Certified Coordinated Bride Stephanie
Journal Entry #2
Just the Four of Us
My wedding party consists of a maid of honor and a best man, but with a twist. I’ll explain the ‘twist’ down below. Like with the decision to have a traditional wedding (vs. elope, destination, etc.), Adrian and I discussed the options of having a bridal party. What was certain was the choice to have and name the Maid of Honor (my sister) and the Best Man (his brother). Then, Adrian and I started to create a potential bridal party that had 4 people, 6 people, one variation I think had like 10 people! We thought of all possibilities. Me and Adrian just shrugged and looked at each other. We kept coming back to the idea of just 2 people–our blood, our family, by our side, and that was it. No fuss. Simple. Sweet.
While I’m here talking about her, let me just say, that my sister Natalie has been everything I could have hoped for in a Maid of Honor. She shares my level of OCD and then some (which makes for a great party planner), has been supportive, thoughtful, and just “on it” throughout the process. As for Adrian’s brother Christian? What a trooper he has been coming out of his shell and taking on the honored role of BM for his little brother! We are so lucky to have them both in our lives and thankful to them.
Mood, Music, Mimosas, Motivation
I started to visualize it, and was thinking about the day of the wedding. I’m getting ready, and there’s me, my mom, and there’s my sister, hair and makeup, and Ninja my cat (the cutest kitty in the world). And something’s missing. Someone lightening up the mood. Someone pumping up the music. Someone pouring mimosas. And someone talking me through my anxieties that the day is going to be just fine. Who are my biggest cheerleaders? Who would WANT to be there? After my mom and my sister, the faces of my 4 closest friends came to mind. That’s what was missing from the “let’s just keep it small” bridal party idea. They make me a better person, and in many ways over the years, have helped me become who I am today. They’re “my people”, each one hard-working, intelligent, fun, kind, and strong. They’re amazing and they complete me. How could they not be there?
But Adrian and I decided. It was supposed to be only family, small, and I knew it was going to have to stay that way. So, I started searching for a way to have them there…to honor them so that they could take part in very intimate moments of an otherwise busy day. I spent days googling for pseudo-bridesmaid concepts. Not just for me, but for them too. I wanted them to know that I love them so much I want them there. I came across the term Bride Tribe, and immediately fell in love with it. Why CAN’T I have them there? Do they HAVE to be “bridesmaids”? I’m a millennial- which means we’re pretty good at throwing tradition out the window, so “let’s try something new”, I thought. My official wedding party is simple, just 2 people. They get the honored title, stand out in fancy attire, serve as our witnesses, and walk in the processional…officially. But, my friends, who also mean the world to me, would be there at my home getting ready the day-of with hair and makeup, helping me in my dress, making jokes and sharing the experience…unofficially.
The deal is, “I promise not to make you buy a dress you hate or plan a bridal shower, and you promise to just show up and tell me I look pretty the day of my wedding!” That’s all I want, and I know they want to be there too. They wanted to do their makeup professionally even though I was adamant they didn’t need to. I offered the makeup on my tab, because well, it’s my way of saying thank you, and even though they don’t need to do ANYTHING ELSE, they are really into it. Like they want to get their hair done, asking my colors so they can coordinate in differing tones for their dresses, and planning my bachelorette weekend!
They spoil me, I mean I really get to have my cake and eat it too. I’m so happy that in taking a risk and trying something new (and that I know of, not really done before) is working so nicely.
So, how did I ask them? I had purchased personalized bags from Etsy with their names on them, and made a goodie bag with things like: personalized water bottle, bottle of wine, nail polish and filer, Dove deodorant spray (don’t ask why, I just grabbed it, okay?! I swear they don’t smell) and custom cookies that had a calendar with the date June 23 marked on it. I also typed up a little letter explaining how much they mean to me, and MY definition of a Bride Tribe, and put one in each bag.
I had to pop the question to one of my friends separate from the group because of schedules, but it was a bit like how I did it with the other girls. We got together at one of their houses for a long overdue vent sesh with cheese and wine, and stories that would take us into the early am. I had to sort of wing it, because I had no idea how to properly SURPRISE them with it—the bags took up a lot of space, & I couldn’t be stealthy moving them from my car all at once. I had my own personalized bag too, in the same design, that said Bride on it. After a while of chatting, someone brings up the wedding. This is my chance! I casually mention that I got something recently and I showed them my Bride bag. I say, “Do you like it?”. And after they answer the most rhetorical question with a “yes”, I say, “Good, because I got you one too!”. I pulled up 2 bags from the floor with their names on it, and the second they saw them they started screaming. In all the excitement I had to quickly explain it isn’t a bridesmaid proposal and apologized numerous times repeating, “I love you and I want you there, I hope you understand this. Read the letter!” They understood. They didn’t care. We aren’t the type to throw our egos at each other, and this was no exception.
Having a core group of people that you can depend on, especially when you’re planning the biggest party of your life you’ll ever throw, means everything. I’m infinitely grateful for the relationships I have in my life, and am happy that Adrian and I are able to share our wedding in special ways with those people.
Can’t wait for all the exciting things the next few months will hold!