This weekend, Mr. Yenta and I will be celebrating our FIVE YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! That’s, like, half a decade. Five years ago at this time, we were bustling around picking up caramel apples from an L.A.-based snack supply company and freaking out about the shortage at Target of gusseted clear bags to contain them. I cried really hard when Mr. Yenta and my dad played a joke on me and told me they’d already put the stickers with our logo on the bags before I could even see them. Nerves were high. It was crunch time and details were quickly leaving my control and soon entering into the hands of others. I did not take that well.
Looking back at this snapshot of time just a few sunrises and sunsets away from the big “mazel tov,” I giggle to think how much those things mattered to me. These days, I throw a party if I get a spare minute just to shave my legs. But hey, that’s mommyhood with Baby Yenta and you know what they say… First comes love, then comes marriage…
And here we are.
I’m not claiming to know everything (although, I AM a Yenta…), and I know that everyone’s situations are different, but I’d like to think that five years later, as a recent-ish enough Jewish bride, I can share with you five important nuggets of wisdom about wedding planning and marriage.
- Things have changed in the videography business since your bat mitzvah. The montage with the fade outs and mosaic transitions worked for you and your brace-face dressed in a little sailor dress from 1995, but that’s not going to fly for documenting your bridal beauty in a Monique on your wedding day. I’m all about keeping the vendors in the family, but if your videographer or other mitzvah vendor hasn’t taken their business or craft to the next level in the 10ish years since they were originally hired, you may need to alter your expectations and realize that the result won’t be like the others you’ve seen blogged or Facebooked in recent years. And, a more likely scenario, you may have to look beyond those vendors and start from scratch. Things have changed in the events biz since Clinton was president, ya know?
- Choose your bridal party based on your life as it stands in the moment you’re getting married. OK, that’s a confusing sentence, but stay with me. Select the people you want by your side from the pool of people you are close with RIGHT NOW. Not who you used to be close with. Not who you want to be close with. Not who you should be close with. Who is special to you NOW? Those are the people who should be part of your wedding day inner circle. It may change and years later, there may be some individuals who are no longer in your life. Time happens. But don’t use nostalgia as a method for choosing your maids and men. Instead, think of those you love most and who currently have your back.
- Whether it’s a groom or a co-bride, let your partner be involved! You’re not the only one getting married here, sister! Allow your love’s opinions to be heard and discussed. You may not always agree, and that’s OK as it won’t be the last time, but it’s important to remember it’s not only YOUR wedding. You’re not marrying yourself. You’re marrying another person. Encourage involvement and even if it’s declined — hey, weddings aren’t everyone’s
obsessioncup o’ tea — at least keep your partner in the loop with updates and tidbits of information. Hey, guess what. Marriage is exactly the same way and that’s, like, forever.
- Don’t get too focused on what other brides are doing. Or what Pinterest suggests you do. Or what wedding blogs tell you you should do. (well, except for The Wedding Yentas. Always follow what The Wedding Yentas says). It’s so easy to get wrapped up in current trends and styles. You know who knows you best? Yeah, you. So, get inspiration. Enjoy new ideas. But stay true to yourself. I know, that sounds super cheesy, like something you’d hear at a 7th grade drugs education assembly, but remember who’s actually getting married. It’s you and the person you chose to spend forever with, not that super skinny shiksa model who’s showcasing a toga wedding dress in a Grecian styled shoot. Educating yourself is good. Veering away from your own personal style and values is not. Find ideas and take advice, and then apply it to your own taste.
- Never stop holding hands. Or staying by each others’ sides. Or making eye contact. You’ll never get these wedding day moments back. Try to stay together for the whole day. Remain connected during the ceremony as you soak up the words from your rabbi, cantor, or other officiant. Hold hands and squeeze along to the prayers or music. At your reception, make a pact to travel the room as one. Experience the same event together so you never miss a beat. Keep this theme going throughout your marriage. A kiss goodnight. Every night. Even if you’re mad. It’s hard to stay angry when you have to exchange a peck. A mad kiss is better than no kiss. Kisses make people happy. And that’s how you do happily ever after.
I’m drinking my own Kool Aid here. L’chaim to that. And happy anniversary to my love. Mazels on another year in the books. And mazels to all of you joining our club.