“Sometimes we set our standards too low. Sometimes we set our standards too high. Some of Carolyn’s friends and family wondered if she had her standards too high and if she’d ever find Mr. Right. Luckily, patience paid off. They met while they were both part of a bridal party. While it wasn’t love at first sight, their circle of friends kept bringing them together. The timing wasn’t great as Carolyn was about to leave for a semester of college in Germany. Thankfully, through Skype, they shared long conversations and Bible studies and their relationship flourished. Carolyn had finally found her Mr. Right.” – Leif Brandt Photography
“The actual wedding day was such a blur it’s hard to hold on to specific moments though everyone should try to tune in for a few special ones! I think mine was walking down to see my future husband Josh for the first time in my dress. We had agreed to see one another before the ceremony for pictures and to break the ice. I definitely didn’t expect to get too emotional when there was so much “stuff” to focus on (greet everyone, mention how wonderful it is to seem them, eat something…!) but in that moment when his back was to me and he was just a tap away it hit me what a unique and individual moment it was. I’ll never get to experience that exact look from him again- us on the cusp of the rest of our lives :) I truly felt like the most beautiful bride when he turned around and saw me standing there.
Aside from that it was little moments with special people, re-doing one of my bridesmaids hair myself at the last minute (“I’m supposed to be helping YOU” she said – haha) seeing that special long-lost guest you didn’t think was going to make it… seeing my grandfather out on the dance floor shaking it to some “young kids” song… those are all special memories!
..As a graphic designer the temptation to DIY was HUGE but I knew with a 6 month engagement (and a full time job) this just wasn’t going to be possible. I chose an area in my expertise to focus on and do myself – the invitations, programs, escort cards and all paper goods. This was a great thing to focus on not only to have a bit of “me” in the face of every guest but also since these items tend to be keepsake items family and friends save from the big day in scrapbooks etc. The rest of it I left to the professionals. As a creative professional myself I love it when people just let me run with it and do what I do best! I was very flexible with my more creative vendors (florist, baker, photographer..) and I think it really paid off. Hire good people and then get out of the way!
..I did have a something old, new, borrowed and blue although I must admit I did cheat a little bit and a couple of them overlapped! The new thing was of course, the dress, but also one of my bridesmaids had given me the Kate Spade ‘bride’ bangle which was just so sweet and beautiful. It accompanied my something old: a rhinestone bangle from Josh which he had given to me at a special reunion in our relationship. My something borrowed was actually my veil which belongs to one of my best friends of 14 years (who after my marriage is now my cousin!! Small world!) My something blue was especially sentimental, my grandmother suddenly and unexpectedly passed away just a few months before my wedding. She was an important woman in my life whom I loved and whose missing presence was definitely felt. I wore a blue topaz ring that had belonged to her on my right hand ring finger. That ring and all of the items were meaningful mementos from those I love dearly and it was both comforting and special to have them with me on one of my most important days!
..My advice to brides in the planning process – don’t sweat the small stuff! People have been getting married successfully for hundreds of years and if the flowers aren’t the right shade of pink no one will care (or notice!) Create a great first impression, if a guest immediately experiences the “wow” factor on walking in, the rest is history (and all positive!) Pick one or two things that matter the most and do them AMAZINGLY well instead of stretching yourself too thin across a number of jobs and finally be nice to people! (Yes even your mother!) These are the last moments you will have to share with them as an unmarried daughter, sister, friend… make the most of it and go off the market with a bang!” – Carolyn, the bride