It’s spring, and it’s wedding season!

I know not all weddings wait for spring and summer months. There are destination weddings usually always to warmer climates and there are winter weddings as well. In fact, my sister was married in March in our hockey crazy hometown, only 6 miles from the Canadian border and of course our location means the weather is about as unpredictable as it can get. Her wedding was blessed with a beautiful winter day with mild temps, a horse drawn carriage ride to the reception while huge snowflakes drifted down. It was all you could ask for in a March wedding.

However, all of that being said, there is something about the spring and summer season that will forever make sure this time of the year reigns as king (or queen) of the wedding season.

Being a dad of three daughters gave me a close up and personal experience regarding weddings and all they entail. For starters, the tradition of the bride’s family paying for the reception dinner while the grooms family pays for the rehearsal dinner was something I knew about but never gave much thought to. As our first wedding (three weddings in three consecutive years) started to take shape, that very “tradition” started to come into focus much clearer. Kind of like when your eye doctor dials in the eyepiece resting on your nose and those letters go from blurry to slightly focused to crystal clear? In due time, I began to wonder who in the world started that tradition and then the question “Did we send a Christmas card to our banker this year?”

By our third wedding we pretty much had a system in place and were dialed in. While weddings can be budget busters, ours weren’t. They were classy, sensible, practical, reasonable and beautifully awesome. Each wedding was different and just like in life, when you make what you want of the situation… we did just that as we made it fun, enjoyable and memorable.

Of all the components of a wedding, there are favorites but each in their own unique way. As a father, being present during wedding dress shopping wasn’t really on my list but fortunately I had enough smarts to say ‘yes’ and attend.

Never in my life would I have dreamed this part of the wedding was so important but clearly, when my little girl came from the changing room in a ‘trial’ dress, the importance meter registered…big time. So did the reality check. The Kleenex came out, the words a bit slower and the hugs a bit stronger.

Rehearsing for the wedding was extra cool as well. It sort of gave one a tingling preview of emotions that would be forthcoming. The music, the vocalist, walking down the aisle all while staying within the boundaries of emotional control.

Ahhh, the wedding day. Pictures and then more pictures, snacks and last minute details with the excitement of the day building as the minutes tick by. As guests started to arrive and pews filled, the awesomeness of the event started its crescendo. Background music serving as a prelude of all things to come, the murmuring of voices as guests chatted all the while back in the changing room ties were straightened and hair spray filled the air. The magic moment was arriving fast. And then, it’s time and its dad and his daughter, arm in arm. The church is full, the bridesmaids and groomsmen all at attention and yet in my world and at that time, most everything shut down as it is just myself and my little girl… walking down the aisle. It is 50 steps to a different world. Literally started at step one and remembering this little girl who changed our life at her birth, and then somewhere in step 10 she was that same girl but creating new dreams for mom and dad. Around step 20 she was a young lady, an athlete, a student and with boy friends. Following those steps were college and careers and a new door to a life of her own. As the 50 steps went from 1 to 20 and closer to 50, so did the realization that this is where a dad literally, reluctantly, removes his guiding arm from his cherished daughter and places it onto the arm of the new man of her life. It is a life changing moment where my little girl is no longer just my girl. Fortunately for us, each of our daughters picked the very best in men somehow making things a bit easier for this dad.

And then, it’s the reception. The reception is what Gatorade is to the guy who just was rescued from the desert. It’s the morning after winning the lottery. The handcuffs are removed from all emotions; the energy that used up so many Kleenex is now floating through the air as the celebration begins. Speeches, toasts, visiting, critiquing the event, impromptu photos and of course, the dance. By the end of the evening, it’s a new satisfying kind of tired.

The next day, the sun still comes up and it starts a new chapter called gift opening. The gift opening is a kind and gentle way of bringing closure to the whole process. Gifts are opened, stories told and retold, and slowly people part company as we go our separate ways… and… then…it’s over. For mom and dad, it’s a bit like when we drop our kids off at college. We leave them as they were… happy, spirited, excited while we drove home trying to figure out what just took place. No visiting, no recollection of what mile marker we are at…just mom sorting through her thoughts and dad doing the same.

Ah weddings… a cascade of emotions and an album full of memories. In the end, when the bills are paid, the floor swept free of confetti and the thank you cards in the mail, what’s left are the memories. It is a special time, a pivotal moment in new lives and experiences that will never be matched again.

The catalyst for this wedding story is brought about because this is the time of year where our lives for three years in a row were filled with notebooks, phone numbers, priority lists and more as we were heading towards that special wedding day. At our family business, Familylaser, this is also the time of year that we see a generous uptick in wedding gifts. Each time we customize that special wood lasered cutting board, we have a connection because of our experiences. When we engrave a Mr. & Mrs. on that Olivewood cutting board, we flashback to our girls and their wedding. Remembering the times where gift openings meant the new family were filling their new home with wedding gifts, we reflect on that memory as we create customized wood home décor items personalized with wedding names. Our excitement level for the event is near to us as we create custom bridesmaids and groomsmen wedding gifts.

We invite you to shop our website or check us out on instagram as you consider wedding shopping options for that special bride and groom. Our promise to you is that when we personalize your wedding gift of choice, we arrive at the end product all the while remembering our own special wedding memories. After all, we ‘have been there, done that’!

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