28 October 2011

Three Royal Wedding Lessons for Brides

Hello there, darlings! I'm Melissa of I Pick Pretty. Belle on Heels, whom I've long consider a sort of blogging sister wife (except that she's marrying her own personal husband - SQUEEEE - this weekend, not mine), kindly asked me to talk weddings here while she's away. Over at my mish-mash of a blog, I don't focus on weddings per se, but I've been married for nearly five years in a row to the same person (!), so obviously I'm an expert on the subject.


Anywhoo, while we anxiously await snaps of soon-to-be-Mrs. Belle's wedding, let's do a show of hands - did anyone else stay up late / early to catch the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton aka Princess Shinylocks this spring? No, just me? Whether you did or not, the hoopla surrounding those stunning nuptials was difficult to miss, even here on this side of the pond (all photos via Pinterest unless otherwise noted):

You may be suspicious that I've cooked up this post in order to relive those magical wedding moments. Duh. You may be right, but I ALSO believe there are three - yes, exactly three, aren't these things supposed to come in threes? - lessons any future brides and grooms reading this can take away from the Royal Wedding. And no, "Marry a Royal" isn't on there, though I certainly wouldn't discourage that:

LESSON THE FIRST - Take Your Time: If we were to believe the media, poor "Waity Kaity" was just sitting around waiting for her Prince to propose. While we've all known those couples where the man just kept draaaaaaging his feet, isn't it equally likely they were just taking their time about things, doing the stuff that young college grads in their 20s do (happy hour, travel, career, and quarter-life crises, if memory serves)?

I just object to the societal & media expectation that there's a magical timeline that this is all supposed to happen along. My only mandate is that a couple go through at least one knock-down, drag out fight to see how you cope when things aren't all first date hormone fizzy wonderful. My guess is that the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge had plenty of time in those eight years to have a doozy or two, and so this particular "waity" has my blessing - since, you know, of course I'm close personal friends with them and all, my good opinion surely means a lot to them.

For what it's worth, my own personal Anonymous Husband and I clocked in at two years from first date to wedding date - we dated for one year (during which I moved to Texas so that we could test things out in person), then we were engaged for a year. By Texas standards we were on the old side of getting married (each 28 years old); by my count I wouldn't have been ready sooner. A girl has to date the wrong guy or thirty to get things sorted sometimes.

I know, I know - it's like the AH & I are long-lost cousins of Wills & Kate, right? Except that might make us married cousins which, though legal in many states, isn't our thing. Oh, Hell - where was I going with this again? (Photo credit Winfield Little Photography)

LESSON THE SECOND - Look Like Yourself: My favorite weddings I've attended have been a like a personal extension of the bride and groom - it might not be the venue or dress I would have chosen, but it was so very *them* that something just felt at home about the proceedings. Whenever the bride decides to morph into Bridal Barbie, especially when that isn't her usual look, that same something just feels off. Like she - or her mother, usually - are trying to put on a show to impress versus celebrating the bride and groom as they are.

I suspect we can agree that our Princess Shinylocks here looked every bit herself, but even better, from this . . .

. . . to this . . .

. . . similar hair, similar makeup, similar style - on her wedding day, she looked like her (gorgeous) self, but somehow better. Longtime readers know that I stand for being Prettier Than Everyone Else; perhaps I need to rephrase for wedding purposes - let's strive to be the Prettiest Version of Yourself.

LESSON THE THIRD - Take a Moment for Just the Two of You: My absolute favorite bit of the Royal Wedding was the getaway car . . .

. . . not only because I dearly want an Aston-Martin when I grow up, but because it was such a sweet moment between the two of them. Sure, they were surrounded by crowds and on their way to entertain hundreds of friends and family, but they had a few seconds there where it was just them as new Mr. & Mrs. in that car - as apparently decorated by the world's most eligible ginger, Prince Harry.

One of the biggest challenges to planning a wedding is making sure you have a minute between the two of you to enjoy the day. Well-meaning people will not let you eat a bite nor dance a step without barging in to congratulate you, so if you don't proactive carve out an opportunity to have a minute to yourselves, you may not get one.

For our unfortunately non-Royal wedding, the AH & I got our moment by having a dinner table just to ourselves and designating a server to act as dual bouncer / waiter so that we could have a few seconds to chat and eat the catering we'd just spent too much on. Even a five minute ride from ceremony to reception venue can provide this sort of moment, though. Whatever you do, I encourage you to find a way to make a space for the two of you during the day itself.

What do you think - is my next career move wedding planning? Any questions for the expert here? Or should I just stick to obsessively pinning Princess Shinylock photos?

PS - BEST WISHES to you, Ms. Belle, on your nuptials this weekend!


Emily's Going Nuts said...

Thanks for posting this. I'm ALWAYS up for re-experiencing the royal wedding. :)

The Preppy Princess said...

Yes on the best wishes to Miss Belle, may she enjoy a singularly splendid day, and all of the days to follow.

You have to know how much I love this post. You really did an outstanding synthesizing issues and qualities that are pretty much critical before, during and after the wedding, and did so with two of my fave brides!

Best of all is the stunning photo from your very own Pretty Wedding. Sigh. You were gorgeous.

Emily said...

I love these tips, they are all so important!! I will keep these in mind when my special day comes...whenever that is ;)