5 Ways My Wedding Was Different Than I Imagined

I still can and can't believe I am a married woman!

I always knew I was going to get married, but I can honestly say the wedding I dreamed of as a little girl could not have been more different than the reality.

The Groom

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How handsome is he? Haha!

Call it daddy issues, but I honestly never thought I would find a man as kind, generous, and patient as Eric. I sometimes feel like I am cheating life having gotten such a great guy. He listens to my rants, he challenges me to be a better person and is my perfect compliment.

During our wedding day, the videographer asked when I realized I wanted to marry him – and I couldn't answer. I always just knew he was the one. From the first time we hung out, I couldn't imagine my life without him… Which is probably why I basically moved in with him three weeks after the first time we hung out haha.

The Dress

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While growing up, I always imagined myself in a white version of Belle's iconic Beauty and the Beast gown. As a little girl I would constantly sketch out my dream wedding dress. Over the years I've watched hours of “Say Yes to The Dress” and never in a million years thought I would end up with five wedding dresses for under $1500 (that's an entirely different post in this series!). The dress I settled on could not have been more perfect for what I was looking for. I didn't worry about tripping, the train getting dirty, or holding my stomach in. I could just enjoy myself, which was all I really cared about in the end.

Who Would Give Me Away

rachel ritlop eric dresdale the confused millennial sarah seven

My dad passed away when I was 19 years old. And growing up a “Gilmore Girl,” I never in a million years thought my mother wouldn't come to my wedding, let alone not give me away. But alas, she didn't come. Despite getting offers from my grandmother (who also did not come) and Eric's family, I chose to walk myself down the aisle. While it was an emotional decision, and also a large part of why we had a two-year engagement (which you can read more about here), I am really happy with the decision.

I've had a “different” life than most people, this is something the people tell me on a monthly basis, I have taken many difficult walks through challenging times that most people can't understand. While Eric still doesn't understand the things I've been through, he always tries to and never judges. He always asked questions and never tries to give me a “quick fix band-aid” statement (does anyone else hate those as much as I do??). He lets me talk and cry until I can't anymore. Something that no one else in my life has ever done. Marrying Eric, I truly feel like I am joining my life to a partner. He has never backed down from the darkness that comes with me. I wanted to talk myself down the aisle because it truly felt like the last walk I will ever have to do alone in life.

The Setting

rachel ritlop eric dresdale the confused millennial sarah seven

As a little girl and typically anxious Type-A person, I never thought I would have a wedding entirely outside. When I was little, I thought it would be in an outdoor ceremony and then into a ballroom. When I started searching for venues, I knew I had outgrown the traditional “ballroom” idea, but still didn't plan on having the entire wedding outside. In fact, even when we booked our wedding, we planned on the ceremony and cocktail hour outside, then moving inside for the reception; but the space we rented ended up undergoing renovations! Which meant we moved everything outside (only twenty minutes before the reception was meant to start we made the decision to move dinner inside!). I'll be talking more about this in another post coming up on “how to choose a great venue”.


rachel ritlop eric dresdale the confused millennial sarah seven

I remember saving Bridal magazines as a kid and always thought I would be that girl with the giant wedding binder and totally indecisive, but planning was actually surprisingly easy and stress-free! The emotional stuff with family definitely took a toll on me, but everything else came to me with ease. Which is why over the next few weeks I am going to give you all my secrets and hacks for choosing a venue, choosing groomsmen and bridesmaids gifts, strategies for coping with family and your partner while planning a wedding, how to choose a wedding dress without breaking the bank, and so much more!

Despite all the ways my wedding was different than I imagined it would be, it was absolutely perfect because it was about my husband and I joining our lives together as partners. We had so much fun through the actual planning process and truly felt like everything embodied who we are as a couple. Sometimes letting go of expecations gives us the space to make the most magical days happen.

If you have a specific question or post you would like to see in the series that I didn't mention was coming up, let me know in the comments! I want you to plan your dream wedding with ease!


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Photo cred: Brooke Images

102 thoughts on “5 Ways My Wedding Was Different Than I Imagined”

  1. I think the wedding you thought you would have is the one I DID have! I had the big dress, ballroom reception, a huge binder. LOL. But I totally agree with you on the groom thing — I cannot believe I got as lucky as I did to marry my husband. I wake up every day a little more starstruck than the day before.

  2. I love that you basically moved in 3 weeks after you first hung out. I did the same with my now-husband only 2 weeks after we met. We’ve been happily together for 6 years now so obviously we knew and we were right!

  3. “…because it truly felt like the last walk I will ever have to do alone in life.” You have my feeling all of the feels! So beautiful. It’s interesting to compare what we imagine vs what actually plays out, but the most important thing is that you found your person. (And it doesn’t hurt that your wedding was absolutely beautiful.) Congratulations, and thank you for sharing so much of your life in this <3

  4. I love this so much <3 Planning a wedding currently, there are so many things we've locked in that are completely different than what my initial idea was, and honestly, I'm totally ok with it! I feel like, I'm marrying the love of my life and everything else will be exactly as it should be.

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    1. YAY for marrying our dream hunnies! haha seriously, my husband and I just kept focusing on each other and it made the planning process so enjoyable. Except the morning of, he had to deal with some family drama unfortunately. but everything was fine because we just kept coming back to one another and our new family!

  5. I love this post, and I think it’s actually a really healthy perspective on weddings.

    I’m not a bride (yet) but I’m a professional bridesmaid and have seen my friends go through their shares of ups and downs through the wedding process. The ones who tried SO HARD to keep their childhood vision usually ended up in constant conflict with their fiancΓ©, mother and mother in law (not a great place to be!)

    The one’s who just rolled with it, who knew that the life they HAVE is so much better than their 5 year old dreaming (even when it meant some depressing asides) had much happier wedding days and have had much more successful relationships.

    Your wedding looks like it was beautiful πŸ™‚ still SO happy for you

    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    1. WAIT WAIT WAIT – hold up! How did I not know you are a professional bridesmaid? Are you joking? or serious? I have always wanted to do that! how did you get started?!?

    2. haha I’m joking, kinda. I’ve been a bridesmaid so many times that I probably could go pro. And I’m the “bridal consultant” for my friends who don’t have me as a bridesmaid because I’ve planned every type of bachelorette, been to every dress shop, have a list of preferred DJs, caterers and venues for Toronto.. seriously it’s like a full time job at this point.

  6. A lovely post that’s for sure πŸ™‚ I can relate to many of these aspects as I got married three weeks ago, and actually organised the entire thing in three months! It was quite hands on with certain aspects however with solid friends and family behind you and a loving partner, things went really well πŸ™‚

    You’re so right about the groom, I was taken away with how handsome my groom looked (and always does anyhow) but seriously, he reminded me of a Prince waiting at the bottom of the isle as soppy as that sounds hehehe!

    I’m so glad your day was wonderful and I do like your pretty photographs above, I think walking down the isle alone goes to show what a strong and wonderful lady you really are, and wishing you all the best for the future with your wonderful husband πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing such a heart felt post.

    Laura xx

  7. I got married in September, and it’s also unlike anything I thought! I am breathing a huge sigh of relief to put it behind me, as it’s stressful! Easy to get lost in the planning, when it’s not what it’s about at all! Your wedding looks absolutely beautiful, and you make a stunning bride! Congrats!

  8. Wow, so many parts of your story sounded familiar to me! I also essentially knew from day 1 that I’d marry the man who is now my husband, and our relationship moved extremely quickly; but we did have a two-year engagement that had a lot of emotional difficulties that had nothing to do with our relationship, but which I was glad I could work through in a healthy way before walking down the aisle. Your photos are gorgeous, and I loved hearing a little bit about your story. My second post that I ever wrote on my blog was all about the emotional and practical parts of my wedding too, and I’m going to start re-promoting that post soon because it’s kind of gotten buried in recent posts and comments but meant so much to me to share! Can’t wait to see more about your wedding and the emotions that came along with it!

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