Guest Blogger – Wedding Vows, But Not That Kind

As we transition from the month of resolutions to the month of LOVE, I have another guest blogger, Cassie Donahoe, to share with y’all.

Cassie_Wedding_Vows_and_RingHere’s the back story – Miss Cassie has met the man of her dreams and is getting married soon. Yah! But she didn’t want to do things just because that’s how they are always done. (My kind of gal!) Sounds like they are making it their own type of function based on three phrases. Sound familiar?!

Read on to hear more directly from her:


I got engaged in September and am embarking (fairly reluctantly at first) on the journey that is planning a wedding. To be specific, the wedding between a bride with 22 first cousins and a groom with nearly as many. To be more specific, its wedding number two on both accounts. To be even more specific, its the wedding of a bride who didn’t think she’d ever be planning a wedding (case in point, her history of elopement). I love parties, don’t get me wrong. I love marriage, too. If they called it a “marriage party”, I might be on board. There is just something about the word “wedding” that is … Intimidating.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are three tricky little phrases that dominate my thought process when I think about my wedding:

  • “We’re supposed to…” (As in: Aren’t we supposed to have a unity candle? A seating chart? Bridesmaids and groomsmen? Walk down an aisle?)
  • “We have to…” (As in: We have to invite everyone. Send out formal invitations. Pick wedding colors. Cater a fancy dinner.)
  • “We should…” (As in: We should hire a florist. Register at a department store. Find a videographer.)

Instead of the popular “three words” Chris Brogan exercise to focus the year, I’ve unwittingly uncovered my own “three phrases I will not let define this year” exercise!

@CassieMKE and her manFurthermore, I’ve concluded that there are three things that should be at the forefront of my thought process when I think about my wedding:

The only thing we’re supposed to do is be madly in love.

The only thing we have to do is whatever will make us happy.

The only thing we should do is surround ourselves with the people who love and support us.

I consider these my wedding vows.

For us this means a casual barn (that can hold all 22 first cousins) brunch wedding. No caterer or florist, but home-baked goodies and mismatched plates. No aisle or wedding party, but lots of mimosas and Bloody Marys. No department store registry, but a list of charities we love, handmade items we’d adore and favors we could use. The more I start to drop the “supposed tos”, “have tos”, and “shoulds” from my vocabulary, the more I am starting to get truly excited about our wedding. It’s no longer this intimidating foreign concept. It’s just a marriage party. And since I cannot wait to be married and just happen to know a thing or two about parties…I am totally back on board.

More About Cassie:

Growing up on the south side of Milwaukee has left its mark not only on my world view, but on my accent. Known to say “M’Waukee” instead of “Milwaukee” without shame, and “bubbler” without a second thought, even when in Paris, my south side roots run deep.  A lifer of the MKE, I have an undeniable crush on all things local. Community Relations Manager for Ottawa University-Wisconsin by day and cardigan wearing, bourbon lover by night. An avid believer in the power of community building and social media – my world is all about making connections! Thoughts are entirely my own. Follow me on Twitter @CassieMKE and find me on LinkedIn!

Many thanks to Cassie for sharing her thoughts on “wedding vows” and planning! I wish more couples took your advice. Much love and well wishes to you and the man at your “marriage party” and every day before and after that.

If you’d like to write something for Truly, Margaret Mary, let’s chat! In February, we’re talking kid-stuff (and teen stuff and all the cool things that happened before we had responsibilities) and March it’s all about gratitude. Got something that fits? Let me know.

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