grey sundress, but decided I needed to stick to white to be a little bit traditional. The point is: my dress was not fancy. Side note, I even ripped it on our wedding day! Read the story here.

The one bit of pop cultural (some would call it tradition) that I did cling to was something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. I made sure that I had these 4 items for my day so it would bring me good luck in my marriage.

By most accounts, my wedding was small, simple, and unimportant. It didn't involve friends and family that we care deeply about. It didn't have a ring bearer, a dj, a huge wedding cake, a sparkler send off, or a guest book. It's not what you would call a pop culture success. But it meant a lot to me and to Brandon and in the end, isn't that what really matters?

I've been a bit long winded here and could write even more on this subject, but I'd like to hear from you. Did you go against the norm for your wedding? Anything you would change about your big day? Which wedding magazines did you read beforehand? Watch any wedding movies? Leave a comment below and let's talk!


  1. Wonderful post Mrs. Callaway. I think there is only one thing so far that Dusty and I are doing that are "against tradition." After reading the origins of the garter removal and toss we decided it was really creepy and did not want to partake. Guestbook wise... we have a spin on it but no hints until the wedding. I completely understand why you had your wedding the way you did. All of the money and all of the stress and drama is really difficult and there have already been times when I have asked Dusty to just run away with me to Vegas but he reminds me that we decided that it was important to both of us to have it this way, we both could use a day that is all about us since we tend to focus on others a lot outside of wedding. Well, that comment was long winded, anyway the point is, I love you and live your simple and perfect wedding. D

  2. That is* not that are... Stupid Monday morning brain.

    1. And love not live... You know how many times I've texted Dusty that I live him... Lol

  3. There are two regrets I have about our wedding...the biggest is not realizing Jamie didn't just have normal "cold feet", he was TERRIFIED of becoming a husband and not living up to a certain standard he thought I would need him to live up to. That sort of makes your wedding day a bit of a disaster when you look over and see your hubby in the corner not having fun after exchanging vows. :-/ *sidenote he is now the PERFECT hubby and married life is beyond amazing these days! :-D

    The 2nd mistake was going a little overboard with mixing pop culture ideas and ideas I stole from friends. We had a very tight budget from the start, and I well maxed that out with the help of my grandma, mom, best friend, and father. I had it stuck in my head "the bigger, the better" and started losing sight of what was most important...the two of us and our love. Not to say big weddings aren't awesome (cause lets face it, they are!), but when you make that the top priority for your big day then you're having a wedding for all the wrong reasons.

    1. I had cold feet a little bit before the wedding, but Brandon was cool as a cucumber... until the wedding day! On the actual day of the wedding he was very nervous. I think he was afraid that I would change my mind! ;)

      I think it's easy to go overboard because everything you see out there for weddings is so pretty and so fun! Budget was definitely a factor in us deciding to scale back our wedding. Plus, a small wedding meant that we had a pretty great honeymoon!