AB and Jonathan celebrated their wedding with friends and family at The Old School Nashville Farm to Table at the end of September. The air was relatively cool with a hint of fall, the perfect complement to AB’s gorgeous, colorful bouquet and elegant, short-sleeved dress. AB and Jonathan chose a black tie color scheme for their day, with groomsmen in tuxes and bridesmaids in long, black dresses. Everything from the unique assortment of dishes from the Wedding Plate to the reception music performed by her father’s band was perfectly personal and beautifully elegant.
When planning a wedding, you’ll hear advice and opinions from a wide variety of perspectives, and while some are immensely helpful, some feed a lot of the lies that your engagement and marriage should look a certain way. I asked AB to share a little bit more about her experience, which can be found at the bottom of this gallery.
Here are a few of my favorite photos from AB and Jonathan’s gorgeous Old School wedding. See their downtown Nashville engagement session here!
Planning a wedding of your own? Come say hey!
I’ve blogged a lot of weddings over the past few years, and this year I wanted to begin by opening up the variety of topics. It’s easy to talk about dresses, flowers, and venues, but you don’t often hear the challenges of planning a wedding or what the first few months of marriage are really like. Each couple is unique, and AB graciously offered to share a little bit of her experience with me! Wherever you are on the spectrum, whether newly engaged, newly married, or far from the beginning, I hope that this conversation is encouraging to you.
Talk about being engaged. What was that season like for you and Jonathan?
“I didn’t feel like I had prepared myself for engagement, but I don’t know if I fully could have, because you don’t know what it’s actually going to be like until you’re there… You want to be super intentional during that period, but there are so many opinions from other people. I wasn’t prepared for the family disputes and hard moments.
“I really did enjoy the process of planning my wedding, and I think we had a good balance. We found a venue and the big things early on, and then took a break so that I could finish grad school. During wedding planning you’re also having to find a house, go to engagement counseling, and things like that, which are more easily pushed to the side. We had to take a step back and remember that you’re preparing for one day, but you’re also preparing for marriage after the day itself is over.”
How did you handle the family tension?
“I would say consider everyone’s opinions, but know what it is that you want. The day is ‘your day’, but it’s also kind of not. Especially if other people are paying for it; My parents were generous and helped us, so I wanted to hear their opinions. I had to choose my main priorities, and let go of what wasn’t important. For example, I knew what I wanted for the ceremony music. My parents wanted traditional songs, but I wanted worship music so that’s what I fought for. I didn’t really care about the catering or the bridal party table arrangement, so I let my mom choose those, because they were important to her. On the day of, you don’t even pay attention to a lot of the little details.”
4 months into being married, how have your friendships changed?
“This is something that we’ve prioritized, because we know how important it is. I can tell if I start getting irritable, that I’ve been around Jonathan too much and no one else. The thought of losing friends brings up insecurities in me, and I was afraid coming home from our honeymoon of how different things would be, so we go out of our way to reach out to the friends that are important to us. We’ve had to recognize that people may unintentionally become distant, trying to give us space to be a married couple. I have to remind myself that just because things look different doesn’t mean that those friendships are gone. We’ve also been used to having our own communities since we dated long distance, and it’s been sweet to find community together.”
People give all sorts of advice about your first year of marriage. What’s been your experience?
“Every couple is different, so you have to take advice knowing that it isn’t necessarily how things are supposed to be. Like hearing “this is the happiest time of your life,” and feeling guilty that I don’t always feel that way. Or people telling us that this is the hardest year of your life and you just have to choose to keep going and get through it. For us, some days are really hard, and some days are really joyful.
Any other thoughts for brides and grooms planning their wedding?
“Being married is such a sweet way to experience the Lord and how he loves us, and his grace, but it’s also not going to be the end all be all of your happiness. Knowing this and experiencing it are two different things.
“For your wedding itself, have enough of a team around you that you don’t have to stress about the details falling into place. Like choosing a photographer who you know will be there on time, or sending your family the schedule the week before so you don’t have to text them and ask where they are for pictures. Having family and friends who can make sure that everything happens so that you don’t have to is so helpful.”