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An Ode to Marriage

When sitting down at my keyboard to tap out blog entries, I typically focus on thoughts to consider during planning, what brides and grooms should expect, and words of wisdom about the actual day one becomes wed.  Usually it’s about the new, the excitement, the blissful blur.  Today, however, I feel compelled to discuss something else: what it’s like once the tuxes are returned, the lashes come off, and you’re, well, married.

It takes a little while for the newlywed shine to start to show some wear, but it does.  And life starts to happen again in ways that somehow take a back seat during the engagement phase.  Job stuff.  Family drama.  Bills.  The reality of gaining a lawfully wedded life partner is that it doesn’t stay in that pinnacle moment, rather roller coastering up and down and constantly evolving.  It’s really about how the two of you get from day to day successfully, working as a team.

It isn’t always easy…and sometimes it’s just plain hard.  But in the end, the love you share and life you are constantly building (and rebuilding) together is worth it.

 

Full disclosure – today is my anniversary.  Two years ago I stood on the vista behind the Wadsworth Mansion and vowed to my husband that I’d be in it with him through good times and sad times, easy moments and difficult ones.  And as much of a fairy tale as it was (seriously, it was – watch the preview HERE), we don’t live in a movie or the slow motion stop-time of our wedding day.  In fact, we’ve experienced the gamut of life in the span of a year: laughing until our sides ache with old friends over dinner, supporting each other through major parental illnesses, singing along to the radio at the top of our lungs during road trips, feeling helpless from the losses of multiple pregnancies.  Through the highs and lows, I wouldn’t trade my chosen person for anything in the world.

 

Wedding vows are a serious thing, not to be taken lightly.  You might think that with all of the weddings I witness and am a part of that by now I’d be jaded or unaffected by them.  But it’s just the opposite.  Maybe it’s because I, too, made such life-changing promises here in this place, and I know first-hand what it feels like to say those words with these stately, grand surroundings…  I’m truly moved, though – often – and hearing others pledge their souls and eternal love to one another is an amazing reminder to me of my own vows, and how I can be a better partner to my best partner.

Today’s wedding has been no exception – perhaps it rang even truer because they will share our anniversary date and the same, special venue.  As dinner proceeds and I hear the sounds of celebration and happiness ringing through the house, I’m feeling nostalgic for my own wedding.  So much life has happened since then…  But that’s what marrying is all about – declaring that you’ll go through everything that life has in store hand-in-hand and doubly strong.

May your anniversaries be happy and centering.  May your marriages be long and hardy.  May your loves be nurturing and giving.

 

Happy Planning!
Natalie

 

P.S.  Happy Anniversary, Tom – I love you beyond measure…

 

Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

 

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NEWLYWED QUICK 10: Alicia & Dan

Spouses   Alicia and Dan

Wedding Date   September 25, 2016

  1.  Number of venues you considered   3
  2.  Number of guests   120
  3.  3 adjectives to describe your dress/attire   Classy, Elegant, Timeless
    Repairs or dry cleaning post-wedding?   Yes – had to have my dress cleaned (one of my girlfriends dropped her vodka cranberry on the bottom of my dress on the dance floor – whoops!)
  4.  First look?   YES!!
  5.  Goldilocks your party – too much, not enough, just right   Just right – the weather (literally the best day of 2016), the company, the food, and the party was perfect in every way.
  6.  Ceremony location   The grass behind the mansion [vista]
  7.  Most surprising thing   Arriving to see a tent covering the patio AND how you all were able to get it down before my guests arrived.
  8.  Standout memory   3 people trying to crash my wedding and venue to pictures for an Indian magazine!
  9.  Honeymoon when/where?   June 2017/Bermuda (no Zika!)
  10.  Would you change anything?   I wish we had more time (although I still don’t think it would’ve been enough).  Other than that, not a thing – I wish I could relive that day over and over.

|| Catering: David Alan Catering || Photography: TAB Photographic || Flowers:  Green Dahlia Florist || Music: Audio Media Solutions || Hotel: Courtyard Hartford Cromwell ||

 

Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

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NEWLYWED QUICK 10: Victoria & Adolph

Spouses   Victoria and Adolph

Wedding Date   August 19, 2016

  1.  Day of the week you married   Friday
  2.  Time you woke up   8am
  3.  Wouldn’t have made it to the wedding day without   The help of everyone! My bridal party, the staff at the mansion, and our vendors.
  4.  Ceremony location   The Wadsworth Mansion [vista]
  5.  Processional music   Going to California by Led Zeppelin (instrumental)
  6.  Most surprising thing   How quickly the day/night went by
  7.  Standout memory  The music and dancing! It was so much fun!
  8.  Would you change anything?   Probably would not have done the photo booth, as it didn’t get used as much, and was an extra cost.
  9.  Wedding favors?   Starbucks Via coffee packets and Lake Champlain chocolates from Burlington, VT (where we got engaged).
  10.  3 adjectives to describe the night’s end   Euphoric, loved, joyous.

|| Catering: Aqua Turf Club Catering || Photography: Tony Spinelli || Music: Lights Camera DJs || Cake: NoRa Cupcake || Videography: First Light Studios || Hotel: Inn at Middletown || Officiate: Christie Christensen ||

 

Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

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Raindrops on Roses

Once upon a time, a certain effervescent nun went spinning through the Alps teaching a gaggle of children to sing about their “Favorite Things.”  Although I can completely understand the positive-in-the-face-of-anything attitude of The Sound of Music‘s Maria Von Trapp, most of the people I encounter here at the Wadsworth Mansion are more on board with finding the happiness in “girls in white dresses” than with finding positivity in the first phrase of the song [see blog title].

In all the wedding tours my colleagues or I have given to potential brides and grooms, I can absolutely, 100% guarantee the following phrase of five words has never and will never be uttered:

“I really hope it rains.”

Sure.  Of course.  Naturally.

However, weather-related reasoning is, nonetheless, at the apex of wedding date selection.  Practically all brides and grooms are somewhere along the spectrum between “concerned” and “apoplectic” when considering what kind of day mother nature might have in store for their grand event.  Even the most easy-going couples understand that weather contingencies are an important part of envisioning the big day.

And I totally get it.  As our wedding day neared, my husband and I weren’t exactly jazzed about potentially having to enact our rain plan.  We loved the look of the Wadsworth Mansion’s open air terrace which leads to the expansive vista, and a tent would’ve altered that vision; still, we reviewed all the options and were prepared to pull the trigger had the extended forecast looked iffy enough.  In the end we lucked out with an absolutely gorgeous day… but we also understood it was just that: luck.  Although its easy to say in hindsight, I truly believe that I wouldn’t have let a little inclement weather ruin my day.  I mean, it was the day I married my best friend in the presence of our loved ones.  The rest was just icing on the cake (or the cherry on top, or gravy, or whatever idiom you fancy).

Not all brides and grooms are so accepting of the idea of a potential “weather event,” however.  In fact, I’d say most can be borderline irrational when considering that their date might not be clear and cloudless.  At least half the inquiries of last week alone involved poring over our availability calendar trying to deduce which of the remaining dates will be the perfect combination of not-too-hot, not-too-cold, and rain-free.

Comb through the almanac, find a weather statistician, consult your local psychic; not a soul in the world will be able to predict the forecast with any kind of accuracy so far in advance.  Believe me, I wish I could.  My pay grade would be much, much higher…

So what’s a weather-worrier to do?  Select a date, make a plan…then let it go.  Stressing about the weather is wasted energy.  There are plenty of other things that could benefit from repeated consideration (like if you selected a seamstress who has ample experience altering beaded-fabric, or which guests you can task with babysitting Great Uncle Morty during dinner).  Focus on the things you can control and roll with the things you can’t.

And if that’s easier said than done, then there’s only one thing left to try: singing until you feel better.  Julie Andrews would be so proud.

 

Happy Planning!
Natalie

[A noted field expert (me) prescribes the old standard “Come Rain or Come Shine,” performed here by Ray Charles, although many great versions are out there.  Bring on the car and shower singing.]

 

Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

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