White lace and promises… a kiss for luck and we’re on our way… For years I’ve dreamed of our wedding day, and it finally came. It actually came on short notice, which we were expecting. After months of waiting, with nothing in the foreseeable future, my boyfriend and I decided that if the chance came, we had to take it. With the situation at the time, we didn’t know if it would come again. Earlier this year, we were notified of a possibility sometime in the following months, and we realized that if things fell into place, we wouldn’t have much time to prepare beforehand. Finally, things did fall into place; we were given a date range with no uncertainty, only three weeks away.
Planning Made Simple
Long before our official engagement, my boyfriend and I would discuss what our wedding “someday” would be like. We wanted something simple, with only our closest friends and families, which considerably simplified both the planning and the budget. Many things that people normally have for weddings were just not necessary for ours. Since we only invited our closest family members, we didn’t need printed invitations or place cards. We didn’t need to rent a large hall and order catering, live music, drinks, or transportation. We had no parties beforehand. He didn’t need to rent a tuxedo because he would wear his dress uniform. Basically, the only things we needed were my dress, a bouquet, the cake, and a nice lunch for 20 people.
While I was very happy and excited for the upcoming wedding, I was also a little sad thinking about my younger sister. She would have been my maid of honor. Now that role would go to my youngest sister. It still makes me a little sad, wishing she could have been there. Also, my boyfriend, my siblings, and I were confirmed the day before the wedding, and I’m sad she didn’t get to be. I wonder what Confirmation name she would have chosen.
The first most important aspect was the dress. Ever since I learned to sew, I knew I would be making my wedding dress. Several months beforehand, I had taken some time to plan out a simple, yet elegant design, decide on the pattern pieces, and even buy the fabric and materials. I thought about sewing it then, but since we didn’t even have a date yet, it didn’t seem so urgent. At the time we had no idea when we would be able to get married. But since I had done all the planning and work beforehand, when the time came, I knew exactly what I wanted and how to make it. I was able to make a dress, corset, veil, and tiara in two weeks.
When I informed my mother of the wedding, she wanted me to try on her dress to see if I wanted to wear it. While it was lovely, it unfortunately didn’t fit me well. Yes, I would only be wearing it for half a day, but I really didn’t want to be uncomfortable for any length of time, especially on my wedding day. Also, it was cut very low in the back, and I wasn’t comfortable with showing that much skin. So I made my own dress which would fit me perfectly. I did wear her petticoat to give my skirt the proper volume.
The only piece missing from my ensemble was the shoes, and I didn’t really know what to do about them. I didn’t have time to go out and find anything since I was busy making my dress. Three days before the wedding, the day before the trip, I did some quick online browsing for shoes. To my delight, I found the perfect pair of white pearl-finish ballet flats, the last in stock in my size. I bought them right away, along with a pair of white patent leather flats with bows on the toes for the maid of honor. The store was in the same city as my boyfriend, so I had the shoes shipped to him. They arrived the next day, and I had them in plenty of time.
We Need Cake!
For the wedding cake, I had limited options. For half a second I considered making it myself, but I quickly decided that wasn’t feasible. Traveling with a tiered cake, either already assembled or in pieces, would be very difficult. Plus all the time I would need to bake it, and then assemble and decorate it either at home or at the venue, it would just be too much. I needed all the time I had to finish my dress and accessories, and I didn’t need another thing to do or stress over before the trip, or more last-minute work right before the wedding. Not to mention, I’m not such a pro when it comes to decorating cakes. I could definitely be sure it would taste better than a bakery cake, but I couldn’t be sure it would look good, and I just didn’t have time.
So I found a bakery that I could order a cake from a minimum of one week in advance. It was the first one I found, I liked how it looked, and I went with it. They had many flavor options, but I wanted a traditional white cake. The closest thing they had was called vanilla, and then I chose a vanilla cream filling. To top it off, I opted for a cream cheese frosting, which I think tastes so much better than standard buttercream. Since there was little time, I didn’t worry too much about special decorations. I picked a simple design from their gallery and asked for a heart topper which I had seen in one of their pictures. With that ordered and set to deliver the morning of the wedding day, I was one step closer to being ready.
Can’t Forget the Flowers!
As for the bouquets, I had been looking to order something online, but I hadn’t found anything suitable. In my hotel room, the day before the wedding, I looked online for nearby florists, found one, and went to it. I was able to order my bouquets right away to be delivered that evening. Mine was of white roses with pink lisianthus, and my sister’s was all pink lisianthus. I was actually wanting mine to have more white than it did; it ended up being mostly pink. I thought later that maybe I should have picked all white roses, since it was the same price. But anyway, the flowers were beautiful. In all honestly, I would have liked to have some flowers to decorate the place, but there wasn’t enough time to find, plan, or put up any decorations. I got the two bouquets I needed, and that was it.
The Wedding Venue
When we were thinking about the reception, I had looked into booking a wedding venue or making a reservation at a restaurant for a nice lunch with music and wedding cake service. But since there weren’t very many of us, we didn’t have the minimum number of guests to qualify. In the end, after a friend offered to host the reception at her house, we decided to accept. It was the most convenient option for all concerned, and certainly much less expensive. The actual wedding ceremony was to take place in a little oratory she has in her house, officiated by a bishop who is a friend of ours.
A Lovely Lunch Party
Lunch was buffet style with several different kinds of food. The one specific thing my boyfriend wanted for the wedding was to have oriental food. So the main attraction was sushi rolls with several different fillings (no fish!), covered in panko crumbs, delivered from a local restaurant. They came with soy sauce and sweet-and-sour sauce for dipping, since he likes soy sauce and I like sweet-and-sour. In addition, my family brought food we prepared at home: Ritz crackers and cheese spread, banana bread, and chocolate chip cookies. I also made a groom’s cake using the softest, most delicious chocolate cake recipe with chocolate butter frosting. I knew I couldn’t make the wedding cake, but I could make the groom’s cake.
The Wedding Day
Saturday was a beautiful day for a wedding. I took my things over early, and while I was upstairs getting ready, my boyfriend would arrive with his family and wait for me downstairs. I was not nervous or stressed at all, only excited. There were no doubts in my mind. I had waited so long for this moment, and I was more than ready. To simplify my morning preparation, I wore no makeup except for some lightly tinted mica lip balm. For my hair I chose a simple braided bun up-do under the veil. I wanted to make sure the lacing details on the back of the dress wouldn’t be hidden. The final detail was a pair of silver hoop earrings that my younger sister gave me for my birthday several years ago. I really wanted to include something from her in my wedding. Finally, everything was ready.
My heart beat fast as I walked down the aisle with my father, seeing my beaming fiancé at the altar waiting for me, so handsome in his uniform. During the ceremony, I clung to each word in order to fully appreciate what was happening. Afterwards, I felt excitement and a sense of disbelief that my dream had really come true.
Cut the Cake
Our hostess opened a bottle of champagne, and although my family doesn’t drink or even like the flavor, we all took a tiny bit for a toast. The buffet lunch was delightful, and everybody was pleased with the food choices. There was, however, a small mishap with the dipping sauces. Some of them ended up mixed together, which was unfortunate because my husband doesn’t like sweet-and-sour sauce. He was such a good sport about it, and I didn’t realize what happened until he told me later.
After lunch, it was time to cut the cake. Per tradition, the two of us made the first cut, using the fancy cake knife from my parents’ wedding. Then, as nobody else wanted to finish cutting the cake, the bishop himself good-naturedly offered to do it. My new husband and I fed each other the first bites of our cake. That beautiful tradition is one I love, as it symbolized a promise to always take care of each other.
Compared to other weddings, ours was very simple, but it was elegant. The only other thing I would have liked was a waltz, but there was very little space, and we didn’t even know how to dance well. Also, we didn’t have a professional photographer, so we don’t have any professional photos. But we were able to get some nice pictures, and maybe later we can dress up and do a photo shoot.
This was our wedding, and it was perfect for us. Though the details were few, they were exceptional. I was able to put all my time, energy, and money into the most important things we wanted. It was truly a magical day for us. At last I can call him my husband as we start this next stage of our lives together. We will forever remember the vows we both made on this day. To love, honor, and obey, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.
[…] Well, I was actually intending to publish this pattern for Christmas. I had the bells all made and the pattern figured out. I just needed to take pictures of the first round, and with everything else I was doing in December, it just didn’t happen. In light of recent events, now it seems more appropriate to connect it to a different occasion. […]