This Girl’s Guide to Being a Bride

Thank you for your thoughts in the last post, sisters! I loved the behind-the-scenes commentary on Marcus and my wedding, and I have a couple thoughts and tips to add for any future brides (and grooms!) out there as they prep for the big day.

1) Realize that there will be things that really really stress you out about wedding planning. I would love to say that I was calm and composed about the wedding the entire time, but that would be a lie. I’m usually pretty low key. People have called me “soothing” more than once. But there were times during wedding planning that I couldn’t bring myself to a calm state of mind about things.

One of those times was figuring out the guest list (worrying certain people would be offended, worrying about costs if it gets too big, etc.). What do you MEAN I can’t invite all my long lost whomevers I used to be close to without paying hundreds of dollars extra? What if this person who knows that person who knows the person I’m inviting gets upset that their 3rd connection on LinkedIn was invited but they weren’t? I’m making light of the situation, but it really did affect me a lot. I praise Marcus for his ability to pull me through my stress on the guest list. In the end, we invited 200 people (sounds like a lot but we both have big families!!) and about 140 came. 140 was a lovely number, not too big and not too small. See below for a picture of the reception hall waiting to be filled 🙂


2) Have kids join in on the big day. I know some people don’t allow kids under a certain age at their wedding, and if that’s your choice go for it. But since this is this girl’s guide to being a bride, I’ll inform you that I think having little kids at your wedding gives the day an extra element of joyfulness and playfulness. See the sisters’ last post for details on my nephew Archer’s antics throughout the day. I have fond memories of him in long white gloves from our Photobooth props, army crawling through the sea of legs on the dance floor. Those memories are mixed with memories of Marcus’s 7-year-old niece with Down’s Syndrome tearing it up on the dance floor with my high school and college friends, my niece Miriam frolicking around happily as we get ready, and my niece Era tottering around independently and in general just being adorable. See below for photo evidence of how great it is to have kids at a wedding!


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3) Have an activity for your guests at the reception. Milling about chatting and eating and toasting are wonderful, but having a task unites people and engages them in the day in a whole new way. I’ve heard of people who have outdoor games, professional photobooths, guests making collective art for the bride and groom, whatever! We went with a DIY photo booth (camera, tripod, remote, and props) and it was great! I edited the pictures and posted them to Facebook and they make me smile every time I look at them.

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4) Take a honeymoon, but maybe not a full week away from home. I’m so glad Marcus and I took a honeymoon right away. It was wonderful to have days together without obligations where we could reflect on the wedding, talk about our dreams for the future, and get even closer to each other.

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HOWEVER a week away from home was a lot. We went to New Jersey Wednesday the 20th to prep for the wedding the 23rd and were in the Thousand Islands the 24th through the 31st. Luckily we had Labor Day to settle back into Buffalo home life, but I would’ve liked to have more time to incorporate our gifts into our apartment and relax together in our comfort zones before heading back to “the real world” of work and school.

I love you, sisters, and am so glad I had your help during the wedding!

– Esther

4 thoughts on “This Girl’s Guide to Being a Bride

  1. I especially agree with that last point! We got married around the same time as you, an August 20th, and went away for a week to Northern Ontario and came back on Saturday and jumped back into work (Bradley) and college (Martha) on a Monday. I wish we had taken more time to settle in at home. Really nice to see pictures of your honeymoon, I agree with Rachel on that pic of you and Marcus. As Bradley edits your photos I keep saying, they really are ridiculously good looking.

  2. Esther–Wish I could have been there. I just always remember you at Leah’s fourth birthday party wearing one of her many ballet tutus and directing the improvised butterfly ballet to NPR playing on the radio. You look absolutely beautiful and wondrously happy in all the photos I’ve seen. May your marriage be a loving and fulfilling as i view your parents union to be!

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