When I first hopped on this train (the wedding-planning train, that is), I was convinced I would rock it out. I read Meg’s book with an air of confidence and a sense of urgency. Being practical? I got this, no problem folks. I’m not a fancy lady anyway. After choosing our venue at a sustainable, family-run goat farm, I gave myself one big pat on the back for my awe-inspiring practical wedding skills. I conquered the first steps of wedding planning with what I felt was my very rockin’, practical hat.
It was about the time we started considering options for flowers that I noticed there was more to wedding planning than just knocking out some big decisions. For one, my parents had their own, very generous, expectations on what they were willing to spend and the type of event they hoped to throw. More importantly, while I might not be a glitter and sparkles fancy girl, apparently I love me some locally grown flowers from independently owned, full-service florists (read: expensive). Not to mention, the words DIY have never really been huge in my family. So, the internal fight began. Fancy flowers we can afford, but don’t need? Or flowers I wasn’t too happy with, but felt were more reflective of a laid-back bride who was focused on the “important things”?
I chose the fancy flowers and cringed. I thought the confident, practical bride was slowly disappearing into the scary world of the wedding industry. On and on it went. We spent far more money on vendors than I imagined. I tried desperately to convince myself, “You’re still laid back, you don’t care! You only care about the important things.” All the while feeling deep down that I had failed in my quest to be the easygoing bride. I kept up my facade with friends and family as best I could: chill bride here to the rescue!
This bride doesn’t care about favors, of course not! Then one morning in the midst of trying to figure out how to make a Whole Foods cake work instead of the local baker who uses all organic ingredients (she uses eggs from her farm you guys), I had an epic wedding breakdown. As I expressed (between sniffles and tears) the pull I was feeling to do and be so many things at one time (put together a perfect wedding, but don’t spend too much money. Be the perfect calm and collected bride, but don’t be too fussy, etc.) my fiancé asked me to be honest with myself.
Honest that I do care about the fancy flowers, the signature drink, and the welcome bags. He made clear that honesty won’t make me one or the other: a laid-back bride or a crazy bride. In the end, our wedding will have a lot of aspects very typical to the wedding industry. But it will also be very us, and so completely filled with love.
Somewhere between choosing the fancy flowers but passing up the amazing cake for a perfectly tasty Whole Foods one, we’re working together to find our own balance. We ended the epic wedding breakdown with a dancing/karaoke rendition of CeeLo’s “Forget You” that went a little something like this: “We’re going to have fancy flowers and it’s going to be great, so fuck you, and fuck the WIC too.”
I realized this is an internal fight I’ve been having my whole life. I feel an expectation to be flawless and beautiful, while simultaneously easy going and low maintenance. So, my exercise for the rest of wedding planning is to practice honesty. Total, all in, raw honesty about what I care about and who I am. Acceptance that I’m okay, fancy flowers and all.