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The “F*ck It” Moment


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Our previous Rabbi had a story about being a parent of three daughters that I always loved. With their first child, every time she dropped her pacifier, he and his wife would pick it up, boil some water, drop the pacifier in the water to sterilize it, and then give it back. Every. Time. Then when their second daughter was born, they were tired. They were not first time parents. When she was a few months old, she dropped her pacifier, his wife picked up and paused. Their eyes met across the room, and our Rabbi said, “F*ck it.”* And they wiped that sucker off and popped it right back in the kids mouth.

Let me put it this way: David and I are “F*ck it” people. We work hard, we organize, we plan. But TRUST ME, we’ll do that with our *first* kids pacifier. So, why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this because if you do not have a “F*ck it” moment before your wedding day dawns, it will not be as fun as it should be, period.

What went wrong at our wedding? Lots of stuff. I’m going to echo one of the best books of all time, Alexander And The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, and give you a litany: For starters, the breakfast we ordered at our hotel was an hour late, because they couldn’t figure out how to make pancakes. We were late to our wedding, and we hate being late. We had to take group pictures, and I hate taking group pictures. I did not feel grounded before the Ketubah signing, I did not know how to write my Hebrew name, and my pen ran out of ink. When lining up for the aisle walk, we found out the sound system hadn’t arrived, and we needed the sound system. While we were waiting, I noticed that the caterers had forgotten the table number sign holders. I was nervous walking down the aisle, and I hate being nervous. I dropped David’s ring. Part of my bouquet came unwrapped. When taking pictures after the ceremony, we saw some of our friends walked in late – they had missed the whole service. Older people didn’t dance. Some people left early. They blew bubbles at our send off, and I hate bubbles.

And you know what? I had a fan-freaking-tastic time. I’d had my “F*ck it” moment well before our wedding day, and I did. not. care. In fact, some of the things that went wrong I thought were hilarious. Dropping David’s ring during the service? I’ll remember that forever.

So if you’re a perfectionist, it’s time to let that go. Marriage isn’t perfect, and your wedding sure as hell isn’t going to be. But it’s going to be amazing, because f*ck it, you’re there to have the time of your life.

*Yeah. Liberal Judaism is rad like that. Our rabbi definitely told us this story in person.

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/16188994551748661706 redwhitebride

    i thought such things would happen and i have to be fully prepared… :) i'm enjoying this planning process now… no stress at all. well, aside from finding a dress haha.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11597736474722027874 Ms. Green

    ahahaha! Love it! Nothing's going to be perfect, no matter how hard you try — so why bother?

  • http://www.newsie96.com Samantha

    I'm 16 days out and the closer I get, the less I'm worrying about silly things. At this point, I just want the "I dos" so we want dance the afternoon away!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06912665327917655751 jehara

    i have had plenty of those moments already!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15195311686357181120 shanalines

    i've been enjoying your blog for a while, and this is my first comment– love this post. we've got just over 6 weeks to go and i'm beginning to take this attitude. i really enjoy your blog!

  • Anonymous

    So true! At our Jewish wedding, there was bacon in the potatoes, my husband didn't break the glass on the first try (TIP: Lay it on its side, not upside down!) and someone stole the gift he bought me from the bridal room. Still, at the end of the night, we were married and now we laugh at the little mishaps along the way.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07002438626643133563 Emily

    This is so wonderful to read. I'm forwarding this to a few brides I know who need to hear it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03450581887718082271 k_darling

    We had our parents and my sister hold up the huppah and my brother-in-law had our rings, which he proceeded to fumble and drop when asked for them. Someone in the back of the room yelled, "you only had ONE job!" and the entire party burst into laughter. I will never forget it.

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

    Love this, of course. "Fuck it" moments are the most liberating part of the whole process, by far. Thank goodness.

    (And I was not zen at all at our ketubah signing either).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04707441750165767852 Princess Christy

    Thank you. Thank you thank you. I know I need to reach this moment – hopefully sooner rather than later!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09082307620967164684 Mollie D

    Amen sister friend- I'm at 30 days out and I'm anal as hell in normal life. I'm meditating every night that 'I'm going to let that sh*t go the day of', but I think my new mantra should be F*ck it! Good post, good post.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, but the older guests not dancing doesn't really count, does it? Lots of people don't dance at weddings.

    Also not surprised that some people leave early – they probably do that at every wedding or party they attend.

    Now, see? You list just got shorter?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15572743425243443011 Ninon13

    Yes!!! Meg, you hit the nail on the head — AGAIN. Best. Blog. Ever.

    I'll say it again, my mantra of, "It's not going to be perfect–It's going to be amazing, but not perfect," kept me sane. No matter what happens, if you and your husband have a good time, everyone will have a good time at your wedding. =)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02653562037507133977 Shelley Greenberg

    I cannot begin to thank you enough for this post. I'm getting married next week and am in the throws of dealing with venue drama and guest list drama and all sorts of things that are getting me upset.

    And I keep thinking, but it's not supposed to be this way! And you see everyone talking about how wonderful their weddings were that you don't realize that they had stuff that went wrong too.

    I needed so badly to hear that one bride had an amazing time at her wedding even though a whole laundry list of things went wrong.

    Have I had my "f*ck it" moment? Sort of. I guess I've had a few actually. But I'm SUCH a perfectionist that they haven't been enough. I think I need to say "f*ck it" just about once every hour. In fact, I should just wear a sign around my neck for the next nine days that just reads, in big capital letters: F*CK IT!

    Thank you.

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

    oy. i'm not sure how it is that you so eloquently echo my thoughts and fears in such a way that has me feeling so much better.

    i, too had moments that clearly weren't perfect at our wedding (2 weeks before yours), and while i didn't care, some definitely left me more unmoored than i'd hoped. i'd wanted to stay grounded throughout everything… and the reception kinda flew away from us. i missed lots of conversations, mis-timed the pictures and hadn't thought about what to do with all the trash afterwards. we were late and (like y'all), hate being late.

    so thank you for letting us in on the not-so-perfect moments and for reminding us (okay, me), that it takes a little more work and energy to say "f*ck it" sometimes. And that the "f*ck it" can come weeks after your day… as the stress and emotional bigness settles into a more manageable place to explore and remember and hold close, we can pick and choose what we remember with importance.

    our friday night gathering was surreal and everything we wanted (families connecting, friends making new friends, kids all playing together and everyone feeling welcome and comfortable). our ceremony was the most grounding moment of the entire weekend. the moments just after the ceremony that we snuck away and just giggled together. the sense of calm we both experienced that morning, just before heading to the site. the amazing bouquet that i gathered as i walked down the aisle… looking into everyone's eyes and seeing such love and support. these are the moments i am choosing to relive and hug close.

    perfectly imperfect. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02653562037507133977 Shelley Greenberg

    Oh, and 'Alexander and the No Good Very Bad Day' was one of my FAVORITE books growing up! I had forgotten all about it!

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

    Shelly -
    Do not even get me started about guest list drama. There are some things that you just have to work on forgetting about AFTER the wedding.

    Everyone-
    The point is mostly that you can say F*ck It on the day of (and the time leading up) and choose to remember all the best parts.

    There will, probably, still be things that happened during the planning or even the wedding weekend that pissed you off/ were hurtful. Which is fine. Normal, even. And DON'T let people tell you that you don't have a right to get mad or sad when you're a bride. That is b*llshit. (We'll get into the double edged sword of bride-dom soon). Just DON'T let it get in the way of your wedding day.

    Meg

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18322614204354706684 Amelia

    This is completely how I'm approaching the day – I know things are going to go "not according to plan" and, you know, the important thing is that when we leave at the end of the night, we're married and the ceremony was what we wanted it to be and we had a rocking good party. That's it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16706255556393303773 Ms. Debbie G

    Ha! Such a comfort to read!

    Things that went wrong on our day: the florist was one bouquet short, so one bridesmaid had orange flowers while the rest were yellow; my hair came tumbling out of its updo during the hora; it rained so much the night before that the tent and the field were muddy and half our guests had mud-stained shoes and pants-cuffs.

    Still, one of the best days ever!

    So comforting that some things went wrong for most folks.

  • mhirni

    Two days out and I have had several f*ck it moments! Shouldn't we provide transportation from the hotel to the venue? There are only four non-wedding party people staying at the hotel. They are all adults…f*ck it! Shouldn't I have some fabulously crafty decor for the reception? I am not crafty, I don't have time…f*ck it! Shouldn't we have a day-after brunch on Sunday? I have planned two parties for this weekend already…f*ck it! Your blog has been so valuable to me during my planning. Thank you for helping to keep me grounded, and for making wedding planning that much more fun!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01292159217906096526 Abbie

    This made me laugh b/c SO much went wrong at our wedding, and I'm still saying F*ck it! It doesn't do any good to get worked up… and although I knew of all of the things that were falling down around me, I couldn't stop smiling.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12070109593110762616 jani

    amen and amen.

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    You call the caterers forgetting your table number holders something going wrong? Pffff. Call me when the venue refuse to serve your food and your mum has to do it instead and then we'll talk.

    (I love that book)

  • April

    30 days from TODAY, me and the boy sashay down the aisle.

    And we've been saying "eff it" to so many things for so long now, I'm wondering if we'll even have guests and a cake when we show up. HA!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06496768444775791868 Charise

    With 3 weeks to go, I've found myself starting to say that about the many projects I still have left on my list. My fiance is worried I am going to be a giant stress ball the day of, but I think he is forgetting that we throw big parties a few times a year and I always do this – plan obsessively and get all anxious. But then at the party I just LET. IT. GO. So I am assuming I will be the same way at our wedding. My motto has been from the beginning "fun, not perfect".

    My cousin got married this summer and she actually forgot to bring her husband's ring to the ceremony. Everyone laughed, she borrowed a bridesmaid's plain band for the time being, and ran back upstairs (it was in her parents' yard) afterwards to get it. There was a little reenactment before dinner to make it "official", and now she has a funny story to tell.

  • Amy

    Lol! Classic. I love f it moments.

    I can think of a few moments that I had that were f it moments during the plan it phase so far.

    1. My bridesmaids dresses. I was like f it.. you are all grown women and I am not going to dress you. (Admittedly, this was after looking for maybe 20 minutes.)

    2. Jonathon do you like cake? Nope. I don't like cake either. F it! LOL.

    I always love READING your blog. It's enlightening.

  • http://thesweetestoccasion.com Cyd

    Amen, sista! I have several f*ck it moments before, during and after the wedding. You get to a point where there's not much you can do but put on your fancy party dress, a pair of fabulous shoes and grab a bottle of cheap champagne to swig with your girls on the way to meet your groom. There were so many things that went "wrong" and honestly, I don't really care, because I had one hell of a kick ass wedding weekend I wouldn't trade for all the so-called perfection in the world.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05750659066802561501 Erika

    I hate bubbles too.

  • Anonymous

    How did you end up with bubbles when you hate them?

    I was a guest at a wedding where bubbles were passed out before the couple did their first dance. There is a video of us blowing bubbles at them while they danced. It was fun and silly.

  • http://www.ficklefig.com Jess

    I had my F*ck it moment a few weeks ago – I'm glad to hear it only gets better!

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

    Long story, anon. Funny story.

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

    I had my f*ck it moment the morning of the wedding and I never looked back :)

    The imperfections of a wedding are what makes them unique!

    It even carried over to our honeymoon, where we often said "f*ck it, its our honeymoon" in regards to spending money.

    Meg I'm so excited to see where the blog is going as I am very newly-married as well!
    xo

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04246980175636237355 Theresa

    OMG, i so needed this…a perfectionist a month out from her wedding and I need a f**k it moment big time! Thanks for this!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04558969691762187390 pink helicopter

    I too am a F*ck It person. And I had a lot of unknowns for my wedding last week. But you know.. it all worked out… because f*ck it, getting married was all that mattered.

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

    ah yes. I had so many f*ck it moments. and with everything I did say f*ck it to, I was happy about. And many things that I held on so tightly to did not work out. Oh Meg, I got your message to email you and I'll be doing that momentarily.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08916757156071917521 Elena

    Such an awesome post! So, there are so many of us with these kind of moments?? I feel so great now about everything that went wrong and wonderful during the wedding day!
    So funny how we all get into the same situation. :)

  • Cate Subrosa

    Loving catching up, loving your writing.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08630952870183488792 Rachael Eisner

    How do you mess up pancakes, that is what I want to know. However, like this whole post was about "eff" the things you cannot control!

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