My husband and I were married nine years ago last month. I feel old just writing this, but it really was a simpler time back then. My dorm room had a land line, we had no conception of smart phones, and Erik and I felt so advanced when we used some of our wedding gift money to buy a digital camera (not a DSLR, mind you...just a little Canon digital handheld).
Things in the world of wedding planning were simpler as well, at least in some ways. Pinterest didn't exist and we weren't confronted with images of real people having perfect weddings at every turn. I mean, sure, there were wedding magazines, and my dorm room was full of them. But there was an understanding that perfection only existed in magazines and the celebrity world. I think it was easier to not feel pressure to measure up, because you didn't see images of amazing weddings every time you refreshed your Instagram feed (the mere suggestion of a world in which anyone around the world could see your pictures in real time would have been laughable to me).
All that to say, this is both a golden age of creativity and freedom in wedding planning, as well as an intimidating atmosphere in which to plan. So the purpose of this blog as a whole is to lighten the load--to enable couples and their families and friends to actually rejoice in planning their weddings. And today I'm hoping to help just a bit by recommending some resources that my co-author mom and I think would be helpful were we planning my wedding now.
I didn't know Southern Weddings Mag existed when I was doing book research. Had I known, I would have just turned the reins of book-writing over to creator and editor Lara Casey (but she has her own book coming out at the end of the year, so she might have been too busy to take me up on the offer). I know not everyone is in the South, nor are the wedding customs of our region for everyone. But the heart and soul of this magazine, and the women behind it, fits perfectly with our mission in writing A Christ-Centered Wedding. These ladies are about the idea that the wedding is about the marriage--it's the first day of a lifetime. It matters, because marriage matters. And you'll notice that from the first moment you read their website and print edition. The wide range of wedding blogs can be overwhelming, and there are some really great ones out there, but I would start here.
One of the questions we are asked most frequently is what songs we recommend for wedding ceremonies. This is a growing list of songs we like, but we're always open to recommendations from others. Know a great song for corporate worship or special music, or even for a first dance? Please leave a comment--if we like it, we'll add it to the list (with a shout out to you, of course!)
One of my favorite things is hearing from couples in the midst of planning weddings. Whether someone emails with a question, or just a kind comment, I try to write back and find out the date of their wedding so I can be praying--for the planning, the preparation, the wedding, and most importantly the marriage. I have this calendar printed for this purpose, and I would just love to see the weekends filled with names of couples. So if you're getting married, please drop me a note (catherinestrodeparks(at)gmail(dot)com or click on "Contact" at the top of the page, or just leave a comment below) and let me know a little about you and when your wedding is! My mom and I want you to know we're here to serve and encourage you, and while we don't have all the answers for every wedding-related question, we can certainly pray, and we will!
What about you? What are your favorite resources for wedding planning?