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Okay, y’all, I’m going to be honest: I have had one heck of a week. Three term papers, two pending finals, and one stressed-out almost-husband later, I am more than ready to kick back with my laptop and a cup of tea to puzzle out something that’s been occupying a corner of my mind recently: how to honor your friends and family, especially while keeping expenses in line and drama in check. I would love to get your opinions or ideas on this matter, because I’ve been thinking that I might not be alone on this one.

When Matt and I first got engaged, I was overwhelmed by a rush of gratitude for the people in our lives that had facilitated our relationship and  supported us along the way. Although we try to do a good job of expressing our love and gratitude day-to-day, we want to formally thank all of these important people as we take this next step forward. Of course, we plan to give gifts to the bridal party and our parents, but there are several other friends and family members whom are integral to our lives and the wedding, and  we really want to do something distinctive to express our appreciation for everyone who is working so hard to make our day-of super special.

Because our wedding ceremony is going to be held in the afternoon, we’re considering hosting a rehearsal brunch/lunch the weekend before, and inviting all of these special people to share a good meal with us before witnessing the rehearsal. I realize that the rehearsal is traditionally reserved for, and hosted by, the parents and/or other parties directly involved with the wedding. But, we are fortunate to have an intimate circle of friends AND family who are contributing their time, talent, and love to help us pull off this shindig, so we feel pretty strongly that they deserve the chance to eat some rockin’ food, get thanked in a (semi) public forum, and not have to pay for any of it. :)

I’m not sure yet if we’ll actually cook at the house, eat at the little breakfast place in the town square, or pack everybody into cars for an on-site picnic. Whatever we decide, these options are all fairly budget-friendly, which is a good thing, because we’re hoping to spend under $300.  I really try to facilitate easy, laid-back gatherings, but the crafty gal in me just wants prettify everything. That urge = time + money + extra stress, which is never a good combination when a wedding is looming. Unfortunately, my mind is now dancing with sparkly picnic ideas (mismatched blankets! Individual lunch kits a la the beautiful elopement chapter of Handmade Weddings!), so you can see just how successful I will be at letting things develop organically.

So, what do you think of our brunch rehearsal idea? Are you struggling to find meaningful ways to thank the people in your lives as your plan your wedding, and do you have ideas about other ways to express your gratitude to the people who mean the most?

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Shannon

 

 

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About Shannon

Shannon is a sales representative, photographer, and student living in tiny Rhode Island. She and her fiancé, Matt, have been inseparable since they met in the fifth grade. In their spare time, they are working to update their tiny bungalow, and of course, plan their wedding, set for May 31, 2014!

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