Planning a wedding can sometimes turn into a swirl of emotions, swinging from the highest point of happiness to the very bottom in just a second. How does one go through this phase and keep a healthy balance between cringing and jumping in joy? Read this inspiring story.

This is not your regular wedding story. Instead of hiring a wedding agency or putting all of the duties on the shoulders of the best man or woman, Madara and Aivars decided to organise everything by themselves. “We wanted to see our loved ones having fun as well. We`ve heard numerous stories that sometimes a wedding for the family seems less of a celebration full of love and joy and more like a stressful marathon, no matter how carefully you prepare in advance,” admits Madara.

THE INNER COMPASS

"The wedding should be like a reflection of the couple. Two people, two different personalities tie their lives together as a family. That reflection should be the main concept of this beautiful event.

I highly value feelings and sensations. By driving around and looking at various guest houses I realised that these places would be suitable for a one-night event but I didn`t want the feeling next morning when half of the guests are gone and the other half are planning to leave... When you have to throw away all the decorations and pack the leftovers that no one is actually going to eat.

To save this special feeling and emotions around us, we decided to build a terrace in our yard. Our house is surrounded by a forest, with pine trees growing in the yard, so it seemed like the perfect place.

It is sad to see cut flowers withering so we asked the guests to give us only potted flowers. We also decided to decorate the place with potted plants from my mother-in-law`s garden; she has the talent to grow everything lush and blooming.”

THE OUTFITS

“Our personalities and lifestyle also dictated our outfits. My husband usually wears jackets and suits so that is how I and everyone else knows him daily. So when we went to the try-ons, even the fanciest suits seemed basic. This is why we chose something more original – a plaid, informal suit, as he didn`t have anything similar in his closet.”

At that moment it was clear that my dress wouldn’t be basic either. When I was trying on various dresses – classic, light, lace and many others, I looked like I was on the cover of a magazine (beautiful for a photo session but not for my wedding) or like a birthday girl (too obvious or seen before). I couldn`t feel myself in any of them. I warned my husband that I might choose brighter colours in my dress – he was sceptical at first but he knew who he was getting married to so he trusted my choice – that I would still look like a bride.”

HAPPINESS AND SORROW

“Before the event our families were building, preparing, decorating together. This support worked just like our event agency. Even though we tried to plan and schedule everything, it didn`t work that well and all of those small details that were left to the last minute turned into a pile of duties we could barely handle. But as it turns out, you can overcome anything when you keep that beautiful goal in mind.

A few days before the wedding, the health condition of my grandmother changed critically. It was stable on the wedding day but shortly after that she became our guardian angel. On the wedding day I discussed all of the tough realities of life with my dad, who walked me down the altar. This experience affected all of us, making us realise that sometimes great happiness can go hand in hand with bitter sorrow.”

PRACTICAL TIPS FROM MADARA

People tend to think that DIY will be cheaper but it is not true. Preparing the yard for the celebration and building the terrace turned out to be at least two times more expensive than if we had booked a guest house or a marquee. You have to realise that when you don`t book an agency, you`re paying with your time and nerves.

We were supported by our families, we planned everything and our concept was strong and clear. It was based on our knowledge, experience and practice – where to print, how to design, where to order chairs and how to build. If any of these elements are missing, I would advise hiring someone who could do it for you, otherwise preparing for the celebration may turn into a nightmare.

It has been a year now since the wedding and when we look back on it I realise that I wouldn’t change anything. I think this means that everything worked in perfect harmony. Every couple has a different vision – just make sure you follow it. To save yourself from a disappointment, keep the limits of what you can do or have in mind.

Photos: Linda Lauva.