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AliSix weeks before her wedding, bride-to-be Ali was asked by HuffPost Weddings to write an article for them on the subject of planning her wedding. Ali, the product manager at Exclusively Weddings, wrote in her article that what she really wanted her wedding to be almost got side tracked. She took a step back to re-evaluate and re-group, and in the end, she got the exact wedding she had been dreaming of.

Ali was married to Hill on April 28. In looking at her wedding photos recently, I saw a radiant bride who had a big, natural smile in almost every single picture. This was a bride who was relaxed and who obviously enjoyed every minute of her big day. The statement from her HuffPost story, “I just want to marry the man I love in front of the family and friends that I adore” is exactly what happened!

Her HuffPost article is shared below, along with photos.

Reprinted from HuffPost Weddings  -  May 1, 2012: The Pressure To Have A ‘Unique’ Wedding - By Ali Besaw – Some may say I am your typical bride-to-be. I’m a young professional juggling a multitude of things every day. Now one of those items being juggled is finalizing the details of my wedding because I’m getting married in six weeks. The good news — all the major things are done and checked off of my list. I’ve booked my ceremony and reception location, hired a DJ and finalized the menu. But now is the time when those little details have to be addressed which include the question, how can my wedding be ‘”different” or unique? The details I’m obsessing over include: What am I going to decorate my tables with? What about wedding favors? How do I want the bridal party introduced? These small details are taking over my mind. Crazy? Not yet.

Now, some of my friends say I have a slight advantage because I happen to be a product manager for a great little wedding supplies company — Exclusively Weddings. So, I know stuff. I have contacts. But, that certainly does not alleviate the pressure I feel to be unique.

So I search the internet for ideas. Like every other twenty-something year old female, I check out Pinterest — but I do it relentlessly. And I obviously look to my friends and family for help. We can all find great ideas like those crafty DIY projects that could really make your wedding unique. There’s just one major problem: Who truly has the time to do that? Plus, I live and work in North Carolina while my wedding is taking place in Georgia!

Although my fiancé is quite special, he isn’t much help besides answering, “Whatever you want,” in response to my need for his opinion. And, though I’d like to pretend they don’t, my bridesmaids do have lives of their own. In my wedding-consumed mind they can easily dedicate their evenings to hunting down old vintage books that I can set an antique clock on for my center pieces, but in reality, they can’t.

So I have to ask myself, how important are these “unique” touches? Sure, if I had all the time in the world and a never-ending budget, I could pull off a David Tutera-esque wedding. But I don’t. And do the guests really care if I provide them with handmade favors that took hours to assemble? Aren’t they there to witness the “soul’s recognition of its counterpoint in another,” as John Ryan would say? Aren’t they there for the free food and beverage, not to mention witnessing some interesting events such as the guaranteed long-distance relative that has too much to drink? I think emphatically, yes. I just want to marry the man I love in front of the family and friends that I adore.

With all that said. I love the idea of creating something new and unique. But it’s not the handmade center pieces and wedding favors at the reception that will make it so. I know my wedding and reception will be unique because it will be a reflection of me and my fiancé, as well as our family and friends. So, I’m looking forward to providing my guests with yummy brownie pops and having lovely floral center pieces in crystal vases. I’ll be sure to send pictures of how “unique” everything was!

Ali and Hill

Ali and Hill’s wedding was photographed by Kelly Rae Stewart Photography and all photos shown here are from her portfolio. Used with permission. Additional wedding photos can be seen on the photographer’s blog.