I just got back from Key West celebrating my second anniversary. I still feel like a newlywed; albeit an inappropriately old newlywed, as I like to say. So to celebrate my anniversary, I thought I’d look back a little bit and write about how helpful Pinterest can be for wedding planning, even for midlife brides.
I’ve written before about how much I love Pinterest. In fact, I wrote that first sentence and didn’t come back to this post for 30 minutes because I opened Pinterest “for research” and got distracted. That’s a pretty common occurrence for me. But, it’s all too easy to caught up in “Pinterest Perfection”: the belief that anything you try from Pinterest isn’t any good at all unless it’s as perfect as your inspiration pin. And it can seem like a young woman’s game, particularly if you’re a midlife bride planning a wedding. I just did a search on Pinterest for “midlife bride” and the pickings are still pretty slim. They were even slimmer when I was planning my own wedding two years ago.
We weren’t planning a big wedding, but I did want it to be special. As both the bride and wedding planner, I had a few goals for our big day:
- Stress Free! There would be no staying up all night the night before my wedding making centerpieces for the tables.
- Cost Effective. There would also be no four-figure flower bill. Flowers were strictly DIY. But easy DIY. See point 1.
- Reflecting Our Personality. Casey and I both share a strong love of music. I wanted our wedding to reflect that wherever I could weave it in without being too “theme wedding”.
- Love (I know, but still). I wanted the day to be a reflection of our love for each other and our love for the friends and family we asked to share the day with us.
And I had a final goal that I was a little embarrassed about. But it was important to me.
- I wanted to wear a long white dress. I wore a tea-length plain white cotton Laura Ashley dress to my first wedding. There are a lot of reasons why that happened, but the bottom line is I always felt cheated out of my princess day. I didn’t need a full-fledged princess day, but I wanted a long white dress that was appropriate for a 52-year old woman. I also didn’t want to show my arms. Nobody wants to see the bare arms of a 52-year old woman.
My Pinterest board is called My Secret Dream Wedding Board. That might be because it started its life as a secret Pinterest board that I started before I even met my husband. I just think you always need to be ready for success, you know? Once I finally got the guy lined up, though, I started using it in earnest as an actual planning tool.
I took that one step further. My florist was the local farmer’s market and I made my beautiful niece make the bouquet. I think you’ll agree she did a fabulous job. We also eliminated the stress of making elaborate centerpieces by not having centerpieces. I used a variety of Pinterest pins as inspiration for adding music-related elements to reflect our personality to our event. I took this pin:
and used as a very literal inspiration for the invitations I created.
And these pins are so prevalent on Pinterest that the baker I used had actually made a cake like this before ours:
She was also, sweetly, unfazed by our advanced age. Here’s our interpretation. The lyrics on the cake come from the song we walked out to as man and wife, This Will Be Our Year by The Zombies. Casey and I dated for a little bit in college and then remet 30 years later so the chorus, “This Will Be Our Year, Took a Long Time to Come” has a lot of meaning for us. As for the white dress appropriate for a middle-aged woman? It took a few pins to cobble together just the right look. First, the actual dress.
But I hated that thing on top of it. So I replaced it with a vintage cashmere cardigan because pins like this convinced me that was a viable thing:
And I can’t find a specific pin, but somewhere along the line I became convinced I needed a pop of color so I added a sash.
Here’s the final result.
My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life. The venue where we had the wedding is a lovely French restaurant in Atlanta, Atmosphere, and the food was so delicious. It tasted like love, I swear. As a wonderful added bonus, the building had, in a previous life, been my father’s office so I could feel his presence blessing us even though he’s no longer with us. You can’t find that stuff on Pinterest. But a pretty cake and a princess dress can help make a special day even more special.