From Our Readers
September 15, 2015 10:47 am

Many girls grow up dreaming of their special day as a bride. Themes and flowers are picked out long before the spouse-to-be makes that picture-perfect proposal. After the engagement comes long days of Pinterest boards for center pieces, shoes, table cloths, invitations, picture poses, and of course, The Dress.

I was one of those devoted brides. And then I changed my mind and got married in the local courthouse.

Don’t get me wrong, planned weddings can be absolutely beautiful and be a day to remember for the rest of the couple’s lives. But that isn’t for everyone, and it most certainly wasn’t for me.

After my partner proposed on a ledge at the Grand Canyon, I became completely entranced with the wedding world. I spent hours searching for the perfect card box for the gift table. We spent weekends visiting different wedding venues. We found the perfect garden scene, and even reserved the space for our much anticipated wedding date. Everything was going great. Until I couldn’t decide on a centerpiece.

I continuously searched for the perfect centerpiece, but everything was either too tall or too short, too skinny or too wide. My maid of honor was even helping by creating some of the pieces. But I didn’t like any of them. It was at that moment that I realized I had been doing it all wrong.

I was making every decision of our wedding based on the happiness of others. Our menu was gluten-free and kid-friendly. The bridesmaids’ dresses were picked for their personal pleasure. The cake flavor was lactose-free. Those are all great things to do to accommodate a crowd but, well, accommodating a crowd wasn’t really where my heart was. I was making our wedding for everyone but us.

Getting married has always been the thing I looked forward to most in life. How great is it to be able to spend every waking moment with a person who loves and supports everything I do? I had found that special someone, and I wanted our day to be just as special.

Our relationship means so much to me. It is something that is so important to both of us, and such a private, intense connection that I couldn’t see myself sharing such an intimate moment with 300 plus people, even if they are all family. So I canceled our reservation for the large venue, and made an appointment at the courthouse down the street. Within two weeks, we were happily married, and it was the best decision I could have ever made.

The important thing is to understand is that your marriage is a promise you should share between yourself and your significant other, and they way you wish to share that is up to you and your significant other – not everyone else. It’s your special day, make sure it’s special for you. I did.

Shannon Westemeyer is a iournalism major who loves telling a story through words. She just got married and currently resides in Texas, where she loves spending time Netflix binging and cuddling with her bearded dragon, Spike.

[Image via HBO]

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