Happy late Tuesday, party people.
Preface: Today’s Reader Question/Real Wedding were put together strategically as per usual, but the way I’m presenting the question requires it to be in three parts, and the format is therefore a little nuanced. Also, I think I’m using ‘nuanced’ wrong. I’ve decided to include the reader’s follow-up response to the answer I offered her, because her response speaks to a pretty disgusting problem I’ve never touched on before. Frankly, I haven’t even been cognizant of it. I was WTF-ing all the way through. Because WTF. I mean, WHO DOES THIS. Ok sorry you’ll see what I mean when you see her response. K, here we go…
Today’s question from a reader is one that really hit me hard. Basically, I know it’s something that a lot of girls have experienced/are experiencing. And when I say ‘girls’ I’m not talking about girls on reality shows, because there’s a sense of entitlement going on there that surely none of us can fathom, and it always seems to come packaged with a complete lack of deservedness. It’s weird how that always works out that way. But anyway – the kind of women who can identify with the greater message behind today’s dilemma are the kind of women who have feelings and aren’t so tough that they cannot be penetrated/hurt by undeservedly harsh criticism, whether or not it’s directed at them.
Now. There are lots of reasons why a couple would pursue a courthouse marriage ceremony. Maybe you want a courthouse wedding, just because. (That’s how my parents got married, actually. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that on here.) Perhaps a relative is very sick, and one or both of you cherish the idea of having that person present, or at least alive, when you get married. Maybe your budget is more important to you than having a party of considerable size and reach. Maybe you don’t like being the center of attention. I’m just touching the surface here; there are myriad reasons. Unfortunately, what there aren’t are myriad quality synonyms for the word *myriad*, which is why I had to use it back there.
Ok, so whatever the reason you’re doing it, a courthouse wedding has the potential to be romantic, lovely, and rewarding… as you’ll see in today’s feature, submitted by Heather Brincko Photography. Hiring a great photographer who will make that valiant effort to capture your smallish nuptials in the most realistic, beautiful way possible, is important. But most important? All you REALLY need is love, to make that day special.
Furthermore, if you ever decide you’d like to celebrate your marriage on a larger scale, the fact that you already got married at the courthouse is HARDLY the be-all end-all to that…
… I mean, right? Because, really, who the F Word says you can’t have a wedding once you’ve gotten married in a courthouse?
HOLY EFF, APPARENTLY A LOT OF BITCHES DO. As today’s reader question sadly shares…
My name is S and I am a follower of yours on Twitter. I actually have a question that I’m hoping you’ll help me out with. It’s a bit of a personal struggle I guess.
Basically, my hubby and I have been together for over 5 years. We now have a 7 month-old son. He was unplanned but a blessing nonetheless. When I got pregnant, we weren’t married. I wanted to wait until after he was born to get married but everyone kept pressuring us to go ahead and get married in court before he was born. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but I have always wanted a real wedding. Everyone said that we could just have the “real wedding” later on. So that’s what we did. We settled for a courthouse wedding and planned that we would have our wedding later on. Our courthouse wedding was something we kinda planned two weeks beforehand and we got married on Valentine’s day this year. It was just our immediate families – my parents and siblings and his parents and siblings.
Shortly after our son was born, we started to think about our wedding. We’ve even booked the place (which I feel kinda silly for doing now). The date is set for next October. We already have a theme and everything. The thing is, the more I think about it, the less it begins to feel like a “wedding”, it just feels silly. I feel like people will think we’re doing this for show or whatever. I feel like I don’t deserve to wear a wedding gown because I’m not an actual bride. I’m just insecure about the whole thing. So my question for you is, is this something that is appropriate? Or is it stupid?
Also, keep in mind a few things. I am aware that the first wedding is still a real wedding. This would be more of a renewal of vows type-thing. Another thing is that we are asking that guests do not get us gifts. People already got us things when we first got married and it seems plain greedy to ask for stuff. Simply put, we just want to be able to celebrate what we never got to celebrate with our friends and family and have a good time doing it.
Sorry, I know it’s pretty lengthy. :/ Anyways, thanks in advance for your help. I LOVE your blog. :)
Alrighty! I’m really glad you wrote me because I’m like so excited to tell you that nothing about what you’re feeling is in any way “stupid,” or “silly.” What you’re feeling – the insecurity, the worry of what others will be thinking since you’re already ‘married’ – that’s so completely normal I can’t even tell you. It’s just a case of society’s standards having their impact on our emotions, and you are no different from any other woman out there in feeling the way you do. Trust me. Now, is it ridiculous to have a wedding after you’ve gotten married already? HARDLY. A wedding is a party! It’s quite often a party where you get married, but the bigger purpose is to celebrate your union with all of the friends and family you love, and who love you. I can’t imagine that anyone is going to judge you negatively for this. That would be so ridiculous of that person, and I would like to face punch whoever shows any signs of acting so silly.
Of course, I understand your feelings about this, and where you’re coming from. You probably feel like you don’t necessarily ‘deserve’ a wedding, since you’re married and have started a family. But what is life if you can’t celebrate those things? Weddings are celebrations like I said, and I can’t think of a better thing to celebrate than the love you’ve found with your husband, and what it has brought you. DO IT. Have a wedding. Get a pretty dress, get your hair done, get excited about it, let yourself be giddy. Don’t look back. You’ll never regret it, I promise.
On a final note, I feel that your concerns are quite mainstream, and I’m wondering if you’d be comfortable with me anonymously posting your question on the blog? It’s always completely anonymous. I really believe yours is a question a lot of girls out there would love to have addressed… but please know that it’s completely your call. By the way, thanks for the kind words; so glad you enjoy the blog! I enjoy it, too. :)
Omigosh! I’d be honored to be featured on your blog! Even if it is anonymous! :)
Thank you, thank you, thank you soo much for your advice and reassurance! I’ve just read on so many bridal message boards (particularly [*popular wedding site*]) so many unfriendly, snarky and just plain bitchy comments towards other girls in this same situation and it just really discouraged me. But I trust your opinion on the matter and now I feel so relieved! :) thank you so much for your help! I’ll definitely be looking to your blog for tons of inspiration.
The theme, by the way, is going to be kind of a whimsical pumpkin patch. :)
A million thanks!
BEAUTIFUL, INTIMATE COURTHOUSE WEDDING THAT I LOVE
Now, check out this wedding situation by Heather Brincko Photography. And then die over Elaine’s goddess dress, her gorgeous rose + heather bouquet, and just the overall PHOTOGRAPHY of it all. I’m in love. You’ll find that it’s very possible to make your courthouse wedding a totally fulfilling, beautiful and lasting memory… regardless of any future party plans!
Of course, the reason I decided to marry this touching marriage ceremony with today’s reader question was because I really wanted to show the reality and potential of what can be a courthouse wedding, but also that it’s perfectly AWESOME AND WHOLLY LEGIT to go forth and have your wedding celebration after you’ve gotten hitched at court, like this couple fully intends to do! Because hey, why the eff not? Let your haters be your motivators, like that endearing little girl in the whore makeup on that Jonah Hill movie trailer commercial says.
First, some words from the amazing Heather, about the experience:
Because of life circumstances, Keen and Elaine found themselves getting married in a courtroom. One might think this is an non romantic setting with little room to plan wedding details, but it was completely the opposite. Elaine picked the perfect details – her rose and heather bouquet and goddess dress complemented not only the courtroom setting, but her groom who wore a simple suit and pair of googley eyes for his bride. Also, the Seattle Courts buildings were filled with texture and interesting light. I will also never forget the Judges glow and smile as he pronounced Elaine and Keen married.
And here are some words from our beautiful bride, Elaine:
One week before my MBA graduation, we decided to make the year of 2011 more dramatic – to get married! Coming from China, I’ve met my husband in Beijing and absolutely fell in love with Seattle. We want something simple, elegant and warm. Though my parents can’t attend the small courtroom ceremony (we will have a bigger wedding next year to make up for this), my husband’s whole family came and celebrated for us. The city hall and the surrounding area (Olympic Park, the Space Needle, etc.) are just gorgeous. Lucky us, rain stopped on our wedding day and we had such a beautiful day! Thanks to Heather, we had recorded the best moment of our lives.
I love the look of a man in love with a woman:
… I love the emotion their photographer captured. Heather, you told their story so beautifully.
Fun TIP: Not in love with the decor of your local courthouse?
Assuming all necessary permits are in place, there are always other places to shoot… some AMAZEBALLS PLACES.
So, what do YOU think? And how lovely is this small, intimate day? You don’t have to go big, to avoid going home. Or something like that.
xoxo! - Alison