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The Sane Part Of The Mantra


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

To All My Summer Brides:
Are any of you feeling stressed out by the pressure to be the perfect low-key, no-stress, super-zen practical/indie bride with your wedding right around the corner? Yup. Me too. So whadda say? How about we all let ourselves off the hook a little bit? How about we accept ourselves wherever we are before this important moment in our lives and party? How about we accept ourselves whether we are feeling complicated or simple, joyful or a little sad, stressed or zen? How about we accept it all?

Who is with me?

xo
Meg

P.S. Go read this again. I’m working on the letting go part, and the crossing things off my list part. (Sorry handmade guest book/scrap book – you were a lovely thought.)

P.P.S. I’m feeling quiet and complicated this week, with so much wedding stuff on my plate. So! I thought we’d spend the week doing wonderful, soul soothing, simple weddings, starting tomorrow.

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://www.blogger.com/profile/08511117741320344532 Julia

    I’m with ya

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16294864366284434807 Rosalie

    Me too. I’m starting the whole letting go thing now: goodbye cute retro wedding car, you’d have looked great in photographs but you cost too much and are too much hassle to pick up/hire for my sanity.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13934927205680813267 Jen

    Thank you so much for this post. The pressure to be calm has been causing me more stress than anything! :) Nice to know others feel the same way.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06434671805784262436 Amanda

    I’m with you, too! I’m definitely crossing things off my list, letting things go, and asking for lots of help…all while appearing to stay calm, cool, and collected (although, my sub conscience begs to differ…wedding nightmares are ensuing.)

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

    Oh hon, this post could not be more appropriate right now. I think weddings exacerbate the same kind of pressure that women feel every day–be perfect/brilliant/attractive/poised whatever, but be EFFORTLESS. Your makeup has to look like you’re not wearing makeup. Your wedding should be perfect but it if you make a peep about it while planning you’re a “bridezilla”. It can be suffocating.

    I have spent all my planning trying to pretend like I don’t care or like it’s never getting to me, and I do care. It is so tiring. Let’s all let ourselves be human.

  • Kirsten

    Thank you! You know what, I’ve spent seven months leading up to a day 12 days away… and yes, I am stressed! Not a ton, mind you, but the pressure to make it look effortless is crazy-making in and of itself…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    Dude. I’ll say it. I’m stressed. Hopefully I’m front loading my stress so I can be calm in the run up to the actual PAR-tay, but I’m straight up stressed.

    S’ok. I’m also human.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13016196445046472900 Mrs. Melberry

    I’m living this right now as well.

    Great post and I look forward to reading more this week.

  • http://ameliacarolyn.wordpress.com/ ameliacarolyn

    last night i found myself saying “i don’t care” and *meaning it* when my florist (aka good friend) asked about boutonnieres and quantity of flowers, how many i wanted where, etc. i trust her and am happy that she’s excited to help.

    stress levels balancing out (for today, at least) and i’m gonna take it when it happens, appreciate the calm and celebrate small victories, ’cause this week i start really thinking about music (yikes!).

    okay… breathing again… :)

  • Lori

    If it’s any consolation, I personally think a guest book has zero impact on the overall impression of a wedding.

    I’ve never understood the necessity. I feel about guest books the way you feel about favors, Meg.

    ;)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    As of yesterday Lori, I’m with you. I mostly wanted it to do a wedding scrap book, but eff it. I can do that later if I feel like it.

  • http://surprisewedding.wordpress.com Michele

    I’m having the opposite experience, in that I feel totally zen and on top of my game, which in turn causes me to psyche myself out wondering if something is wrong with me for NOT being stressed and/or more busy with the wedding less than 3 weeks away.

    It sort of makes me feel like maybe I’ve forgotten something really major and will only realize it on the day of.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15452082852708707013 Peacock Feathers and Diamond Rings

    I came back from a very chilled out and relaxed hen party and turned my computer back on to find a hundred things I needed to do before my wedding in 2 weeks. I have decided I can’t be bothered with any DIY plans that weren’t already finished. So we are not having them. I just want to be at the wedding already with no more planning!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    I don’t know Michelle, that sounds great to me. I’m planning to be at that poitn 3 weeks out. I’m 10 weeks out, which means we’re at our busiest point.

    Anyway, that’s the point right? Accept yourself as Zen if you’re at Zen. Allow wherever you are at to be ok.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17468276901563947172 Kristy

    YES. I’ve started breaking down my massive mental to-do list into smaller chunks and that is helping tremendously (just blogged about that, actually).

  • http://ameliacarolyn.wordpress.com/ ameliacarolyn

    Meg, re: guest book

    I just had a lovely visit with a friend who had very simple pieces of paper (maybe 3″x4″?) with mail-merged quotes at the bottom (totally optional, imo) in a basket with pens. their guests left messages and comments on the cards and my friend later added them to a scrap book (and i think it’s much more flexible if you wanted to put pictures of the guests with their comments in your scrapbook).

    just a thought to still have a DIY book, with a lot less stress. :)

    i’m thinking of changing my guest book plan (small book of blank, handmade pages) to do something similar, but prolly won’t since it’s already done. :)

  • http://practicallymarried.wordpress.com Leika

    Yes, I’m stressed! There, I’ve said it. Admitted it. And they say that’s the first step. Seriously, thanks for this post, Meg. Although, I will admit that the “letting go” thing can get to dangerous levels — yesterday I seriously considered completely ditching my ceremony decor, because I don’t feel like even thinking about tissue paper flowers at three weeks out. My obsession with list-making is what’s saving me right now, but I’m definitely in the eyeballs-spinning stage of stressed. Oh well, maybe better next week.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17572133516556386284 *Michelle

    You are at teh best point to make this realization! Since you’ve still got lots to do, you can face it with perspective, do what needs to get done, and drop the ideas that are just going to cause you stress. I’ve been reading your blog since I started wedding planning and I have to tell ya, the soundings of Team Practical meant while busy, when it came down to it, I was relaxed and really enjoying the moment. Thanks!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01207829877631720978 Shyla

    Thanks for this post. The pressure is so ridic. We all need to inhale, exhale and remember it’s about our partner and love and family and nothing else matters. If the stress overcomes you, hightail it and elope.

    http://www.divinecaroline.com/22221/75662-piece-cake–ten-simple-sexy

  • kristen

    i love you. this post almost made me cry. i’m slightly over four months out til my wedding and have nearly nothing done. i’m working 50+ hours a week right now – stressed and tired which lead to a fight with the soon to be hubby over designing the invitations. really? what the hell. this is all about love so i’m working on remembering that. what gets done will get done. and as long as we’re married in the end – that’s all that matters. thanks for helping me keep that perspective :)

  • Megan

    Meg,
    Ha – my DIY Guestbook comprised of mini moo cards with fill-in marital advice got axed last week! Went out, bought a coffee table book with cool pics of SF and plenty of writing space – problem fixed, can worry about something else.

    Feeling your pain though – 2 months out and feeling like a ball of stress. Thanks for a great post =)
    -also Meg in SF =)

  • PrincessAmanda

    I am trying to do my best to relax as well… My big day is this saturday. With just a week left, I have let go of several projects. I figure if it isn’t done by now, it’s not getting done. The purpose of the day is for me to marry my best friend. At the end of the day, if we are married, then I will consider the experience a success!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05987184147935636439 Emmalinda

    i’m with you, meg. i’m a little over two months away from my wedding, and i find myself crippled by to do lists, not really getting anything done. when are you getting married, btw..i wonder how close your date is to mine?

  • Anonymous

    I was reading a blog by an American wedding planner who plans weddings in Paris, where wedding planners are a new idea.

    She said Parisian brides aren’t very DYI for their weddings, but they are very DYI for holidays.

    Here’s a couple of interesting posts.

    http://www.parisianevents.com/parisianparty/french-engagement-rings-would-this-fly-in-the-us-of-a/

    http://www.parisianevents.com/parisianparty/french-engagement-rings-would-this-fly-in-the-us-of-a/

  • Anonymous

    Oops, I cut and pasted the same web address twice. You will also have to cut and paste to read them.

    Here was the other article I meant to put up about the difference between American and French weddings.

    http://www.parisianevents.com/parisianparty/french-weddings-vs-american-weddings/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15286031970770408787 Mandy

    After attending a very simple and VERY informal wedding this weekend I feel so much better! The wedding was beautiful even though the bride was wearing tennis shoes! Seeing another couple simplifying it made me feel so much better. Most of all they made me feel so much more excited to be in their place in 47 days.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02729929797052818512 Eile

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am going crazy trying to be low key and zen and on the inside I want to pull my hair out…way to nail the feeling! :) its good to be not alone!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15080583721005285729 the un-bride

    I'm in!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18209861350905135093 LPC

    On the accepting myself no matter what bandwagon despite not getting married at any point in the near future:).

  • http://landandwood.com cozette

    I'm getting married two months from today and what I'm feeling is pure excitement. I just feel so happy and super lucky and honored that I get to marry my best friend in the whole world, he's a pretty great guy. Some details are done, many aren't (like, ah, em, I don't have a dress yet). But i feel pretty chill about it. I just want to savor these next two months and enjoy every minute of it. So I'm just writing this because I feel like I need to put forth this sort of energy…savor this time, it's something special.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    Chill sounds like the right place to be for you, and you should enjoy it. I, however, am working at accepting myself as I am, not trying to give myself another ideal to live up to.

  • April

    Great post, Meg. Me and my boy’s shin dig isn’t until this Fall, but I am feeling pangs of “is it enough?” nearly every day.

    I’m worried people will think my dress is inappropriate, that the decor is too little, that the bar isn’t hosted long enough… *sigh*

    The ironic thing is 99.9% of the people we’re inviting have been to one of our dinner parties or stayed at our home, and I didn’t give a fig back then if the floors were swept or the napkins and glassware all matched. Which they didn’t.

    But throw me into the wedding mix and I suddenly am paranoid of making the slightest mistake! ACK!

    Serenity now!!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07272458316916900053 Laura

    I unfortunately have a lot of things to do before August 1 (including some big things) and have a thesis to finish in the next 2 weeks. So far I have been working under the assumption that once the thesis is done I can focus and get wedding stuff done, but it doesn’t help to aleviate the stress of it right now.

    Thanks for the post and reminding me that if it comes down to it, some of the DIY stuff can be on the chopping block and we can still have a lovely day.

  • Amy

    The part that stresses me out most is having to not get stressed out. My guy is putting so much pressure on me to be super-calm and laid back. I wish he’d just accept that at some point in the process I will have my freak-out moment, then get over it and go on with things. It’s not the end of the world to get stressed out, as long as you keep it in perspective.

  • ps

    I’m pretty much alternating between freaked out stress (only 2 more months, WHAT?? and now that I have an actual job how am I possibly going to finish my crazy wedding to do list??) and crazy happiness (almost august, almost our wedding, almost time to party with our friends, almost married!!).

    It’s a fine line to balance. I’m also starting to comb through my to-do list and figure out how much I’m able to delegate. I’ll admit it now, I NEED help.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14875846226565988171 turtlebird

    love it :)

  • http://patternjunkie.typepad.com Pattern Junkie

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m six weeks away (I think we have the same date — July 18, right) and sometimes think I’m going to lose my mind. Not that I can admit that to anyone, though…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07403568057361632423 GC (God’s Child)

    I’m having chest pains
    in fact, I’m sneaking a read of your blog
    I had to stop coming here even

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03584431220332308431 Lisa

    Are we the same day as well? I am also July 18, like the above commenter. Every time I plan a dinner party I hem and haw over the food and agonize over whether it will be good, whether it will be a success, whether my friends will have fun, etc, and there is always that moment where I’m sure it will be a disaster. Right now I am kind of there in terms of my wedding, except it is like agonizing over it for months instead of just one afternoon. Right now I am like, what if the set-up looks tacky, what if the food isn’t good, what if our families don’t get along, ack! It’s seriously enough to make a person nuts!

    I just need to get my head out of the details and remember that everything will be just fine since most of the people we love will be there, so it will be a success regardless!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14231286566792147292 karri

    yes, please.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18182268757502634911 sera

    yes, yes, yes. I couldn't even blog for a week because I just don't want to think about it. I'm behind – the knot says I am.

    But then I just read the 100 layer cake post about the couple that planned a wedding in 7 days and then I think, whatever happens happens. if I forget something, whatever. what exactly do I need? my man. that is all.

    ps. gave you an award on my blog, which is nothing compared to what you've given me.