Your Dream Wedding: Childhood Fantasy vs. Reality

Lena Dunham of Girls fame shared a revealing childhood sketch with her Twitter followers detailing what her dream wedding would consist of someday. I don't watch the acclaimed HBO series so I don't know too much about her, but anyone who wants a pasta bar at their reception is a girl after my own heart! The White Stripes were slated to make a live performance so she must have had an inkling that her comedy-drama TV pilot would eventually get picked up by a major network. 

imaginary wedding sketch
Photo Credit: Lena Dunham's official Twitter account

This glimpse into the actress' private life poses a fascinating question: When you were a child, what did you think getting married would be like? If I were to unearth the drawings from my elementary school keepsake box, I'd be hard-pressed to find a poufy white dress and handsome Prince Charming anywhere. The one thing I remember thinking as a little girl was that I absolutely had to arrive to my wedding in a horse-drawn carriage, just like my cousin did on her big day in the '90s. Other than that, I was too busy doodling my future apartment, where I'd go to Harvard, drive a red Mustang and own an adorable cocker spaniel just like the one in Lady & the Tramp. None of those things came to pass (sorry, past self!). 

flower girl
flower girl

Here are some fun photos from my stint as a flower girl. The boy I'm dancing with is my cousin, who is getting married just two months before me!

It wasn't until I was 13, when I had my first all-consuming crush, that I'd daydream more about the big day. I wondered more about what it would be like to truly love someone forever — scrawling their last name next to my first name in my notebook to see how they would look together, naturally — rather than focusing on flowers and cakes and rings. Ten years later, I got engaged to my wonderful (and real-life) fiancé, Jason. I jumped to the conclusion that we should have a beach wedding somewhere in the Caribbean, a.k.a my favorite place in the world. At the very least, if we decided to get married in NYC, the venue should have views of the ocean. My bridesmaids would wear turquoise, exotic flowers would line the tables and I'd walk down the aisle to Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," because Mom would sing that to me before I'd go to sleep when I was little. Dreamy, right?

Then, a few things happened that would change our minds. Jason and I saw the photos from the destination wedding of someone we knew, and although it was as beautiful as I had always imagined, the small size made us realize we'd have to exclude loved ones, which was a deal-breaker. The groom was sweating profusely, they had to cut the cake before dinner so that it wouldn't melt and guests wore casual shorts and dresses with bare feet, all of which is perfectly fine, just things that my 13-year-old self hadn't taken into account. Around that time, we went to another relative's church wedding, and that was the first time I truly paid attention to the vows, the bride's gorgeous train, and the majestic grandeur of it all. My mind was blown.


beach wedding
Photo Credit: Mel Barlow & Co.

See more photos from this wedding planned by David Tutera! >>

And Now:

classic wedding theme
Photo Credit: Jay Lawrence Goldman

See more photos from this wedding planned by Mindy Weiss! >>

Now our wedding looks more like the classic-themed reception photo above, and it's funny to see how much my preferences have changed throughout the years. I will always have a special place in my heart for seaside ceremonies — who knows, maybe I'll renew my vows on a beach someday. For now, I'm content to do a whole lot of lounging (and not much else) on the beach during our upcoming honeymoon in Hawaii.

Now it's your turn: Tell us what your dream wedding looked like as a child!

flower girl
Photo by: Scott Smith on The Florium - Floral Event Studio via


—Stefania Sainato