I Had A Perfect Wedding and How That Matters To You

I tucked myself into my sister’s bed by 11 pm. My best friend, Carolyn, was on an air mattress on the floor. Every few minutes she would check in with me, asking if the excitement had died down enough to allow me some beauty rest. It hadn’t. 

At some point, I drifted off into a shallow sleep. I was woken up by the sound of my sister Erin walking through her room. I shot up.

“Is it morning yet?”

Carolyn and Erin giggled. I slept for an hour. Unfortunately, that was the only time that I had managed to fall sleep that night.

Claudia V Ayala getting ready wedding photos. Kristen and her sister Erin with their dog the morning of her wedding.

My wedding was more beautiful than I could have dreamed it would be. Perfect and magical were the two words I used to describe the day as I recounted it with coworkers and neighbors.

When you plan a wedding, women with more years and experience than yourself warn you of all of the wedding blunders that they have seen. They tell you to try to slow down or the day will fly by and, you will miss it. They share stories of brides who didn’t see their groom all day as they ran around sharing pleasantries or the bride who forgot to drink water and fainted in the bridal suite. They will warn you not to get stuck taking photos too long, but also that you will regret not having photos to remember each moment and guest. After your wedding, they will remark on how exhausting the whole process was. They might even say “Aren’t you glad it’s over?”.

Claudia V Ayala wedding dress photo of Kristen Carolan’s wedding dress

Over the past few months, I have been thinking a lot about how strong the mind is. Specifically, I have been thinking about how crazy it is that our mindset will completely shift the way that we experience life.

I tell everyone who cares to listen about my perfect wedding. I mention that my cousin slipped and got blood on her bridesmaid’s dress as we were rushing to the church (she was okay!). I laugh as I mention the rain that came down as we stood under a gorgeous weeping willow taking photos. I show them photos of my dress after the straps had broken off. The first one popped off while I was hugging my uncle during cocktail hour. The second broke ten minutes after sewing up the first. 

All of these beautiful blunders are what made up my flawless day.

I feel incredibly grateful to view life the way that I do. It is such a gift to be able to see the world for the goodness that it has to offer. It has never taken much for me to recognize the good in people and experiences. When it does feel hard (because sometimes it does), I prioritize changing my outlook from one fogged by negativity to an outlook of gratitude and joy.

I wasn’t lying when I said my day was perfect. Focusing on the beauty in life doesn’t mean lying to yourself about the darkness. The more you look at the light, the easier it is to see.

With joy and love,

Kristen Mary Carolan

Flowerfield bridge wedding photos, Kristen and her brother
Flowerfield celebrations reception hall, Kristen and Michael Carolan playing the drums at their wedding.

can you spot the missing wedding dress strap?

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