Today, Real Couple Felicia and Carl join us to share about their best advice for weddings. They had a non-traditional, family oriented, modern-feminist wedding in the woods.
*1. Figure out early where you want to spend money and where you don't, and be reasonable about what you can do yourself (and who will help you.) *
For us, the most important things were the food, the music (a band), and the venue. That’s what got most of our coin and where we allowed ourselves more flexibility. We ended up DIY'ing our floral table arrangements and other floral elements by working with a local farm and florist (holy crap you can get SO MANY flower petals for $30!). The day before the wedding is when I learned that Carl had a past life as a floral arranger and was amazing. As compared with my brother, charged with being my 'brother of honor', who was far more interested in getting good Instagram stories at the venue than puncturing floral foam. Womp!
2. Do what you want (unless it actually harms or hurts someone else.)
Unless you're 'just absolute the worst'--you likely don't get to be selfish and demand that you be humored or have things your way. Your wedding day is that day. If those extra-as-hell monogrammed gift tags give you life and someone has an opposing opinion--GO GET YOUR LIFE! You're not going to please everyone, no one is going to actually going remember your damn gift tags, so you may as well please yourself. Go back--and you must go back- - to being a less self-centered human being when the wedding is over.
3. Invite who makes you feel good.
It doesn't matter how long or briefly you've known them. And absolutely don't invite anyone who has the great potential to rob you of joy--again, it doesn't matter how long or short you've known them. Although there was great consternation over it, Carl didn't invite one of his sisters due to some seriously bad blood and hurt in the past and present. Ultimately, his choice came down to our wedding being a new beginning for him and his desire to step into that life supported and loved.
4. Expect that things you can't possibly anticipate will go wrong. When it happens, let that shit go.
Case(s) in point: Carl left his dress shirt at our apartment (let's not judge, but instead, thank god for friends who can pick locks); the original cake did not survive the 1.5-hour trip (and for me who makes cakes, whoo boy), and perhaps, I only remembered to buy makeup the day before. . . and then forgot to bring half of it with me. (To be fair to myself, I don't really wear makeup, so it's not usually part of my packing process). But the disasters make the story so much better!
*5. If you're not sure what to do with leftover wedding stuff, make someone else's day. *
We ended up taking all our arrangements to local DV shelters and hospitals. They were all so happy, and it made me remember how such simple things can mean the world to someone else. I sold all of the leftover votives, table numbers, lanterns, and other decor via the NextDoor app and on Craigslist and dumped the money into holiday gifts.
6. If you do something unexpected with your name, prepare for having to explain yourself.
Man societal expectations are a bitch. Carl and I both added each other's last name to our middle names. So he is now Carl Francis Reid Blackwood and I am now FeliciaAlexis Blackwood Reid--so still Mr. Blackwood and Ms. Reid. The number of people who, off the bat, called Mrs. Blackwood and did not approve that I hadn't gone to custom was surprising. Also surprising was the number of people after the wedding who were suddenly interested in the occupancy of my uterus (especially Carl's mom, who keeps remarking: "Aren't you getting old?") Still and intentionally vacant y'all-- woop!
“I think people undervalue the idea of kindness.” - Felicia
“Something will go wrong. And I started with that idea.” - Felicia
“We wanted something that felt like an extension of a dinner party at our house, not something that was someone else’s idea of what we should be doing.” - Felicia
“It was an overarching really pleasant experience all the way through.” - Carl
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