This past weekend, Vincent and I celebrated our marriage in Newport, Rhode Island with 50 of our closest friends and families. May 12 was without a doubt one of the most magical and memorable days of our lives. It was everything I had wanted it to be and more.
To recap the planning process and the actual day, here are some of my thoughts while they are still very fresh:
Not perfect, but nevertheless wonderful: I get the impression that a lot of brides expect or want their weddings to be perfect, and understandably so. However, being sensitive to disappointments and having only 6 months to plan my own wedding, I let go of perfection from the very beginning and instead aimed for good enough. This attitude really saved me from many potential melt-downs and general loss of sanity, and allowed me to focus on the big picture and appreciate all the things that went very well (and there were many).
We wanted a small, intimate wedding, and that’s what we got. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to have the opportunity to really engage with all of our guests, which we didn’t think would have been possible with a larger guest count. Even so, we still wish we could spent more time with everyone. From the planning perspective, the smaller guest count definitely made it more manageable. I can’t imagine planning a bigger wedding without additional help, or losing my mind.
Speaking of help, Vincent was great. Wedding planning is a big task no matter what kind of wedding it is (and I thought I was being minimalist). For me and Vincent, this was the first “big project” we took on together, and it was a great experience in learning to work as partners and as a team. We both have busy jobs and other demands in life, and this was an exercise in juggling, coordinating, and communicating. Overall, we were successful in dividing and conquering, and I’m beyond grateful for all the support (both emotionally and logistically) from the man I married.
We had amazing vendors. I picked most of my vendors with weeks of being engaged, and I’m so happy to say that they all ended up being fantastic. I loved my tailor, florist, cake chef, photographer, videographer, program designer, and DJ. I chose them primarily based on online reviews and we were fortunate they lived up to their glowing reputation and reviews. I still can’t stop obsessing over the peonies and the custom-made cake that I helped to design 🙂
I loved my dress. This might seem like a given, but for a while I had very mixed feelings about the dress. I didn’t go for my absolute favorite because I didn’t want to spend a ridiculous amount on a dress that I would only wear once (and planned to sell after the wedding). A couple of the dresses I had loved were over $5k and I just felt ridiculous to spend that kind of money on a dress (even if it’s for my wedding day). The dress I ultimately chose was very much line with the “good enough” mantra; it had checked the main boxes, at a reasonable price. Between my first fitting and the actual wedding, I wasn’t sure I actually loved the dress. This all changed when I saw myself in it for the first time with my hair and make up done. Now I might become one of those sentimental women and actually hold on to this thing…
We picked what really mattered to us. I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to stick to any rules or traditions for our wedding. Vincent and I discussed what really mattered to us, and focused our attention on those elements, and splurged on things that were the most important. For us, that meant fewer guests, picturesque venue that came with a kitchen, top-notch photographer and filmmaker, DIY playlists, custom-designed cake, toasts from our friends and parents (and translations to boot), and lots of peonies and roses. Some of these things cost a fortune and others took many many hours to prepare, but in the end they all contributed to making our wedding a beautiful representation of who we are and how we want our special day to be remembered.
We are beyond grateful to our families and friends who made us feel incredibly loved and made the whole experience unforgettable. Our families flew all the way from China to be with us for this special occasion and we are blown away by their generosity and love. No words could adequately describe the joy I felt being surrounded by my best friends from beginning to end, and I know Vincent felt the same way being reunited with his (many of whom he had not seen for years). Getting married is something I have talked about with my mom and my best friends for many years, and to finally celebrate it with these special women was everything I imagined and much much more. Seeing our friends from various stages in our lives and finally gathering everyone in one place was beyond perfect. We love you all so much and are so happy to have shared this beautiful day with you.