Editor's Note: This post was originally written on April 30, 2012 for Amy's professional wedding and event planning website: eventchicdallas.com.
I am having difficulty writing about EB +JC's truly magical wedding. I think I am struggling because in order to pull it off, I had to embrace two separate roles simultaneously: wedding planner and sister-in-law. So, from which perspective do I tell the tale? Both.
Wedding Planner: Never let them see you sweat. I was working a corporate Christmas party the evening EB and JC got engaged. I knew it was going to happen because my husband and I had awkwardly interrupted Jonathan asking Elizabeth's father for his blessing. So, at the Christmas party, I kept surreptitiously checking my phone for the big news. Nothing. Oh my gosh! Did something go wrong? Did he change his mind? OK, time for dessert and awards...Finally, I got the call just as I was getting in my car to head home. They were engaged and blissfully happy. Elizabeth asked me to be her wedding planner. I was surprised because we had agreed (pre-engagement) that it would not be a good idea. Well, she was serious and I was honored. My one stipulation was that I could not be a bridesmaid and plan the wedding. Deal.
The engagement wasn't the only exciting event going on in Elizabeth's life at the time. Two weeks later she was graduating from TCU. At her Senior art show, Elizabeth and Jonathan approached me and whispered, "Does three months freak you out?" I responded, "As a wedding planner, no. As a sister, yes." That pretty much sums up the whole slightly schizophrenic experience.
The date was actually set for April 7, 2012 - four months. Planning was fast, furious and all-consuming. But I don't know if I will ever have a more rewarding experience professionally. Three hundred forty guests gathered for a ceremony in the round in the Texas Ballroom of the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. Stunning.
After the vows were exchanged and sealed with a kiss, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Combs celebrated in style at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth where they invited guests to, "Eat + Drink + Explore." Elizabeth and Jonathan are talented graphic designers and designed their own invitations, programs, aisle runner, table numbers, napkin cards and photo booth logo. I wanted to create a wedding that was worthy and reflective of their talents and tastes.
Sister-in-law: Family comes first. My husband, Elizabeth's older brother, strongly warned that taking on this wedding may not be my...hmm, how did he put it....brightest moment. Yes, I have known EB for ten and some change years, but he knew her best. And he knew how passionately EB and their mother could...differ in opinion. Four months to plan a drop dead gorgeous event - bring it on! Four months to serve as a buffer between my sister-in-law and mother-in-law - deep breath. In the beginning we were cautious. Let me back up. You need to know that I LOVE my in-laws. I am extremely blessed and know it! So, we were cautious in a protective way. We didn't want anything to hurt our wonderful relationships. There were times of trial, but they only brought us to a deeper level of respect, love and understanding. How could you ask for more? No regrets. Absolutely none.
The wedding was a good thing. I trust their marriage will be, too. Cheers to Elizabeth and Jonathan!
UPDATE: EB +JC will be celebrating six years in April with a trip to Italy. La vita è bella (indeed)!