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Getting Closer To The Center


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

I got this comment from Meredith earlier this week, and it so perfectly summed up my experience of wedding planning that I had to share it with you:

I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning (and since I started my own wedding journey-which, when I think back, is more like traveling in a circle that keeps getting smaller and smaller until you finally stop in the center, where everything finally makes sense). I’ve gotten so many awesome ideas from you and can’t wait to see all our efforts come into fruition in two weeks (!!) One thing that I keep reminding myself is that if on my wedding, I’m not the center of attention, I will have done my job. I think weddings are as much about the guests as they are about the bride. If you go into your wedding day thinking “This will be the best day, and I will be the most beautiful bride ever” you will be let down because the next day, the world has moved on to a new bride and you are just a wife! If you go into it thinking “This will be an awesome way to start an awesome life with this amazing man and my amazing new family” then boy are you in for a treat!

Exactly. Traveling in a circles that get smaller and smaller. I’ve been feeling closer and closer to the center these days, though sweetbabyjesus I can’t wait till it all makes sense….

PS And Meredith, I think I speak for all of us when I say please stop back after the wedding and share a little… please? Because I think you’re a graduate already.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://thenaturalweddingcompany.wordpress.com Charlie

    I really enjoy your blog and have given you a ‘One Lovely Blog Award’ on my website. It celebrates recently discovered lovely blogs. Have a lovely weekend! http://thenaturalweddingcompany.wordpress.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06272654565469914998 sam

    This is so true! Sadly it seems many weddings turn into nothing more than The Bride’s Day.

    We want ours to be a celebration with everyone we care about most. Things will go wrong, I certainly won’t be the most beautiful bride ever… but really I think the beauty comes from the lifelong commitment we’re making, the people we’re inviting, and the love we all share.

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com/ accordionsandlace

    I love the sentiment here but this is what I struggle with–as much as we sane brides can try to remove ourselves from the centre of attention, and to put the focus back on our guests, how do we deal with the fact that…that’s not always what the guests want? I have faced this a great deal in my own wedding planning–trying not to make it my pretty princess day, but facing pressure from both sides of the family who KEEP repeating to me that it’s all about the bride, that that’s what people want to see, etc. I feel like no matter how much I try and make it less narcissistic, people will do it anyway; that’s what people expect from weddings.

    Has anyone else felt this? And found ways to deal with it?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04137547398982007429 Mellyelle

    I think if it becomes more about the commitment you’re making, and a celebration of the union between two souls, that’s what makes it special. I agree with accordionsandlace in that many of your guests will tell you “it’s your day!” and to a certain extent, you have to listen, because in the planning process you really have to consider what’s important to your as a couple. There’s a difference between making it about a celebration, and trying too hard to please everyone to possibly your own detriment. I think THAT’S where the WIC strikes, not necessarily on the “princess” concept, because so much of what the WIC pushes is about “your guests will EXPECT x, y, or z.” And some will! I think the key is to be considerate, but ultimately, to choose what is right for you, because you will not, and cannot, make everyone happy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07829467193486965326 Jess

    Yes, accordionsandlace has a point. I have felt exactly the same way sometimes, the major moment being when I asked my bridesmaids to pick out their own dresses. One bridesmaid was pretty intimidated by this and kind of argued with me, “But it’s your day, we should wear what you want.” No, sorry I don’t see it that way. I’m getting the same kind of thing from future MIL about the color dress she wears. Honestly, I could care less what she wears as long as she’s there with us, although I can’t tell her that in so many words… The most important thing is sharing the day with our friends and family and it’s our day not MY day, but some people are thrown for a loop when you speak of your wedding in that way. I think it’s because our culture has gotten so used to seeing things like Bridezillas on TV, so they think every bride is going to be like that. I’ve had a few experiences lately where a vendor expects me to behave like a bridezilla, and I am most certainly not that.

  • Meredith

    I certainly will do that! We’re one week out and I have yet to feel that “crazy, stressed-out, I think I’m going to vomit” feeling, and I think it’s because I keep reminding myself how amazing it’s going to be to see all my friends and family together, celebrating this day with us, not for us!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12997875522614810785 Mouse

    That’s a lovely thought. Sometimes I think I can see across to the other side of the circle. Standing in the center will be fine.

  • Maria H.

    When my fiance & I started our planning, we both were firm that our wedding is first and foremost about bringing together all the amazing people in our lives and celebrating together. My sister made a comment that really stuck with me. Right after her ceremony (during the "cocktail hour") everyone was hanging out, talking, laughing, catching up with old friends, making new ones. And then we had to all go sit down for dinner. She really felt that this broke up the celebration a bit. With this in mind, we are having an afternoon cocktail reception with finger foods and drinks and room to move around. We just want to celebrate with those we love and for them to be free to do the same.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06780343131997969967 h for hellebores

    “traveling in a circle that keeps getting smaller and smaller until you finally stop in the center, where everything finally makes sense).”

    That’s such a good description and sums up how I felt too.

    Meredith – hope you have a wonderful day.

  • http://myfavoriteplace.wordpress.com/ myfavoriteplace

    I am so happy that I approached our wedding with this same attitude! I told myself that everything didn’t have to be perfect and the goal of the day was to get married and have fun with all of our friends and family. It ended up being the most magical experience. I loved every aspect of the day, especially the parts that happened because I didn’t plan every little detail. I also had a guest-centric mentality inside of a its-my-day mentality, and made most of my decisions asking “will that make it more fun for my guests?”. Because people were having a great time, it was such a happy day!

  • http://www.itsquintessential.com Quintessential

    is more like traveling in a circle that keeps getting smaller and smaller until you finally stop in the center

    So well put. Thank you!

  • April

    Beautiful… when my boy and I talk about our wedding, the conversation ALWAYS turns to our friends that will be there with us, celebrating, and whoopin’ it up!

    Nearly every decision we’ve made has involved our guests or family. After all, it was a friend that introduced me and my boy…we’ll never be center stage, just “part of the circle.” :)

  • Meg’s Mom

    “I think if it becomes more about the commitment you’re making, and the celebration of the union between two souls, that’s what makes it special.”

    Beautifully put, Mellyelle! One of the highest compliments we received about our wedding was from a close friend of Fred’s dad. His first reaction while sitting in Grace Cathedral before the wedding service began was that it was a rather cold, distant-feeling place for a wedding. But he said that once Fred came out front with his attendants, and I walked down the isle, the whole cathedral was filled with such love that he felt that it was the perfect place for a wedding. Almost 35 years later, I still cherish that wonderful comment.