Tales from the Veil is a new installment for real brides to share their real stories about everything from their proposals to wedding planning to big day experiences. If you would like to submit a Tale from the Veil, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Today’s Tale is from Lauren of San Francisco, whose bride experience began in the most non-traditional way, and how she continues to attempt blending tradition with uniqueness. Mazel tov, Lauren, and good luck with the rest of your planning!
I don’t think I will ever understand the wedding industry. Why do I have to sift through hundreds of color schemes, dresses, vendors, magazines, and venues? Why do I have to create an inspiration board, and what the heck does that even mean? Well, I chose not to. Not just because it was stressful, but also because half the time I had (and still have) no idea what anyone is even talking about! So, I will tell you what I do know.
I know that I want to be a “different” bride, but definitely not too “different.” I crave uniqueness, as well as rebellion over some standard wedding traditions. Yet, I also want to be a bride, experience what a bride should experience, and stay wholly true to my Jewish faith. My biggest obstacle has been how to combine tradition, uniqueness, and personalization. I often worry that it is not possible to have all of these elements in one wedding, especially when I have such little knowledge of what the traditions even are! In fact, my fiancé and I are so ignorant regarding wedding traditions, even Jewish traditions, that at times we have admittedly had to pathetically Google “Jewish weddings.” I spend so much time navigating the ins and outs of wedding planning that I worry that those special and meaningful details or moments — religious and non-religious — will never be executed properly.
My desire to be “different,” and also the “norm,” is best reflected by how our story began. On August 7, 2010, my best friend and my forever-love asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. One could say that the way that he proposed was so amazingly ridiculous, yet classic and traditional, that the two of us were destined to be what I would call cliché rebels. After a friend lured me to beautiful Bernal Hill in San Francisco, my fiancé suddenly appeared, scaring me to death, and dropped to his knee. Sounds classic, right? The caveat is that immediately before this, he had checked in at Bernal Hill on Foursquare, which Tweeted that he was about to propose, and included a link to the live stream of the proposal for all to see. After such a proposal, I knew that we would never be the type to fall for the wedding madness. Rather, the wedding would need to be “us,” something a bit different, and something a bit non-traditional.
My solution to balancing all of these thoughts and worries has been simplicity. I’ve decided to follow one wedding website that discusses style (stylemepretty.com), one website that sparks creativity (etsy.com), one website that identifies traditions (theweddingyentas.com). I am led by my heart, my love, and my family. I’ve eliminated wedding magazines and overexposing myself to too many options. When I visited that venue, and my heart fluttered, it became “the one.” Who cares how many “better” venues there might be on paper, or better anything for that matter? The reality is, there are countless beautiful flowers, dresses, locations, linens, and invitations that need to be chosen for a wedding. So, take the heart flutter, cherish it, remember it, and go with it.
I have experienced all of my own heart flutters by listening to my family and fiancé: those who know me best. It has made me realize that this day is not just for my fiancé and I, but it is also for my beautiful mother, my hilarious father, my rock of a sister, and my admirable big brother. When I have a hard time making a decision, they do it for me, and they do it well. In fact, my mother and sister are the ones who made the biggest decision for me: my dress. Wearing wedding dress number four, and no more than 30 minutes into my first appointment, my sister and mother burst into tears. I have no idea what kind of dress I wanted (thanks to the confusion instigated by wedding magazines and books), but if the dress made those who I love more anything in the world emotional, then it had to be The Dress.
I know that when our wedding day arrives, it will be everything that we wanted it to be: unique, traditional, and so very us. This will not be because we were wedding crazies, but because of the guidance of family, and our few go-to websites.
So, on September 25, 2011, I will take the plunge on a sustainable farm, in the middle of lavender fields, under a sunflower chuppah, sign our ketubah and follow in my mother’s footsteps by wearing a Priscilla of Boston dress and veil. I know that I will have forgotten to include a tradition or a unique detail when the day comes, but really, who cares? In the mean time, we brides should make it fun, be ourselves, and never think that we are crazy for not becoming crazy.