Thursday, March 1, 2012

Something Old, New, Borrowed, Blue... and a little piece of home

One of my main concerns as I planned to walk down a sandy aisle, minus the physical presence of my family, was how could I still keep them involved? Although 'elopement' was the most practical solution for us and the best way we knew how to avoid excluding particular people due to distance and finances, never once did we crave to forgo the traditional familial memories associated with a wedding day. At first it seemed impossible to bypass, either they were there or they weren't, simple as that. However through some outside of the box thinking I was able to come up with some 'interpretations' of traditions, that would allow me to feel that my family were close by. Here are some of the things we did to keep everyone up to speed and let them know that their opinions and blessings where of huge importance to us:

1. Wedding Dress Shopping - It was, at the very least, massively impractical to search for and purchase my dress back in England and then have it daringly shipped 4,000 miles to our wedding site in the USA. Yet there is just something about sharing that moment with the women of your family that cannot be replaced. So I followed some basic rules, allowing me to share this monumental experience and still sleep easily at night.

  • I chose a dress made out of taffeta/silk with no boning and little underskirt so as to keep the weight down and to ensure it would arrive as wrinkle free as possible. I also chose something with a simple lace up design since my husband-to-be would be in charge of getting me into it!

  • I refused to take my dress on a plane; whether stowed away or 'hanging in first class' as some suggest is a wise move, there is always the risk that a member of security will want to manhandle the many layers and either way there is a frightening amount of hands it would need to pass through in order to make it Stateside. Not for me. I chose instead to FedEx it. This cost me close to $300 to do, but I was able to ship it the day I flew back to America as a 2 day delivery and have it meet me at home, to be signed for. More than that, the cost allowed me a CONSTANT insight into my dresses whereabouts and full insurance coverage "just in case".

  • The best decision I made? I let the females of my family select the final dress. I know the dress is supposed to be an extension of you as a Bride but for me it was an extension of my family. We all shared in the experience and I felt that the gesture was very romantic. 

2. My Something Blue - This was my favorite part. I had every person in my immediate family including my honorary 'bridal party' write a message of good luck and blessings. They wrote anything they wanted to say to us on our Big Day, in blue pen on the bottom of my bridal sandals. The notion being that not only did this constitute a very personal 'something blue' for the day, but that it also allowed each and every one to 'walk' down the aisle with me. Very moving. 

3. The Wonderment of Skype - On the morning of our wedding, my husband-to-be and I rose at around 6.30am in our beach side villa and began to get ready for our big day together. Only we weren't alone. You see by that time it was 11.30am in the UK and my family were all gathered, revving up for an 'American Themed Party', complete with New York Cheesecake, Kentucky Fried Chicken and many other delicious stereotypes. Logging onto Skype through our villa's WiFi we were able to connect with them all, as they assembled around their own computer screen and share each and every moment of the morning with them. I had my Aunty helping me with hair advice, my Mother inspecting my make up, my Grandfather giving me pearls of wisdom before I walked down the aisle. They didn't miss a beat. They may not have been able to stand beside us on the beach as we said "I do" but not a moment was lost between us all on that special and exciting day.

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