Friday, September 21

a manifesto.

As we celebrate our first full year as real live married grown-ups, I'm realizing that our lifestyle pretty much matches up with our wedding planning style.  There are a few things we believe that are equally applicable to meal planning, getting dressed, decorating a room, or planning an event.

The fewer ingredients, the better.  This was a major principle of the metabolic boot camp program I enrolled in to become healthier prior to the wedding and I apply it to just about everything now, whether I'm purchasing food, soap, makeup, or putting an outfit together.  For our wedding, dinner and dancing provided plenty of activity - we didn't feel like we needed a mashed potato bar and a cupcake station and a photo booth.  Conversation is the best entertainment.

Simple is beautiful.  My eyeballs nearly fell out of my head when the florist I'd shared my wedding inspiration with e-mailed me an estimate of what the arrangements I liked in magazines would cost.  I remember thinking, "I like it when my mama throws flowers into a Mason jar or an old vase and puts them on the table."  Our wedding centerpieces were wholesale flowers hand-arranged by my bridesmaids and I in Mason jars and white vases from Goodwill, and we don't get much fancier than that in our home decor, either.

Family is something you make.
We had the wedding guest list conundrum that really means you're blessed: we love so many people that it was impossible to invite everyone we love and who loves us.  I'm an only child, and Mr. Q is one of two, but we've found friends who we are even closer to than many people are to their siblings.  Since Mr. Q and I dated for five years, we went through some very trying life experiences and have found out which friends, neighbors, and family members truly support us through the ups and downs of life - and who will be there when we aren't wearing sparkly dresses and tuxedos.  We can't invite them to one big party and then let them slip away - we try to spend as much time with those people as we can and show them as much kindness as possible because they make our world complete.

Be honest with each other (and yourself).
One of my biggest personality flaws was pointed out to me by the boss at my old summer camp: I bottle up my emotions to the point where the bottle explodes and everything comes out in a mess that usually involves ugly cry face.  In our household, we are not raised-voice fighters; being passive agressive fighters is unfortunately no better.  I have learned that I just cannot be afraid to tell my husband when things are bothering me, and he knows now that he cannot freeze up and become silent when he is upset because nothing hurts me more than that silence.  We have to each understand what the other needs in a crisis, even when that support is hard to give.  The same honesty that has to be in place to make our marriage work needs to be present in other relationships, too - friendship, work relationships, supervisor-employee relationships, and customer-client relationships.

What real-world lessons did you learn from planning your wedding?

*All photos in this post by Lesley Wray Photography*

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