I’m pretty excited about this post for two reasons: 1) it marks my first “real” wedding profile, and 2) I had the privilege of being a part of this couple’s big day. When Ruth agreed to be my first profiled bride, I knew working on it was going to be a lot of fun. I met Ruth through our man-friends; for a few months, Brian lived with Robert and Joanne, Robert’s mother, along with Donovan (who actually introduced me to my future fiancé). She recently started blogging with one of her co-workers on The Midnight Mamas. This year, Ruth and Robert welcomed one of the happiest baby girls I’ve ever met into the world, but before she arrived, they had a beautiful, fun, crowd-sourced wedding…
The Bride: Ruth
The Groom: Robert
Date & location of your wedding: August 13, 2011, Sharon, PA
Tell us about your wedding: I planned our wedding here in Ohio while Robert was finishing film school in Los Angeles. Because I was a recent college graduate paying student loans and working a not-so-glamorous job, the wedding budget was minimal. Very minimal. The whole thing cost less then $7000. When you factor in the fact that we had over 300 guests that number is pretty impressive, I think.
My main focus was having the wedding of my dreams without incurring any debt. Thankfully, I was able to pull this off by taking a lot of time shopping around, doing a TON of DIY, and by receiving a lot of help from my mother and many generous friends.
My mother paid for our food, which was catered by our local grocery store. My dad paid for the booze. My former co-workers grew the flowers I used for my center pieces and bouquets (which we put together the day before the wedding). They also collected their loose change for a year and paid for a large part of my cupcake display. I won a coupon for our photo booth at a bridal show. The decorations were all made by hand. One of Robert’s family friends, Jim Benson, did our photography as a gift. (We printed our own photos later.) Another family friend did the DJing on the extreme side of cheap. We had over 30 friends and family members show up at 6 in the morning the day of the wedding and put together the reception site, which was the local Shriner Club.
In a time before Pinterest, planning the concept was hard. I had a general idea of what I wanted, but most of the aesthetic choices were made off the cuff. We did a lot of planning, replanning, and rearranging. It took a lot of time and was actually a stressful experience towards the end. It was all very well worth it though! I might be looking at it through biased eyes, but I think it turned out beautifully! It was exactly how I wanted it.
What about the ceremony? Robert and I are both practicing Catholics. We got married at the church I’ve gone to my whole life, St. Joseph’s Church in Sharon, PA. I was running so behind from my makeup appoint (that’s a whole other story!) that I was almost late. I literally got to the church 10 minutes before had I walked down the aisle. I got dressed, took 3 or 4 photos, and practically ran to the alter.
It really is a blur. I barely heard the readings or songs I had spent months obsessing over. I was so excited to be marrying my best friend (I don’t care if it is a cliche! Its the absolute truth). Even though I don’t really remember hearing it that day, here is my favorite reading from our marriage ceremony:
Songs of Songs, 2:10-11,14,16; 8:6-7
“My Beloved spake, and said unto to me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.My Beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth among the lillies. Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.”
We exchanged our vows and he liked it so much he put a ring on it (there’s another one)!
What was your favorite/funniest moment? The funniest part of our wedding was poor Father Glenn. He constantly is calling Robert “Bob.” I was so nervous he was going marry me to some person named Bob that I nagged him for weeks to please remember to call Robert by his actual name. We got up on the alter and he married Robert Thomas S. to Ruth ANN(!?!?!) S. Haha.
He also yelled at us twice during the ceremony. The first time because we kissed for too long and the second because Robert took a picture of our wedding rings on our fingers with his cell phone during the Apostle’s Creed.
Challenge Accepted: The whole process was a challenge. I did not enjoy the planning like I probably should have. I was ridiculously stressed out for the year and a half it took to throw the thing together. I really wanted everything to turn out just right. I was surprised how helpful my mom was during that time. I told her an approximation of what I wanted, and she found a way for us to make it happen. We have never collaborated so well together. She was a strong support while Robert was away.
What would you definitely do again? What would you change? If the money situation had been different, I would have done almost everything differently. I would have hired a lot of people to do everything for me. If in the same situation, though, there is very little I would have changed. It was almost the perfect day. I wish I hadn’t gone to get my hair and make up done by myself. I would have had someone come to me to get ready. I felt isolated from my wedding party the whole day. I feel like I missed out on the typical wedding day bonding with friends and family.
Your advice: Try not to get so caught up in the little details – you really won’t have the time or energy to even notice them the day of. You will be way too excited about gaining a marriage than soaking in your wedding. So don’t freak out before hand. I barely noticed the glitches on my wedding day.
What was the most important thing you learned from your wedding?
I definitely learned time and money management! I also learned that my family and friends are very generous and good in a pinch.
Thank you, Ruth, for letting me share your wedding! It was absolutely beautiful. I plan on featuring one wedding each month, so look for other posts in the future!