Saturday, April 2, 2011

Jen's World: 15 Years & Counting...

Hey everyone! Yes, I know, MIA. While trying to decide exactly what need this blog fulfills (for me, for you), I've skirted it tremendously. :)

I'm hearing that many people are having difficulty finding my columns on the Post-Bulletin site. I get it. I tried to find them just now and came up with a big, fat ZERO when entering "Jennifer Koski" AND "Jen's World" in the search engine, despite the fact that I've written more than 250 columns for them in the past five-plus years.

So here you go, those who've been asking! This is the 3/23 column. Last Wednesday's column can be found on my FB page.

Best to you all! xoxo

* * *

Nearly 15 years ago, my husband and I were married. And can I just say that, if I could do it over again, I would change almost everything?

For starters, I would knock myself upside the head when I got the brilliant idea to make our own invitations. This was definitely one of those “sounded like a good idea at the time” projects. To save money and personalize our invites, we bought specialty paper, which we both rubber-stamped and embossed by hand. And then we realized that we’d forgotten the date on the first batch. It took us weeks to finish those things. And then we had to address them. And I’m pretty sure we didn’t actually save any money.

Also, if I were to do our wedding again, I wouldn’t waste five seconds worrying about coordinating colors. I’ve never been good at making decisions (to this day I have to give myself a time limit in the candy aisle), but I was particularly inept when it came to choosing colors for our wedding. I still remember agonizing over which shade of green was most appropriate for napkins, for ribbons, for dresses. When, really, does anyone even notice that stuff?

OK, yes, maybe they notice the dresses. But that’s another thing I’d change. I would never again presume to pick out clothing—much less the exact same gown—for five other women. I mean, really. If I were to get married again, I would tell anyone who wanted to stand up front with us that they could wear whatever they wanted.

And this is just for starters. I’d also have our wedding outdoors on a Friday evening instead of indoors on a Saturday afternoon, and wouldn’t worry about whether that meant that a second cousin twice removed wouldn’t be able to attend. Our reception would be twice as long. I’d have brownies instead of wedding cake. And I’d forego all formal pictures. (OK, maybe I’d allow a couple professional candids —but there’d definitely be none of that posing-for-two-hours thing.)

Truth is, there’s a ridiculous list full of things I’d change about my wedding if I could. But, I’m happy to tell you, it doesn’t include the most important stuff.

Like the groom. Of course. And the attendees. Jay and I were just one year out of college when we married (what babies!), so our guest list comprised this fabulous mix of high school friends. college friends, and family—many of whom are no longer with us. Our reception remains the best party I’ve ever attended. (Also, it didn’t hurt that I rode to the reception on the back of a Harley after our best man found a willing escort in a bar.)

Last week, I was digging some blankets out of a trunk in our living room when I came across perhaps the smartest decision we made for our wedding. It’s a simple, hand-bound book filled with cloth-like paper. On the cover, it says, “Thoughts” and I suppose that’s accurate.

During the dinner at our wedding, we circulated this book along the tables and asked our guests to write in it. Paging through this momento in my basement last week, I took to heart sincere messages (and laughed at the funny ones), recognized many a distinctive handwriting, and touched the signatures of people who’ve since passed from this world.

“Never forget we love you both and will always be here for you.”

“May your marriage be long and happy.”

“Never go to bed mad because you’ll wake up madder. Trust me.”

Paging through this book, I wasn’t only transformed back to my wedding day, but also to the people who were key in my life in 1996. What an incredible gift. In fact, it may be the best decision I made for my wedding. Besides the groom, of course.

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