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What's Up Weddings

Saving the Surprise

Mar 16, 2012 05:20PM ● By Anonymous

The closest I've come to surprising my fiancé with a gift for a special occasion was this Valentine's Day when I was able to wait until February 11th before spilling the beans. I'm getting better. A few years ago I told him about his Christmas present (our first Christmas together) in September and I actually gave it to him in November. I can't help it. Sometimes I spend months planning the perfect present— be it a specific thing or a trip of some kind. And I'm great at keeping it to myself during the planning process. But as soon as the last detail is in place the secret becomes this all-encompassing idea, my every thought. I can't look at my fiancé or pick up my phone to text or call him without having to remind myself that if I can pull off a secret, even just this once, the surprise would be so worth it. I've yet to confirm that.


So keeping my dress, my hair plans, my wedding day makeup from him (as if he would even care about that last one, or two...) is the bane of my existence. I have little episodes that remind me of my impossible secret roughly five times a week, like, for example, when I'm watching Say Yes to the Dress, flipping through magazines, or surfing Pinterest. In the beginning of each of my little episodes I get all excited, giggly, and I start quizzing my fiancé: "Which of these skirts do you like better? Hehe." I squeal with every one of his answers, until I realize that they don't match up. If I show him a mermaid dress next to a ball gown on one page, he'll pick the mermaid. Two different dresses, same skirts, next page, he switches his answers. "What? I didn't ask you about the dress, I asked you about the skirt. Are you even paying attention!?"

This happens every time. I don't know what I want from him, bless his sweet heart. I know that his inconsistency is a combination of three things: one, an acceptable, if not expected, lack of bridal fashion knowledge/interest, two, a genuine belief that he’ll be happy to see me at the end of the aisle no matter what I’m wearing, and three, the knowledge that I already have my dress and the fear of being tricked into telling me he prefers a different one—“the wrong one.” I love him ten thousand times more for all of his reasons and he has been repeatedly assured that I am aware that these conversations are dangerous and most of all, annoying. But I can’t help it. It’s the only dress-related communication I can imagine before the big day. And I am dying to see his face when I walk down the aisle.

This brings me to another issue that I will expand on in a later blog: the “first sight.” An incredibly popular photography maneuver, a first sight requires that the bride and groom choose a location and time (a few hours before the wedding) to meet in full wedding day garb and see each other for the first time, alone. The first sight is photographed and the trend is so popular because it gives the photographer plenty of time to capture beautiful, creative images of the bride and groom together and with their bridal party before the ceremony, so the group doesn’t miss the beginning of the reception taking photos.

We have a phenomenal photographer (thanks, Korie Lynn!) and if our engagement photos are any indication of what our wedding photos will be like I know I will spend years fawning over every sweet little nugget of four-by-six goodness she sends our way. And as an experienced photographer she highly recommends a first look.

But as a lifetime day dreamer, I cannot give up the idea of seeing my hubby for the first time, my arm in arm with my dad, walking down the aisle. I have imagined the church doors swinging open to see the look on my future hubby’s face for far too long, and I’m afraid that it’s not something I’m willing to trade to be at our cocktail hour.

To my bride-to-be and Mrs. friends, how did you decide? Any regrets either way? I would love to hear your thoughts; currently the final call on this decision is weighing heavily and I could use the advice of the experienced or prepared.