A Detail That Actually Matters (At Least To Me)


It is difficult to explain to people outside the wedding-planning bubble how loaded the word “detail” is in this sphere.  Like so many things  in wedding planning, the amount of “details” you have at your wedding and the originality of said details is one of those things no one ever feels totally comfortable with.  If you don’t have any details, your wedding is cookie-cutter and bare.  If you have too many details, you’re misapplying your energy to the things that don’t matter.

This angst percolates for the middle months of wedding planning, after the broad strokes like the date and venue are done.  But by the last month of wedding planning, it vanishes right quick.  You’re pretty sure you’re doing your details wrong one way or another, but you’re too panicked to care.  Sometimes focusing on a particular detail is a way to burn off excessive, “Oh my god it is finally here” energy.  Sometimes you’re too busy with things that are too important to be details (like, um, your vows) to care about any neglected details.

This is where having an awesome partner comes in handy.  A few days before our wedding, Collin pulled two Amazon boxes from our gigantic pile of gifts and said, “I got you a wedding present.”

“I thought we weren’t going to get each other presents!”

“We’re not, but I am getting you a present, and it is this. Open it.”

I did.  Inside the first box, I found a piece of dollhouse furniture.  A painter’s ladder, complete with a little ring of paint on the top where the can would have rested (How’s that for your attention-to-detail.)  Inside the second box, there were two small ceramic animals: a hippopotamus and a rhinoceros.  “I couldn’t remember which one it was and I didn’t want to get it wrong.” He explained.

Allow me to explain.  Months ago, when I was in detail-mode, I mentioned that I wanted to somehow incorporate two things into our wedding:  a ladder to represent my mother, and a rhinoceros to represent my father.

The ladder because, growing up, when I’d talk about having a wedding someday, my mom would always (ALWAYS) say, “I’ll buy you a ladder.”  Meaning, “you have my permission to slip out your bedroom window in the middle of the night and elope, so long as it saves me the trouble of having to throw you a wedding.”

The rhino because my dad’s nickname was Rhino, which comes from the way he bid at bridge: “like a dope sniffing rhino,” as per a Harvard Lampoon article.  (I don’t know what that means. I don’t play bridge and I didn’t go to college in the 1970s.)

We put these figurines on the table that held our kiddush cup.  It was a way to put my parents in a position of honor in our wedding ceremony, just as they should be.

Photo by Mike Rubino.

Having two small inanimate objects present at our ceremony meant so much to me.  And knowing that, I’m going to try to avoid knocking wedding details too much.


  1. That is so sweet. I must be in a fragile state of mind this week because that photo brings tears to my eyes!

    Collin is lovely.

  2. Maybe it’s because my wedding is this weekend & I’m sorting through these endless little things that pop up… but this made me tear up & cry a little, in the best possible way. Thank you for shining a bit of focus and clarity to the tasks I have at hand right now. This is such a sweet story, and that picture is priceless. I love unassuming little things that carry unmeasurable meaning.

  3. hugs lady! i really love the way you had your parents there with you. my greatest memory of my mom and weddings is cake smashing. she was so so so vehemently opposed to it, it filled her with scary rage—which of course, made me laugh. so in homage, we will not be cake smashing—we won’t even be serving cake! and for my poppy, who would’ve walked me down the aisle, i will be walking by myself to nat king cole’s unforgettable, which was our song. :)

  4. what Another Emma said. i daresay that Collin guy might be worth keeping around.

  5. Sniff. What a lovely way to include your parents.

  6. This is amazing. I didn’t know Collin gave those to you.

    (Also, I managed to stay dry-eyed through your entire wedding until Regina told me why there was a ladder and a rhino up there.)

  7. This just makes me want to draw hearts around you both. :)

  8. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand I’m crying. So sweet.

  9. Aww totally brought tears to my eyes! How amazing of Colin to remember, and what a lovely way of having your parents there!

    I wore my late maternal granddads wedding ring on my dress – it’s been made into a broche; straightened out and a tiny diamond attatched to the side. It was a wonderful way of having hi right there by my side.

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