For close to an hour now, I’ve sat here typing and then erasing all that I have typed. I feel like although this is my blog I have to tread lightly on topics where many people have different opinions. Yet, as much as I love to showcase other people’s work, big days, photography and so forth here, I do enjoy maintaining the personal aspect of my site which allows me to freely express my feelings.
Yesterday I was reading through a handful of blogs when click upon click I ended up at a blog I’ve read a few times. This said blogger (who I will not name) talks openly about planning a wedding on a budget and the steps she took to do so for her own nupitals a few years ago. And when I say budget I don’t mean a $15,000 – $20,000 budget. I mean her budget was less than a quarter of that price; just so we’re on the same page here.
First of all, let me say I am all for saving money on something whether it be using a coupon for 15% off at Michaels or skipping the subway to walk to the train in order to save $3.00. I can be realistic when it comes to separating my needs from wants even though I like most people can be frustrated when it seems like there’s never enough money for the things we feel we’re entitled to. I know I like nice things, I really know I like pretty things and I know and can admit, that from time to time I may have wants that truly exceed my needs and my financial capacities. I’m getting better at it. The more I grow the more I learn how important this is.
However, I became very discouraged and a bit sad when I read what said blogger had to say. From “Do you really need a manicure to make your wedding day perfect? Isn’t your wedding about the love you and your husband have for one another and not how much your nails cost?” to “I wasn’t about to spend my hard earned money on photographer when a friend could just take photos himself,” I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed sitting in front of my computer screen. As if said blogger was staring at my manicured nails wagging her finger in my face all while tsk tsk-ing under her breath (if only she knew I have a terrible bite-my-nails-until-the-whole-nail-falls-off-habit and fake nails are the only way I can kick the habit. Gross, I know). Said blogger’s rants went on and I became so engulfed in her words and other reader’s similar comments that I logged on my computer feeling a tad confused. And greedy. Very greedy.
Last night I thought long and hard about our wedding. And about the things we have planned, the things I really want and the things that we don’t need, can’t afford or really don’t represent us as a couple (like pouring sand during the ceremony, throwing a bouquet or renting a limo). And I remember what my editor at work and I chatted about the other day: Don’t Compare. It’s the Road to Madness. And it’s refreshing for me to finally step back and see, that I’ve been living a lot of my life (not just in the wedding realm) on a basis of comparison. And it.is.and.has.been.driving.me.wacky.
Did I spend way too much money on my wedding gown? I think so. Will I ever wear it again? Probably not. Will I feel beautiful, special and perfect on my wedding day? Absolutely. Is it a necessity that we have pale pink roses, belles of Ireland and white hydrangea centerpieces so perfectly placed in lace-wrapped vases atop beige, damask linens? I may have to say no. But does it make me happy that we made room in our budget for these centerpieces and that they will in fact be sitting proudly on our guest’s tables come September 24th? More than you could know. And I could go on and on and on…
What I am trying to say is your wedding, whether it’s coming up, is in the really distant future or has gone, is just that: your wedding. It’s no one elses. If someone else wants to blog about how upset they are that someone else had a better photographer or that only the high maintenance-kind-of-brides have candy bars and stretch limousine chariots than so be it. If someone else wants to flaunt the fact they just ordered 5,000 imported pink peonies to have draped around the arch they should be wed under, then that’s fabulous too. Be kind and be happy for them (after you secretly wish you had that many lovely peonies too of course :) But remember, Don’t Compare. You’re not them. They’re not you. And your big day is only yours. Enjoy it for what it is.
I wanted anemones and peonies for our big day. But at $25 a stem, it didn’t make sense. I would love to be able to afford cute custom gift bags for all of our guests, but realistically we may have to find a more affordable option. I put up a huge fit with Apb (sorry babe) about ordering Chiavari chairs instead of banquet chairs but at $10.00 a chair it just wasn’t a possibility. And it would be divine to have a professional make up artist come airbrush my face to perfection on the 24th but I can confidently do my own make up and look like I do any other day; which is in fact the person Apb fell in love with. Instead we invested our money in a wicked photog, trusted my creative instinct and vision when it came to the small details and kept our guest list small in order to throw a really intimate-biggest-party-of-our-lives. And I know in my heart, it’s going to the best day ever.
Whether or not I have all the things I want, love and/or need, the most fantastic part of Andrew and I’s wedding is that our love, respect and kindness for one another will always be the same. I could have gold leaf manicured onto my nails and I still think it would be next to impossible to forget the reason why I am saying I Do. A price tag doesn’t define our love, relationship or future, but we’re blessed to be able to throw a beautiful event for our friends and family.
Enjoy all the gorgeous photos by Meg Perotti. Hope it makes your Friday oh-so-sweet and kicks off a sunshiny-weekend, my loves. See you all soon! xo
To everyone who has commented on this post, I thank you for taking the time to write such sweet and encouraging words. I read each and every comment and truly appreciate your thoughts and words of wisdom. This post surely doesn’t apply to only weddings but stretches far beyond a one day event like a wedding to the highs and lows everyday life. I hope to add to this series in hopes of inspiring others while generating enlighting comments from all of you :) Thank you again! xo
Blueberry Vanilla Bean Loaf to be exact. And let me tell you, this loaf is good. Actually good isn’t strong enough of a word to explain how tasty and delightful this bread is. I’m not a huge fan of fruit flavoured desserts because deep down within my heart I am a lover of all things chocolate. But remember I did make an exception when it came to making and tasting these. Then I made this loaf and well, I may be a fruit-flavoured-sweet-treats-lover from now on. And I never thought I’d say that…
The secret to the loaf’s deliciousness is the ever-so-glorious buttermilk. And the best part to the recipe is that you can use any kind of fruit you’d like. I originally made this with fresh strawberries and then when I knew I had to make it a second time I thought why not try some fresh blueberries. I bet a triple berry loaf would be fantastic too; raspberries, blueberries, strawberries? Yes. Please. But for this loaf, plump, lovely blueberries did the job just perfectly.
Make sure you use fresh scraped vanilla beans instead of vanilla extract. It makes a world of a difference in the final sweetness of the bread. I used one bean per loaf but two beans would be heavenly and give this recipe its special touch. You could even try mashing up a banana for an extra sweet tasting treat. The possibilities are endless. So hurry to your kitchen now, and get your loaf on blogettes.
Blueberry Vanilla Bean Loaf
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
4 ounces cream cheese, room temp
seeds from 1-2 vanilla beans
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine your butter, cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixture until fluffy. Blend in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Blend in the vanilla bean seeds and lightly mix. In a seperate medium sized bowl, add in all of the remaining ingredients except the buttermilk. Using a fork, combine these dry ingredients together then pour into the butter and cream cheese mixture. Combine the two mixtures by hand.
Add in the buttermilk and mix until the dough is nice and thick but be careful not to overmix! Fold in your berries and pour into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted directly into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for 20-35 minutes before removing from the pan. Slice into pieces and enjoy. Beware; this loaf will be gone within a few hours. It’s that good, lovelies! P.S. This recipe and my photography was featured on Beanilla.com! Check out the newsletter shout out!
P.S. Is that sea foam blue ceramic cake stand not to die for? You will see that beauty again after it gracefully holds our wedding cake up on September 24th. I scored it for $19.99 at Home Goods with a matching serving tray and cannot wait to place it atop our vintage dresser. It was love at first sight :)