How I lost my family and gained my family on my wedding day

How I Gained A Family And Lost A Family In The Same Day

The emotional roller coaster that was my wedding.

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I don't even know where to begin. I guess as some side-bar/need to know back information, I will tell you this. I used to live in South Carolina and that is where my immediate family lives. I moved to New Jersey when my (now) husband started a new job here. It's been about a year and a half now since the big move.

So when we were planning the wedding here in Jersey, it meant everyone would have to travel, and we were very gracious for the lengths that people had to go to be there with us on that day.

I have a husband who comes from a very large family, whom I love dearly. They welcomed me into their family with open arms. His three older sisters are dreams: they are fun, smart, beautiful, and kind. All of his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews came to celebrate with us without any hesitation.

My family is on the smaller side. I only had a few people committed to actually coming to my wedding. I was grateful for them, and I do regret not displaying that enough in the couple days they were here. When I look back though, all the stress, anxiety, and endless tasks made the entire weekend a blur and made time go by so fast. I could barely keep up the pace.

We had an evening wedding at an elegant hotel and it was everything I ever dreamed my wedding would be. (Minus the cake, they got the cake design wrong, but the taste was on point). It was a beautiful and breezy afternoon by the bay. The dress code was pretty basic: men had to wear button down shirts. You didn't even have to wear a tie. Just look nice, for one day, for me.

While some of you may be reading this and thinking "yeah, okay, that makes sense, it's a nice place, blah blah blah." To one person, I was so wrong and I was so disrespectful. I was so despicable that I lost one of my flower girls, and I almost lost a bridesmaid (and quite frankly, had I know she was just gonna go and delete me off Facebook later anyway, I would have just told her not to bother).

And that's what sucks. A shirt ruined everything. Honestly, if he would have never come up to the bridal suite. (Why were you even there?) none of this would have ever happened. Zero to a hundred in an instant. Tensions were high that day, I get it, but it shouldn't have ever come down to that.

To make matters worse, I never got to say goodbye to my niece. I'm sure she doesn't understand why she couldn't wear her pretty dress that day.

Last but not least, my mother. You looked gorgeous and THAT is how you should do your hair and make up every day for the rest of your life. While I applaud you for mothering to one of your children that day, I am so hurt that it wasn't me. Of all days for you to have to pick, you didn't choose me on my wedding day, when all I needed or wanted was for you to just be there.

You left me and followed everyone else. I know you know that I don't need you, but for once I needed you to be there with me... just this once. But instead, when I asked you to stay and said (a bit extreme, I know) "If you leave, I will never talk to you again." I would have never in my wildest dreams expected to hear, "that's fine."

I didn't realize asking one of my guests to wear a button-down shirt or asking my mother to stay would make me a "bridezilla." #nowyouknow

Back to a happier note, once that was all gone and the champagne had a chance to work its magic. I am forever thankful for every single person that stayed. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for eating, drinking, dancing, and smiling with us. You are my real family, and I am so blessed to have you in my life.

Cover Image Credit:

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A Thank You Letter to My Fiance

You've outdone yourself in every way, ever.
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To the man who got down on one knee just a few days ago,

Thank you. I'm not thanking you for proposing to me. That would be silly. I'm thanking you for so, so much more. Since you've come into my life, you've brought so much goodness, fun and laughter along with you. It goes so much deeper than that though. You've helped me become the best version of me, and that's something I'll never be able to repay. There are so many little things you've done that I just can't go any longer without putting it down in writing. This is an ode to you, the man that took his rough hands and helped mold me into the best version of me.

Thank you for seeing past my façade. I know I was in a rough spot before we started dating. I had come out of a terrible relationship, and I never thought I would be happy again. I put up a wicked wall. I put up walls that were covered in dark lipstick and an attitude that I didn't need a single person other than myself. You saw right through that. You saw someone that was hurting, and desperately needed someone but didn't want to get hurt again. It took you months, but eventually brick by brick, the wall came down.

Thank you for your patience. I'm not an easy person to love sometimes, I can admit that. I'm anxious, and I'm stubborn when I have a point to prove. I can have days that I think the world is ending because work just isn't going right. There are other days that I feel like I'm invincible and nothing can touch me. Thank you for going through all of these ups and downs with me. You don't just go through them with me, but you talk me through it, or as you call it, "talking me off the ledge". It's a weekly occurrence. I can't believe I get to marry someone that not only understands my moods and my anxiousness but who wouldn't want me any other way.

Thank you for bringing out the best version of me. When we met, I was going through a rough spot. I had stopped really caring about doing my makeup or feeling pretty. I know a lot of girls would say that it shouldn't matter, but for me, it was something I so enjoyed. When we met, I was working a really male oriented job. I felt the need to fit that mold and be a tomboy in order to be respected and taken seriously at work. You gave (and still give me) the outlet to be my feminine self whenever I want to be. You don't make me feel guilty for taking forever to do my makeup, and you gladly come into Sephora with me. Even though you're probably annoyed with me by the time we leave because I've smeared half a dozen different shadows on your arm and two lip pigments, you swear to me that you wouldn't have it any other way or with anyone else.

Thank you for opening my eyes to new things. Before I met you, I had never been to a race track, never mind ridden in a race car. The day after you asked me to be your girlfriend, you took me to your first race of the season. I was so naïve to what I should dress like. I wore some cutesy outfit, not knowing that I would be able to get my hands dirty and use some of the skills I had learned elsewhere. I had such an amazing time that day, I kept taking days off so that I could go to races with you. I wouldn't trade that for the world, and I love being 'one of the drivers' girls'. The day you put my name on your car, my heart fluttered the entire day. You've made me feel so special, even in the smallest of ways.

Thank you for going above and beyond for me. You've always gone above and beyond for me. Every month on the seventh without fail, you've shown up at my door with white flowers. There isn't a day that goes by that you don't do something for me, even if it's as simple as wiping down my car or making sure I've had something to eat before class at night. The way you proposed just takes the cake. At 1,882 feet, you asked me to be your wife. You drove all the way up to Rangeley, Maine on a Friday night to get down on one knee. You spent countless hours at the jeweler making sure that you had gotten the ring of my dreams. You wrote me a whole speech, that you immediately forgot when you got down on one knee. You even went as far as to have a bottle of champagne and pink roses waiting in the car after. Above and beyond doesn't even begin to cover it most days.

Thank you, my love. Thank you for all that you do for me, and for us. All of the time you put in and the effort you've put into helping me become the very best version of me, even if it meant sacrificing sleep sometimes. You have truly outdone yourself in every way, and I couldn't ask for a better person to call my future husband.



Cover Image Credit: Alyson Perry

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6 Untraditional Wedding Traditions For The Girl Who Got Her Ring By Spring

This time of year is full of new beginnings.

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Wedding season is among us, folks. Starting in April and going until mid-September, this time of year is full of new beginnings. Little do the happy couples know what secrets lie in their traditions. As wedding planning commences, it is important to understand the history of weddings and to chuckle a bit, too!

The White Dress

White dresses are an essential staple piece for weddings. Despite this, they haven't always been so prominent. To convince the groom that she came from a family with money, the bride would wear multiple layers of expensive garments. These included silk, fur, and velvet. Brides even wore red for a small span of time.

The white dress trend didn't start until Queen Victoria made white fashionable and stylish. At her own wedding in 1840, Queen Victoria wore a pale gown lined with orange blossoms. After, everyone else started to follow in her footsteps. Talk about a trendsetter.

Bridesmaids.

The wedding party is a tradition that has gone unquestioned. What could be so odd about celebrating the biggest day of your life with your besties by your side? There is much more to the story than what meets the eye.

Bridesmaids are commonly known and distinguished by their matching outfits. Their brightly colored ensemble allows for the bride to stand out amongst the crowd. Although, this hasn't always been this way. The bridesmaids originally wore their unanimous attire to confuse and outsmart any lingering evil spirits. Since all are matching, the spirits would be unable to identify which women were getting married. The duties of the bridesmaids date back to early Roman times. Bridesmaids would line up in a protective shield while walking the bride into the groom's village. These women would protect the bride, just in case, someone were to harm her or attempt to steal her away.

Groomsmen.

The "best man" is another odd aspect of the wedding party. The original duty of the "best man" was to ensure as a backup to the groom in case the bride decided to flee. The best man would be in charge of kidnapping her if she had changed her mind about marriage. The "best" in "best man" refers to his skill with the sword. The "best man" standing in front with the groom is also to protect. He is there in case someone tries to challenge or attack the groom or steal his bride. In other words, a "best man" is a true friend.

The Bouquet Toss and Garter Belt.

In my opinion, this is one of the weirdest wedding traditions. Right after the bride and groom said their vows, they were rushed into the next room to consummate the marriage. This ritual required an audience in order to make it official. This resulted in crowds of party guests gathering around the couple, hoping to get a good view at the action at hand. They all fought to rip off a piece of the bride's dress as it was being torn off her body.

As time progressed, society realized that this tradition was not appropriate. After the marriage, the couple would still consummate the marriage, but in a more private way. In order to be modest, the bride would toss her bouquet as a diversion. The two would then make a getaway to do-the-do. Once alone, the groom would throw her undergarments outside the room to prove they were about to "make it official." I didn't know losing ones virginity had to be a public affair.

The Wedding Cake.

The wedding cake is something the guests and the wedding party are cravings by the end of the reception. Although it may seem like it is only present to be used in celebration, that is not the case.

Back in the day, bread was used during weddings instead of cake. it was common for grooms to take a bite out of a loaf of bread during the wedding. Once he did this, the remaining bread was crumbled over the bride's head. This was a sign of good luck. Guests would then swarm the bride's feet and collect the remaining breadcrumbs. This was a way to absorb the bride's newfound luck.

Later on, the tradition evolved. Instead of bread, a cake was used. The bride would push pieces of cake through her ring to her guests. The guests would then take their pieces home, place them under their pillow, and sleep on them for good luck. Talk about a mess.

The Honeymoon.

Honeymoons today are seen as tropical vacation getaways. They serve as a chance for the bride and groom to spend some quality time alone. Although harmless and fun now, back then it was quite the opposite.

As discussed previously, brides would be kidnapped if they attempted to flee during the wedding. The honeymoon was seen as a chance to hide the bride. The opportunity to be elsewhere was established so the bride's tribe would forget her.

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