Heart on my sleeve

Heart on my sleeve

Welcome to the 2019 RN&R Bridal Guide. This was a learning experience for me, readers. I’m not married, and I’ve only been to a few weddings in my life. In almost all those cases, the intricacies of the planning, the meaning of the traditions, and the effort it took to put on the event were completely lost on me. So, I decided, in order to write this guide, I needed to take an interest in more than just the open bar.

That’s why I approached this guide with all the questions I might have if I were asked to plan a wedding—something I now realize is a feat even if I had a year to plan. According to my Instagram feed, the first step for any new couple is social media-worthy engagement pictures. I spoke with three local wedding photographers about how those magical images come together, and what you should look for in a photographer. You can read about in “Get the picture.”

Next, I wanted some professional direction on how to get the big ticket items (the dress, the rings and the venue), so I spoke with seasoned vendors about where to start when planning a fully customized wedding. That story is called “In your corner.”

When it comes to the actual day, Andrea Heerdt spoke to a wedding planner and a newly married bride about how to include all of your favorite pop culture themes and references at your wedding. I know I’ve had more fun at weddings where the couple was willing to buck stuffy traditions for something a little more personal, and you can read about that in the story “Dream theme.”

In our 15 Minutes column in the regular issue is my interview with Larry Williams, a long-time wedding DJ and host of wedding-themed podcast “Lifting the Veil,” who has some advice for new brides who might have received a ring for the holidays.

Finally, in the Arts & Culture section of our regular issue, Associate Editor Jeri Chadwell walked us through some of her own experience with marriage. Namely, if things don’t work out between you and your partner, what do you do with the ring? You can read about her decision in the story “Through the ringer.”

To quote The Princess Bride, “Mawage is wot bwings us togedder today,” and even though I’ve had little first-hand experience with walking down the aisle, I can see that’s the real point of a wedding—to bring people together. To me, the planning, expenses and stress that go into a wedding seem like an incredible headache for just one day—and it is, I was told. But everyone I spoke to for this guide also told me that celebrating that day with friends and family is more than worth it. Hopefully this guide will give you some practical, common sense ideas about planning your own wedding, but I also hope you’ll take something away fom my outsider’s experience—It’s only worth it if it’s fun.

Best regards,
Matt Bieker
Special Projects Editor