Second Time Around

Doe-eyed bride gets caught in the headlights
By: Tabitha

Full disclosure: I am a 38-year-old mother of two and getting married in 6 weeks … for the second time.


I have been the event director of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Bridal Shows for the past 8 years and before that I was a writer at the newspaper where I wrote lots of wedding-related stories like “how to find the perfect dress” to “choosing the bouquet that is right for you.”


You get the jest.


I say all this not to brag on my work history but to set the stage. All of these things should make me a bit of an wedding expert right? Well, turns out, it doesn’t and I am not.


“I still get hung up on all the small details; pleasing my parents and worrying about the budget. But this time around I have the added pressure of planning a day special for my children too.”


The four W’s of the Wedding

So where did I begin? Since this is my second time to the alter (for my husband-to-be too) we wanted to do things a bit different than the first go-around. This automatically cut out an outdoor wedding (which was mine) and a beach wedding (his).


I initially thought it would just be us two and my boys (ages 8 and 4) as we exchanged our vows. But the more we talked about it, the more I realized it would be a waste to get all dollied up and do all this planning and primping for just us. So, ya, I wanted to show off a bit. Who doesn’t? And of course we also realized there is a huge significance to sharing your union with the ones you love. Sappy, but true.


So the “who” was decided which put our guest list to immediate family only with 15 adults and 7 children. Now we could narrow down our choices even more on the “what and the “where.”


The “what” was easy for us – we wanted a small, intimate wedding. No big wedding or reception that would follow. More of a simple family affair. Since our church was very large it didn’t seem intimate enough for what we wanted so we had to find the right fit. And honestly, there isn’t a wedding venue I don’t know about being in this area because of what I do, but that didn’t help as much as I thought it would have. It was still a difficult process finding the “right one.”

Scan 5

Our budget eliminated many from the list and the size or capacity took out others since we didn’t want or need a large space. We wanted to find a place that didn’t require us to bring in seating or décor because of how small the wedding was going to be and how I knew I would want to do all that myself, I decided it would be best to just find a ready-made spot.


We both loved the idea of getting married in a church so when we toured a small rock chapel that had an opening in early spring we took it on the spot.







All in all the above was a two-month process. I could have easily done it in a day, but they say when you get married you gotta involved the other person in the plans so that delayed the decision making by 1,000. But I am glad we did go through the process and find the right fit we both loved.


Next week the decision that is all my own (and was decided on in 30 minutes or less I might add) – The Wedding Dress.




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