Wedding & Marriage Q's with Blog Friends

Well, I guess it's the first official day of Autumn today-- so happy fall! It certainly doesn't feel like fall here this week (I'm not complaining!) as it's been in the 90's. Ironic that our hottest week of summer is the last week of summer. 

Today I'm excited to share a few more Q&A's with you, with answers from my sweet blog friends! You met them all on Tuesday's post, so they're back today with some encouraging and hopefully helpful answers to a few questions I got from readers.

1. Worst piece of wedding planning advice you received or read online / in a magazine?

- My photographer (the same one that didn't get a portrait of us) told me that I would only need individual shots of each of our wedding party, because it would lay out better in the wedding book. While this is true, I really miss not having pictures of me and my bridesmaids (and same goes for my husband with his groomsmen). During my girlfriend's weddings, birthdays, would be nice to have a forever photo of the two of us on my wedding day, but I don't have that all because my photographer wanted the artistic shots for our wedding book. -- Natasha, Schue Love

- I used to be a party stylist and I specialized in dessert tables.  I can't tell you how many people told me to make my wedding cake or do my own dessert table!  I'm so glad I didn't. That would have been incredibly stressful!  I almost made macarons as favors for our guests but we had close to 300 people and making that many macarons the day before my wedding would have been maddening.  I'm all about DIY but I wouldn't recommend added stress right before your wedding. -- Hannah, Hannah Matthew Design

- Everyone told me at the time not to hire a videographer. But I wish I had!! -- Amanda, Marshall's Abroad

- This wasn't as much "advice" as it was a negative comment that clouded our wedding planning. I guess it was unsolicited ;) A relative looked me in the eyes and said "your wedding doesn't matter. All the stuff you're talking about- flowers, food...- none of it matters." He said this in a mean-spirited tone, which made my so sad. Of course the wedding stuff and details don't ultimately matter! BUT as a designer and as a woman, I wanted to spend time putting details together to create a beautiful and memorable day. There's nothing wrong with that-- don't let anyone tell you otherwise! In my opinion, creating a beautiful atmosphere and putting care into your planning is a way to show your excitement for the marriage. At least it was for me! -- Michaela

 Best advice you have for brides planning their wedding?

- I have two! 1. Prepare for your marriage more than you prepare for your wedding. Whether that looks like a premarital retreat, seeking counsel from an older and wiser couple you admire, or reading marriage books together, taking the time and effort to prepare for life beyond your wedding day is the most important thing you can do during your engagement. 2. You will never regret the money you spend on having your day captured. If your dream photographer/videographer is a touch out of your budget, cut the custom cocktail napkins, play an iPod playlist during cocktail hour instead of hiring your DJ for an extra whatever you can to have your wedding captured by people whose work you love and whose personalities you click with. -- Lisa, Something Pretty

- Always think of the big picture.  At the end of the day you are married, and a solid marriage is worth WAY more than pinterest perfect photos.  I'm someone who LOVES details, but nothing is going to go completely as planned, and that's okay.  Don't sweat the small stuff!  -- Sarah, Sarah Tucker

- The wedding lasts a day and the marriage lasts forever, make sure that you are investing time in building your relationship, communicating, going to counseling etc instead of just focusing on the planning of that specific day. -- Brittany, Brittany Price Brooker

- 1. If you're planning your wedding on your own, try to find a trusted friend or acquaintance who will be willing to be the day of coordinator. We had a family friend do that for us and it was incredibly helpful to have someone directing the course of the day so that my Mom and I didn't have to think about it!

2. We just moved back to the States after living in Croatia for the past two years. Weddings are completely different there and refreshed my perspective!  In Croatia, weddings have almost nothing to do with Pinterest (though I think creating a beautiful wedding is important and loved planning all the details of mine!) and everything to do with all-out celebrating, often for multiple days of dancing, drinking, eating, singing. Usually the money spent goes toward food and alcohol and having a band that follows from the pre-party to the church to the reception. They are crazy and so much fun. Experiencing Croatian weddings has influenced my advice to be: ENJOY your wedding! When your wedding day arrives, stop planning, freaking out over every detail, and the things that don't go as planned. Instead, have the time of your life! Marriage is meant to be truly celebrated! -- Amanda, Marshall's Abroad

- Get a wedding planner! There's no reason for you or your parents to be stressing on the happiest day. -- Michaela

What was your favorite moment of your wedding day?

- My favorite moment of our wedding day was our first look.  I would highly recommend doing a first look to any future brides out there!  It was just a really special moment for the two of us before the wedding and after seeing the photos, even my mom said she had never seen me smile so big. -- Hannah, Hannah Matthew Design

- My favorite moment was when we were saying our vows and we got to the parts of sickness and health and the sorrow parts, we both cried because we knew the great magnitude of that promise to each other having experienced those things with our first spouses, we knew what we were promising to do and we still said "with all my heart I do." -- Brittany, Brittany Price Brooker

Ryan Ray

- While our first look, walking down the aisle, and saying our vows were all incredible, memorable moments, the one that stands out the most for both of us is one we hadn’t planned or anticipated. After the last song of the night, our DJ sent all of our guests outside to get ready for our sparkler exit. I was standing at the edge of the dance floor alone, trying to take in everything just one more time, when our DJ began to play “La Vie en Rose” over the speakers. Before I knew what was happening, my new husband pulled me onto the dance floor and held me close while we had one more dance. We held each other and cried grateful tears and said “We’re so lucky” over and over again. We’ve danced to that song just a few times since that day, and every time, when I close my eyes, I’m right back there in that perfect moment. -- Lisa, Something Pretty

- My favorite moment of the day was when I walked down the aisle. I spent so much time planning our ceremony and envisioning what it would be like to walk towards my future husband and it was one of the best moments ever! -- Nicole, Nicole Cole

What is something you've learned about yourself through marriage?

- I've learned that I'm the emotional one and my husband is the level-headed, logical one ;) But in all seriousness, I've learned to let go of some (not all) of my type-A tendencies and that it's all about compromise.  We always discuss things with each other prior to making decisions and we come to those decisions together. -- Hannah, Hannah Matthew Design

- That as much as I may want to be everything to my husband, I can't, and shouldn't be. We don't complete each other--only God can fulfill the deepest longings of our hearts. The purpose of our marriage isn't to make us happy (although most of the time, it certainly does!); the purpose of our marriage is to lead one another closer to the Lord. -- Lisa, Something Pretty

I never thought I was a jealous, irrational, hot-tempered or slow to forgive type of person.... buuut turns out I was wrong ;) -- Amanda, Marshall's Abroad

Three of your favorite date nights.

1) Progressive Dinner: appetizers, dinner and dessert at three different restaurants.
2) Pizza, a bottle of wine and a movie on the couch!
3) Double dates--we love spending time with friends!
-- Natasha, Schue Love

- Baseball games, watching a play at the theatre, and walks on the beach.
-- Sarah, Sarah Tucker

- Favorite date nights would be working out together, dressing up and doing something special, and going to the park and packing a picnic and just talking. We both love quality time so however we can make that happen we love too. -- Brittany, Brittany Price Brooker

 If you could share any marriage advice with others, what would it be?

- Never lose sight of the respect you have for your spouse. All the other attributes may ebb and flow, but respect is what keeps a couple together. Having respect that that the other can make sound decisions, bounce back after loss, and take care of you and your family is number one in my book! -- Natasha, Schue Love

- Learn their love languages, and then shower your spouse in their version of love.  -- Sarah, Sarah Tucker

- My marriage advice would be to draw close to each other when struggles come. Talk through the stress and become a team. Struggles and hard seasons come and walking through those difficult days are so much sweeter when you walk together, on the same team! -- Nicole, Nicole Cole

- We did pre-marital counseling with our pastor before we got married and something he said to me specifically has stayed with me all these years: No matter how mad or upset you are, don't withhold physical love. In fact, it's during those times it's the most needed. God uses it as a protection, stress-reliever, joy and a whole host of other good in our marriages. -- Amanda, Marshall's Abroad

- One of the greatest things I recommend is yearly tune ups. Just like cars that are running could be running better and therefore we take them for tune ups,  marriages that are functioning can always function better. Whether its counseling or marriage mentorship, take time to challenge yourselves, get asked the hard questions and work on improving your relationship.  I think this verse (Phil 2:3) Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, gets to the root of every miscommunication and conflict, if we value our husbands above ourselves then we can avoid so many things.  -- Brittany, Brittany Price Brooker

- I truly believe the reason for any conflict in marriage boils down to pride. My best marriage advice is taken right out of my vows, when I said "I vow to believe the best about you, I promise to speak kindly to you and ABOUT you, and I promise to apologize when I fall short." It's all about grace and forgiveness, because we are human and we WILL mess up. The great thing about marriage is that we can always feel safe in that our spouse will offer us forgiveness. -- Michaela

Thanks for being here, my friends!

And happy weekend to all of you!!

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