By: Kimberly Miller
When our editor informed us that the May issue of Single! was themed NOT my wedding, it struck me as a near impossible writing assignment! At time of writing, I am 37 days away from my wedding. At this wonderfully bizarre time in my life when I can hardly take my mind off of my wedding and new house, I have been charged with sharing what my wedding is not (although I’d really rather tell you about what it will be). Looking back, however, I realize I had to evaluate what my wedding wouldn’t be before I knew what it would be.
The first thing I knew my wedding wouldn’t be was anywhere other than my home town. My brother had a beautiful wedding in a glass chapel in Eureka Springs, Ark., and both he and his bride were thrilled with it. The surrounds were undeniably beautiful, but planning and preparation were complicated by the fact that the happy couple lived in Dallas and neither set of parents lived very near Eureka Springs. Fine for them, but I knew it wasn’t for me.
Along the same lines, I didn’t want a destination wedding. My single, solitary reason is this: You cannot expect all of your friends and family to attend a destination wedding. If I had enough money to pay for everyone I know to hop a jet and join me in Antigua, you’d better believe I would. To both my fiancé and me, having the people we love at our wedding is the top priority.
I did not want my wedding to be a joke. I’ve been to weddings where the groom always seemed to be cracking jokes or cutting up with the groomsmen. It was a great show, but it was just that: a show. In my opinion, a wedding isn’t the appropriate place for theatrics. I think a wedding should be fun and have some moments of laughter, but it should also be reverent and sincere. It is, after all, a covenant before God. I take that seriously! My fiancé has an awesome sense of humor, and he makes me laugh every day. There’s always time for jokes on the honeymoon.
As a matter of necessity as well as personal choice, I knew my wedding wouldn’t be terribly expensive. Although we have been extraordinarily blessed, we do not come from rich families. Although we have never lacked anything we needed, money is an object. I don’t care if the average cost of a wedding in this country is $20,000 (yes, it is). Not my wedding! We have a budget, and we’re sticking to it. And trust me—it’s way under $20,000.
Finally, my wedding would not be cheap. Not terribly expensive, but not cheap either. It’s worth it to spend a little extra on the details that matter. Each person will balance that differently, but I chose real flowers and the dress that made me cry. A friend of mine is using plastic table cloths at her daughter’s wedding. There isn’t a thing in the world wrong with that, but I preferred to spend a little more for cloth. I did not, however, pay $2,000 for the venue I really wanted. Instead, I settled for the church gym that cost less than $200.
One of the most important things about planning a wedding, in my opinion, is to wait until you know your groom. I can’t help but notice how many advertisements there are in bridal magazines for engagement rings. If you’re looking at a bridal magazine, shouldn’t you already have your engagement ring? Advertisers are banking on millions of girls shopping for their wedding long before the appropriate time. It’s fun to dream, but chomp the bit, baby, and don’t over-plan too early. Wait for God’s timing—and the groom’s!