winter wedding worries

I'm not really worried about the wedding.
Every time I start to venture into worry-land I just remember that on the actual day I'm probably not going to care one iota about anything except that guy I'm marrying.

Even still...It's Monday, and there are still lots of lists with a few things on them that cause me to sweat just a bit.

Chasing sunlight.  Really it shouldn't have come as a big surprise that the sun sets earlier in the winter. But when I was drooling over my photographers dreamy, natural light-soaked portfolio it didn't really cross my mind. And then I started to get a little nervous when I first spoke with our photographer and he mentioned this may be an issue. He suggested a first look, which was something I did not want to do (and something T.J. had never even heard of before, and we both think it's weird, to each their own though), or he recommended starting the ceremony earlier to allow for more daylight afterwards.

We had originally planned to start our ceremony at 4 but since sunset is at 5:30 on January 3rd (meaning it's on the horizon at that time, so really it would already be quite low at 5 pm) we decided to change our ceremony start time to 3:30 pm instead. Now we will plan to take as many photos beforehand: all the ones with me and my bridesmaids, and T.J. with his groomsmen, and us individually with our families. Then once the ceremony ends we will take a few larger group shots this time with both T.J. and I, and then send the wedding party and family on without us to the cocktail hour while T.J. and I have some time to ourselves to take our just the two of us photographs.  I feel really good about this plan and our photographer did such a great job calming my fears and reassuring me that T.J. and I would not have to take our portraits in the winter darkness. (And at the very least we won't be squinting.)

I'm going to freeze. January, you tricky month you. I've accepted that it's going to be cold on our wedding day (although with South Carolina you never know...) and so I'm on the hunt for some perfect winter wedding wrap (try saying that three times fast).  I'm not too sure if I'm the glamorous fur-wearing bride type, but regardless I need to be sure my bridesmaids and I have something to snuggle up in when we're outside snapping pics. But I also don't want all my photos outside to have the top part of my dress covered up-it's too pretty for that, I can't wait for you to see it. So I'm also counting on being so keyed up on adrenaline and love that I won't even feel the cold.
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No one is going to be able to get there. A part of me thinks it would be fantastically beautiful if it snowed on our wedding day. But it absolutely better not snow any day leading up to the big day specifically the day that the groom is supposed to fly in from the other side of the country! Chances of snow in South Carolina are always slim, and I hear Washington is more of a "rain all the time" type of place so I'm not too concerned about his end, but we do have quite a few guests coming down from the north and I would hate for people to miss out on account of rotten weather.

We won't be able to get our license and thus won't be able to get married at all.
So this one is a doozy and causes me the most stress. T.J. will not be flying into South Carolina until the Thursday before our wedding. This happens to be January 1st, New Year's Day, which means the court system is closed. South Carolina requires both parties to appear together in order to apply for a marriage license (makes sense). Then there is a 24 hour waiting period before you can actually pick it up. I called to see what they typically do in tricky situations like mine because I couldn't find any information online. The first person I talked to told me no exceptions, I can change my wedding date or get married in a different state, the law's the law.  I proceeded to hyperventilate and then burst into tears.

I collected myself, prepared some fighting words and called back. I spoke quite sternly (read: my voice was no doubt shaking and I'm sure she could tell I was on the verge of another breakdown) to a different person and was hesitantly told that T.J. needs to get a notarized letter from his commanding officer, which I will bring, by myself, along with a copy of his military id, his driver's license and proof of his social. Plus the actual application and all my own id's to the court house in advance (I'll probably try to go in November). This will then start the 24 hour waiting period and then T.J. and I can appear together on Friday before the judge to approve and collect our licenses. Okay so reading that back to myself makes me uneasy. What if something goes wrong. I am going to call them back and take names and get something in writing if I can because... yeah still hyperventilating. Might have to get my dad to call and take care of this...

So. I'm putting these worries out there. I'm praying over them and letting them go and it's all going to work out, I just know it. But are there any "winter/military/fiance is a resident/close to a major holiday" brides out there with some advice, or anything else that needs to be added to this list?


  1. I like what the second person told you. It will work beautifully. Perhaps you dad can call to confirm the information, though. No experience to share, but this sounds like it will work.

  2. 1. Problem solved. Take that one off the list of things not to worry about.
    2. I know you're on the fence about wraps but I'm not I plan to rock a fur something or other. Plus you are always about to combust so will likely be warm regardless : ). A fun problem to have.
    3. We can't control the weather.
    4. I'm with you on this one a smidge. We will put Daddy on it. He needs to go up the chain of licensing command and you know he loves that sort of thing. Plus we need it in writing in case anyone gives you sass on the day.
    5. Every little thing is gonna be okay xo

  3. Like your Mom said everything little thing will be ok.

  4. Even if you can't get the license until after the fact, you will still be married in the eyes of God (just not SC) . Maybe that will give you some peace. Weather is ALWAYS a factor. My daughter is marrying here in SC in April (outdoors hopefully) and I worry that we will have wind and rain. Again, it's up to God! Putting it in His hands can reduce some stress.

  5. Our son was married in early March in NJ and it was quite cold in the morning when they did their "first look" pictures and large family/bridal party shots. I actually thought that having the girls wearing the guy's tux jackets for some of the shots (candid and posed) was really cute. In hindsight I was glad to see the authenticity of the day: I had to wear a knee-length winter white coat. The bride provided matching scarves for the moms which was a brilliant touch. We took off the winter gear for most of the shoot, of course, but an hour and a half of standing around ? No way. For my own wedding (3 days after Christmas) it did not snow until we were in the parking lot, just the two of us, getting ready to leave. So romantic and made for uber wonderful shots, yet didn't pose any hazards to guests getting there or leaving. I pray the same for your wedding--enough light snow to be romantic but not dangerous or plan-changing. The "First Look" pictures I was against until my SIL (a wedding photographer's husband) explained that the groom gets a close-up look at his bride and can "drink in all her beauty" and get his tears and smiles captured in the intimate group of parents and close friends before the "whole world" crowds in. It was a BEAUTIFUL THING! Twice! (Two sons now married.)


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