This post is the first in a series called, “bulletin from a blushing bride,” in which I ask women who have done the “bride” thing to reflect on their experiences and provide insight for those of us peripherally involved. If you have a question for a bride, please post in the comments!

Hello, Savvy Readers.  Sister of the Bridesmaid here.  As someone who survived the marriage-ification process a few years back, my fabulous big sister has asked me to share some reflections on the whole bridal thing now and again.  So here goes, the only truly sound piece of advice I feel qualified to give on the subject of weddings: have my sister as your Maid of Honor.

Failing that, I would say that the number one thing that kept me sane throughout the whole wedding-planning phase of my life was being really honest from the beginning about what my priorities were:  I wanted a huge party where all of my favorite people would get to have a great time (and access to an open bar), I wanted communion served during the wedding ceremony, and I wanted to end up legally bonded to one smokin’ hot man. Luckily for us, I would say we succeeded on all counts.

Having never been in a wedding prior to my own (to be fair, I was practically a zygote when I got engaged), I was amazed at just how many decisions there were to be made: cake or cupcakes? DJ or band? Eggplant purple or plum purple (or grape or sangria or…)? Buffet, sit-down or family style?  And believe me getting caught up in all of those details is so very tempting.   However, it is also liable to drive one insane unless, of course, you are the kind of person who makes excel spread sheets to plan vacations (hmm, no one I know), in which case, mazel tov!  But for me, with every decision that had to be made, I was able to ask myself, “Will this really make a difference in the rocking-ness of the time everyone is having?” and if the answer was “Nope, just in whether they get their cake on a little plate or if it’s individually wrapped” then I could relax a bit and just go with my instinct.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this:  yes, planning a wedding means a million decisions will have to be made.  That doesn’t mean that each one has to be agonized over like it’s Sophie’s Choice.  Because let’s be honest: years from now, no one’s going to care whether you had cake or cupcakes, a DJ or a band, or as many varieties of canapés as they would have liked (and if they do, they’re probably uptight jerks who your parents made you invite anyway).  If they are the kind of people worth keeping in your life, they’ll remember how happy they were at your wedding because they loved seeing you so happy, and they’ll be honored that ­they got to be a part of such an important day in your life.

Looking back, all the effort that went into planning my wedding was worth it and then some (yes, even the nitty-gritty, “invitation font” details); it really was the happiest day of life.  But the moment that stands out most vividly in my mind (besides all those times I was making googly eyes at my now-husband) was the moment I looked out over the reception hall from the head table during dinner and realized that never again would I have the privilege of being in a room with everyone who has ever mattered to me.  For the rest of my life, I will always feel connected in a special way to the people that were with me on my wedding day.  And I will take special satisfaction in knowing that the levels of drunken foolery reached that night were courtesy of my open bar.

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