We are not all so lucky as to be from normal families, where everyone is excited about everyone coming to every personal event we plan, be it our wedding or otherwise. But the spirit behind "Family" is always there at a wedding or any other event whether there are two sets of parents, one set or none at all. Friends are family too, always. The spirit of "Family" to me in my shoes on a wedding day is this - people are regarded as gifts, showing up to bring a certain something to the table that no one else can. Everyone is appreciated. When Family walks into the day it helps the little minutia you'd been worrying about take a back seat to joy. And if letting go doesn't come easy to you, prepare yourself somehow before the big day! Maybe you are a 'winner' a 'work-horse' and being out of complete control is not a comfort zone for you. Well then, as you do with all your assignments, PREPARE. Just think that you will not be the winner you always are if you are unable to soak up all the love coming at you. You deserve to let go on this day and enjoy yourself completely. Maybe there is a slogan that works on you, whatever it may be! Prepare to not be the one preparing as that is our job!
We come to know dad prefers marmalade and made some with you on vacation in Vermont when you were seven. He tells the longest version possible of this story while I wait with him to pick you up from the local train station. He wishes there was more time because he would really love to make that marmalade again with you for wedding day favors and the girls could help wrap them afterwards. Mom loves the picture of you on the far mantel most and needs help from us to incorporate it somehow into her surprise speech. Your college friend has a routine to put on with four others and we have to somehow rearrange the dining room so that you can't tell we did so when you make your entrance. Your best man gives us a copy of a silly song he wrote for us to make 150 copies of and tape under every chair for a singalong. You both are nervous about this that or the other thing and we thought we knew you all before the big day then all the more so by the end.
There really is no point other than to say that all your worries about things that have already been prior planned are not going to matter in the end, but the stuff above will. If you can believe that beforehand than you will have a ton more fun and remember a ton more of those memories.
The point also is just to say, every year we look back and can't believe the amount of families (with and without parents, with and without large families) that have brought us into their inner circle and made us, the hired ones, feel at home. Family and love come in so many different kinds of packages, all perfect in their own way. We are so grateful for your appreciation and support, and for being a part of our wild and crazy journey.
Please excuse poor grammar and typos. We are in a rush to get on a sleigh to the north pole.
Ashley Douglass + the team