There is exactly one month left until my big day (yes, one month!). I can’t believe it’s almost here already – it feels like the last year has just flown by. I am proud to say, however, that we are almost completely done preparing everything, just a few minor details left to finish up. I thought I’d write this post to share an update with you guys on how the process has been so far, and what’s been going through my mind along the way. Keep reading below to find out more!
My fiancé, Shawn, and I got engaged last summer (July 2016), and immediately started planning what our big day was going to look like. Growing up, I had always wanted a spring or summer wedding – what’s not to love about a great summer wedding? The weather is perfect and flowers are in full bloom. However, we knew that a spring/summer wedding for 2017 would be too rushed, and I didn’t want to wait another entire year just for the right season. Long story short, I started looking into the idea of a fall wedding and absolutely fell in love with it – hence we are now having an October wedding which will hopefully boast a beautiful backdrop to our photographs.
When I first started planning, I did all the things that a prepared bride-to-be would – I made a guest list, planned a budget, went to bridal shows, and bought all the wedding magazines I could find. I got a ton of ideas, and happily began putting the pieces together. Since we had decided on a fall wedding, I automatically wanted to have a rustic elegance theme. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, our West Indian families who are less familiar with the idea of a rustic theme were not able to envision my dream with me. What we ended up with instead is a simple elegance-themed wedding complete with dark rich tones that are perfect for the fall. I have to say that I am completely happy with the way our theme turned out, and I’m not too disappointed about the lack of a rustic flare.
The first couple months of planning our wedding coincided with the last few months of my PhD, so needless to say it was quite hectic! We chose to save some money and not hire a wedding planner, so I was the designated in charge planner of our big day. However, having the A-type personality that I do, I was more than happy to take on the challenge. Those first couple months were amazing and so exciting as we saw more and more of our visions come to reality.
However, our seemingly wonderful journey to the alter was punctuated by several months of hardship. Things stopped falling into place as they once had, and we hit several road blocks along the way. Like many other couples who are faced with an abundance of hardships during what should be the most magical time of their lives, we began to question whether we were really making the right decision. There were many nights of frustration, arguments, and tears. I realized very quickly that wedded life wasn’t going to be as perfect as I had imagined it would. In fact, it would require hard work and an active choice to always put our relationship first.
I am happy to say that we are now on great terms, and I know that I made the right decision to get married to such an incredible man. But the last few months have definitely taught us a lot about what it takes to be in a long standing relationship. The biggest lesson that I’ve learned is how important it is to be a team that sticks together no matter what. At the end of the day, Shawn is the man I am marrying and will spend the rest of my life with, as I am to him. And no matter what hardships we may face today, tomorrow, or in the future, we need to always stick together and have each other’s backs. More importantly, we need to always treat each other with respect and empathy. Quarrels will happen, that’s inevitable, but we can control the way that we react and the way that we treat each other in the face of hardships.
I feel like it is so easy to reach a breaking point during the engagement period, whether it be due to the pressure of planning a wedding that pleases everyone, things just not working out the way you hoped it would, or simply the reality of being married and having to combine two lives into one finally sinking in. Whatever the reason may be, this can be an extremely fragile time for any couple. The thing that I have found to be the most helpful for me is taking a step back, re-evaluating what is important to you, and moving forward in a way that stays true to yourself. At the end of the day, it’s your special day, and you are the one who will remember it for the rest of your life. So make it exactly what you dream it to be. But in the midst of planning the perfect day, try not to lose sight of what is truly important – the marriage itself. Always put your relationship first, treat each other with love, respect, and empathy, and always strive to use every roadblock as a way to grow in your relationship with each other.
Despite all the ups and downs of this journey, I have learned so much about myself and about my relationship and I am so grateful for the good memories that have come out of it. I am hoping that this last month will be the best yet and I can’t wait to walk down the aisle in a month and marry an amazing man. I am so excited to create even more amazing memories over the next month as I continue on my journey to the alter, and I can’t wait to share all the amazing details of our special day with you, so stay tuned for more exciting updates!