Planning a Wedding when your Fiancé is Deployed

Real Hindsight Advice

Colorado Military Wedding Black and White Bridal Portrait

I am often in a prickly position as a blogger. In my heart, I'm totally committed to the idea that published weddings should reflect the deeply meaningful ceremonies that symbolize a couple's life-long commitment to each other. I believe the focus should be on the couple. Not in a bride/groom-zilla it's-all-about-my-big-day-and-I-want-my-cake-and-to-eat-it-too way, but in a way that honors the sanctity of the day and reflects the couples thoughtfulness and maturity in entering into such a humongous state of commitment.

As a blogger, let's face it,  I am a consummate purveyor of lovely wedding details. Oh, the swoon-worthy table runners, and the delightful lanterns, and the sweet cupcakes, and the library-card-catalog-cum-escort-card-holder I'm over the moon about!  I find myself asking, which is it? Are weddings about love, commitment, and the maturity to stay the course over umpteen decades of marriage? Or weddings are about bunding, table runners and artfully curated objects on useless furniture pulled outdoors for show? We often talk about “capturing the emotion of the day,” and end up showing lots of stuff. Junk that gets thrown away anyway. Don't get me wrong, it's often beautiful stuff, but it's just stuff.

Well today's wedding is about love, and meaning, and commitment, and the trials of loving across great distances, and the loveliness of reunion. You will find a gorgeous bride, a dashing groom, and the love between them. The amazingly talented Laura Murray shows that you really don't need stuff. All you really need is each other. You won't find one scrap of burlap in this wedding. But you will find great hindsight advice, and the wonder of emotions when two people in love are reunited and make a lifelong commitment to one another. Enjoy!

Be sure to scroll all the way down for Britney's Hindsight Advice!

Colorado Military Wedding (5)

Colorado Military Wedding (7)

Colorado Military Wedding (4)

Colorado Military Wedding (2)

Colorado Military Wedding (6)

Colorado Military Wedding (3)
 
Colorado Military Wedding (8)

Colorado Military Wedding (1)

Briefly tell us a bit about your wedding:

I wanted to keep the wedding very traditional. Classic and elegant. Maybe a little vintage. I didn’t have a theme for the wedding. I let the military be my theme. My colors were white and silver and royal blue. Not every color goes with the Marine Corps dress blues, so I was limited in choices. I wanted to look elegant, stunning, and a little sexy on my wedding day so my dress was trumpet style and tight! I see pictures and love the dress now more than ever. I didn’t have a train because other than marrying the man of my dream, my main goal for the wedding was to dance my butt off!

I planned the whole wedding by myself. My husband, Matt, was deployed basically the entire planning process, so the decisions were mine to make. I don’t think he would have been super involved if he were here though.

A big thing for me was to have something special with my dad. I am extremely close with him, and every wedding I’ve been to, I can’t hold back tears for the father/daughter dance. My dad brought up the idea of taking dance lessons, and having a choreographed dance. Being a former dancer, I always dreamed of having the first dance at my wedding choreographed. Matt not being around to be able to take lessons or practice, my dad fit the bill. We took six private, one hour lessons, and had a lot of fun learning the swing and waltz. The hard part was, after taking the lessons, I moved to California to go to grad school, so the only time we got to practice was during breaks when I came home. He said he practiced every night while brushing his teeth! My mom can attest to that! We didn’t look like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, but we sure had fun and there was no crying!

What things are you glad you did?

  • Had a few glasses of wine. I said from the beginning I wasn’t going to drink because I wanted to remember every piece of the wedding. I knew it all would go by so fast, so the last thing I wanted to do was speed it up. The wedding day is pretty tiring though. So many people to see and meet. It really made the table rounds a lot more exciting
  • No favors
  • Not seeing him before the ceremony

Things you wish you had done?

  • Told the ushers not to let people sit in the last few rows. It made there seem like there were less people than there were
  • Sent out invitations earlier so I could do A and B invites
  • Eaten the cake. All I got was the tiny piece shoved in my face and up my nose

Things you wish you hadn't done?

  • Bows on the seating cards. They looked beautiful, but took forever!
  • Cried walking down the aisle. No helping it, but I wish I could have held it in

Things you wish you hadn't worried about?

  •  Worried about how many people were coming
  • If the reception was too long
  • Vendors not showing up

What is your very best hindsight advice?

  • Through the entire planning process, keep the big picture in mind. At the end of the wedding, you will be married. Matt and I were engaged for over a year and a half because of two deployments. This was hard for many reasons, but one in particular is when you get engaged, you want to plan a wedding! Not even being able to set a date was very disappointing at first, but in the long run it taught me patience. We didn’t get to set a date until 9 months later. That was 9 months of people saying, “Congratulations! When is the big day?” Not having an answer is a little painful, plus when you don’t have a date, it’s pretty hard to plan out anything else.
  • My mom and dad really helped put things in perspective with the old saying “good things will come for those who wait.” Our society isn’t good with delayed gratification, but my entire relationship has been based on it, and I couldn’t have planned a better life. During the waiting, I focused on being married since I couldn’t focus on a wedding. What kind of wife I wanted to be. What kind of relationship we would have in the present and future. I had time to think about my strengths and weaknesses and how they could aid or hinder my marriage. I know that helped not only once the pressure of planning the wedding started, but now as newlyweds. So if all brides could focus on the marriage more than what the favors will be, I think it would decrease the stress of planning
  • Having been to many weddings, both good and bad. The only weddings I really remember concentrating on the little details like the center pieces, favors, guest book table, etc. are the ones I don’t have a good time at. You can’t guarantee every guest will have fun, but the more fun the bride and groom are having, the more the guests will. It’s contagious!

 Team Wedding