So, you ask, in what ways was I a "Brave Bride"? Well, according to your definition I can honestly say that Paul and I worked very, very hard (together, by the way - this was a joint production) to create a wedding that celebrated our love for each other. This is a second marriage for both of us, and we both knew exactly what we DIDN'T want: To contribute to the "Wedding Industrial Complex" with over the top decorations, expensive clothes, a full band, useless favors, way too much alcohol, an overblown guest list full of people we barely knew but felt obligated to invite or anything that put more emphasis on the WEDDING and less emphasis on the MARRIAGE.
To that end we kept our day simple, quiet and sweet. We both feel very lucky to have found each other. We wanted everyone we love and care for to feel comfortable, calm and cherished at our wedding - because that's how we feel with each other. There were a handful of things that were important to us (and we fretted about them, but not excessively.) They all turned out great. We skipped the big wedding cake and got small, delicious chocolate cakes from Portillos here in Chicago - they were AWESOME!
We skipped favors. We made our own table cards and escort cards. Paul's daughter handmade our invitations and programs as her gift to us - they were just lovely. I got an amazing dress from Dolly Couture in L.A. I wanted something fun, frilly and retro-looking. I was thrilled with the dress and thrilled with Dolly and her team.
A couple things did go "wrong" on our wedding, but nothing major, thankfully. The ring I ordered for Paul didn't arrive on time - so I borrowed one from my father. There's a photo of me laughing as I try to put this ring on Paul's finger - it barely slid on over his first index finger joint. The appetizers we ordered were not the ones that were served. People ate them anyway and no one was any the wiser. We worked hard on our first dance. We're both students at Arthur Murray and had been working on a specially choreographed wedding dance which we had already performed at an Arthur Murray showcase ball a few weeks prior. When it came time to do our first dance we messed up royally. Again, we knew it, but no one else did.
And when the fire alarms went off towards the end of our reception and we all had to vacate the premises we made hay while the sun shone and took some great photos on the fire truck.
I'd have to say that my favorite memory will be waiting in line for our processional (short, as we had family carrying our chuppa and only one attendant each) and me and Paul's best man making jokes (repeating an old radio commercial that made us both laugh out loud). Paul, Dina (my maid of honor) "Bear" and I laughed out loud right before we walked across the lawn - it set the tone for a joyous, fun ceremony and what I know will be a joyful, fun marriage.
The biggest lesson I learned? That the marriage is way more important than the wedding. Things can go "wrong" and honestly, no one will notice, remember or care. We wanted our day to be special but not at the expense of our sanity or our pocketbooks. (Speaking of which I think all together we spent around $10,000 - $12,000 for a Sunday luncheon wedding for 47 guests.) We care most about the memories we made - and those will last us a lifetime.