100 times. Doing anything 100 times is a pretty big deal. Climb a mountain 100 times and you’re a mountaineer. Win 100 races and you’re a champion. Live 100 years and you’re a centenarian. For YNI, today marks 100 of something pretty amazing: 100 times we’ve helped couples on one of the biggest days of their lives.
I’ll take the liberty of speaking for all of the wonderful peeps on our team and say it has been our pleasure. 100 couples trusting us with their most important days. 100 families letting us be a part of their best memories. 100 days full of beautifully marked moments. 100 feels so big, like so much and so important: nothing short of amazing. Five years ago when I started this odyssey, I had absolutely no idea where it would go. No idea how hard it would be. No idea how much fun it would be. No idea how fabulous all of the folks I would get to share it with would be.
I had a bunch of fancy ideas to celebrate 100 weddings.
- Let’s write a press release! Get some fun publicity. Obvs!
- Let’s have a huge party! (I’m an event planner, duh.)
- Let’s give away a wedding! My friend Benjie reminded me that I’m also supposed to be a businesswoman, which is why that one didn’t happen 😉
- Let’s give the 100th couple a gift, like a door prize that they didn’t even know they were in the running for! It can be a basket full of 100-themed items. (100 Grand candy bars=first thing in that basket).
- Let’s gather 100 cool things from our previous weddings and Instagram them all over 100 days!
Of course, all of these ideas came to me in the midst of doing the actual 100 weddings, so alas, not-a-one of them came to be. For a [brief] moment, I felt bad about that. That I’d somehow failed to mark the moment, somehow let the opportunity pass by without the celebration it deserves: then I realized that the beauty of 100 times of anything is that it can become so natural, it can feel almost like breathing. So cheers to 100 times, here’s what breathing feels like for me at our weddings.
100 times “Good morning, bride!” “Good morning, groom!”
100 times gifts stealthily delivered during getting ready time.
100 times checking the weather.
100 more times checking the weather. That rain should miss us.
*Fingers crossed* that rain misses us. Please rain, miss us!
100 times cleaning stains out of white dresses.
(Who gave the flower girl those Cheetos, anyway?!?)
100 times popped off buttons sewn back on to jackets.
100 times watching the clock nervously so you don’t have to.
100 times calling to find out where that darn shuttle/limo/bus is.
100 times shifting the schedule to make it all work.
100 times trains & veils straightened before heading down the aisle.
100 times tissues shared with tearful mamas.
100 times “Take a deep breath. It’s all going to be beautiful.”
100 times cue music. It’s time.
100 times remember to smile.
100 times “Lower those bouquets, ladies.”
100 times “Go ahead, it’s your turn.”
100 times clapping right alongside family & friends as that kiss seals the deal.
100 times welcoming smiles back down the aisle. You’re married!
100 times herding cats for family photos.
100 times bustle mysteries solved.
100 times wedding party off for photo fun.
100 times confirming seating arrangements.
100 times setting out carefully planned decor.
100 times fixing last minute troubles.
[We’ll tell you the stories later. Maybe. Most of them anyway.]
100 times moving that one last thing so its all Just. So. Perfect.
100 times keeping an eye on the cards & gifts.
100 times wrangling squirrelly wedding parties into the line up.
100 times laughing together during the wait to join the party.
100 times “Now its time to have fun and relax!”
100 times reminding the caterer where those pesky vegetarians are sitting.
(j/k veggies, we still love you. 😉 )
100 times making sure dinner goes as expected.
100 times here’s how to cut a big cake.
100 times tearing up at that beautiful first dance. Great song selection!
100 times tracking down the elusive FOB & MOG.
100 times turning down the lights. Time to dance the night away.
100 times bringing those comfy shoes to the dance floor.
100 times refreshing beverages.
100 times refilling the candy bar jars.
100 times checking to make sure a great time is had by all.
100 times chuckling at bad dancers – some in every bunch, you know.
100 times searching for the best wobbler/cupid shuffler/electric slider.
100 times prepping toss bouquet and garter chair.
100 times enjoy that last song.
100 times cleaning it all up.
…still cleaning it all up.
…still cleaning it all up.
100 times loading up the car(s).
100 times hugs goodnight. Have a great honeymoon!
100 times heading home to crash.
100 times remembering the beautiful moments of the day.
100 times caring.
100 times smiling.
100 times sharing your joy.
100 times thank you.
Without you there’d be no 100 times.*
*Special little end notes:
- It is totally fitting that 6 years ago on this exact day (!), my sister Kristy married her husband Tim. As her Maid of Honor, I *may* have overstepped my duties a bit and become her de facto wedding planner. It was the first wedding I was deeply involved in, and looking back, we probably would have done some things differently. We made some rookie mistakes, but it sparked an interest in me that 6 years later is still going strong, and it taught me to treat all of our weddings as though they are as personal as that one was. Happy anniversary, guys!
- There’s obviously a tiny bit of artistic license here as I did not personally refill candy jars 100 times, and we don’t always have to call the transportation, and not everyone tosses a bouquet/garter… It’s poetry y’all – you get the gist.
- Huge thanks are also due to all of the lovely ladies that help me make all this fun happen – the YNI coordination team! We’re having a big party for them in November – stay tuned for more on that. Here’s a tiny sneak preview: