September 9th, 2018 was the most amazing day of my entire life. It could not have been more perfect- I married my best friend in the whole world!!! I’ve been dreaming of my wedding day since I was a little girl, so there was a LOT of anticipation. Now that it’s happened, I want to share my experience with as many people as I can, because I know firsthand just how overwhelming and challenging wedding planning can be. I have so many different things to share about my wedding, so I’m planning out lots more blog posts. So if you’re interested in following along, there will be A LOT more coming about what I learned during the whole process! But for now, I’ll just share a couple things.
Our wedding was in San Diego at a gorgeous botanical garden (If you’re getting married, definitely check out Ethereal Open Air Resort). Let me first start by saying that this venue was WAY over our budget. In fact, when we first went to tour it, I was angry with my mom for setting up a tour at a venue that was 100% too expensive. On that first tour, I was just trying to leave as quickly as possible- I didn’t want to entertain the idea of getting married there because I knew it wasn’t realistic. It was too good to be true, so I didn’t even want to be there. It’s like test driving a Mercedes when you know you’re probably going to end up with a Honda (Nothing wrong with Honda by the way, that will probably be my next car, haha!). My mom, however, is more of a dreamer than I am. So she started working her magic that day, and if you know my mom, she has some secret ability to get what she wants & win over pretty much anybody.
Long story short, we booked a DIFFERENT, cheaper venue first (it was not NEARLY as cute), canceled that booking, and by the grace of God got this venue at a steeply discounted rate. (If you’re wondering how the discount worked, we snagged the date that another couple had originally booked and then canceled, which came at a discount. We also booked a Sunday, which is cheaper than Friday or Saturday. And to top it off, my mom got on the phone with the owners of the venue and somehow got them to agree to a discounted rate in exchange for my dad editing together promotional footage of their venue for their own uses. She also milked the fact that the date we’d be getting married was Devon’s grandparent’s anniversary, so it was just meant to be! I have no idea how my mom does stuff like this. But she is completely the reason we got this venue. Oh, and the cherry on top? This venue is switching management and our wedding was one of the last to be booked before the prices TRIPLED. Insane. Thank you God!!)
(Photo by Noemi Mejia)
Our engagement was six months, and if you know anything about the current state of wedding planning in our society, six months basically equals 3 weeks. Every wedding person my mom and I came into contact with- like at wedding gown boutiques, venue appointments, etc- basically peed their pants when we told them the wedding date. They’d be like, “Oh, September 2019?” and we’d be like, “No, September 2018! Like, the September in 4 months.” And I could literally see the beads of sweat forming on their upper lip as they started fast-walking around showing me their “in-house collection” of designer gowns that “wouldn’t require shipment”. Like calm down Lulu does it REALLY take that long to ship a wedding gown here? We learned quickly that if you listen to most wedding professionals, they like to have their ducks in a row WAYYY in advance. The average engagement time is about a year & a half. So I understand they are used to having much more time! But take it from me, it can be done in less time than you think! Surprisingly enough, six months actually felt like an eternity. I definitely was working very hard to get things done quickly, but I could barely handle the pressure that built up from the anticipation. When you’re planning any kind of event, whether it’s a fundraiser, a showcase, a competition, concert, whatever- it really taxes you. It’s like your mind has a tab open for that event at all times, and is constantly subconsciously aware of it. It drains your battery without you even realizing it. Six months was definitely enough for me! I take my hat off for brides who can deal with that build up of nerves & excitement for over a year!
When I got to the actual wedding day, I didn’t feel nervous when I woke up. It actually didn’t feel real yet… I couldn’t believe it was happening! The first thing I did that morning was go for a little walk by myself. I went to the cafe at our resort & picked up some tea and oatmeal, and then found a quiet spot to sit down. I spent about an hour there, reading my Bible, going over my vows, and just praying. That hour was one of my favorite parts of the day, and I’m so glad I was able to have that time. Everyone’s different, but I’m very introverted. I get overwhelmed easily, and I knew I would need some alone time to mentally prepare for what was about to happen. Marriage is a huge deal. It’s not just about the party and the decorations. In fact, it’s barely about the party and the decorations. Mostly, it’s about making a promise with another person and with God. And that’s a promise I do not take lightly. I loved being able to get in that mindset first thing that morning, and I’m so glad I did!
The actual wedding day FLEW by!! It felt like it lasted a total of 15 minutes. Everyone warned me about this, and they were right! I wish I could go back and relive the whole day in slow motion. The amount of emotion I felt just from looking around and seeing all of my closest family and friends in one room was mind-blowing. I still feel so unbelievably thankful that everyone took time from their schedules, traveled from over 16 different states, and made it work to be there for me and Devon. It was the craziest, most amazing feeling ever!! I have never felt so much love and joy from so many people at once. And don’t even get me started on actually marrying Devon. I need about a million pages to write what that felt like. I’ll save that for another post, but I’ll start by saying that being married is the most wonderful thing I’ve experienced. I’m so excited because I know that as the years go on, love like this only grows deeper and stronger. From just a few weeks of living with Devon, I’m already a better person. He balances me out, he helps me grow, he pushes me to chase my dreams. He’s the reason I’m writing this blog post, because he doesn’t let me procrastinate on what’s important to me. He makes me the best version of me. And it’s such a beautiful thing. I can’t wait to write more, but for now, that’s all! Otherwise I’d never get off my couch and would spend a month straight writing about this! Thanks for reading along!!