On Economic Uncertainty, Fear, And Changing by Meg Keene Normally I don’t repost pictures of weddings, but I’m making an exception this time. Many of you have probably read all about Kimi & Paul’s wedding and Kimi’s stunning handmade dress on A $10,000 wedding, and if you haven’t go look. Now. I’ll wait. I’m reposting pictures of this wedding, because it set me free. Wedding planning has been awful and scary for us of late. Well, more precisely, life has been awful and scary for us of late, as we’ve been thrown emotional curve ball after emotional curve ball, and having the wedding on top of everything else has felt like too much some days. The hardest part over the past few weeks has been dealing with, well, money. As the economic uncertainty around us has gotten more and more intense, the idea of spending money on a wedding has gotten scarier and scarier to me. I’m a money hoarder by nature, and I hate any kind of spending, so spending money on the wedding was always going to be tough. On top of all, lets just say that I have a very clear and data driven perspective on exactly what is going on in this economy, and frankly, its terrifying. So, after a budget put together with much thoughtful consideration and discussion, we’re now looking and finding more ways to simplify. We still have a very large family that we want to include, and we have a venue booked, and lots of things that we can’t change much, but we’ve been trying to evaluate and re-evaluate things. And I was getting absolutely frozen with fear. How do you change course mid-stream, especially when you’d thoughtfully and lovingly picked the course you were on? How do you find new creative ways to make things work for you? Add to that the fact that as much as I write and think about new and interesting ways of planning a wedding, sometimes I feel trapped inside this crazy box of “how things are done” and I feel like I’m fighting for my life trying to get out. And then I saw this wedding. Maybe it was that it took place in the Prospect Park Audubon Center, a place very familiar to me, and very close to my heart. Maybe it’s that the bride clearly made simple but wildly creative decisions like making her amazing dress out of a simple sheath from Target. I don’t know quite what it was. But suddenly I felt like the world cracked open for me. Of course we could do this. Of course we could throw out the way things are done (like, say, buying a dress) and figure out something new that worked for us. Of course we could simplify and streamline even more than we already had. Then I started looking at things we’ve already done. We have a venue we love in a public park. We’ve designed Save The Dates together that we adore. We’ve designed invitations that I love so much I have no words for that my sister will letterpress. We’re excited by doing our own flowers. So we can do the rest of this. We can figure it out. And for starters, I’m going to start asking for more help. So I talked to my sister, and we decided that we’re going to attempt a wedding dress together, with her in charge of the technical aspects and me in charge of the endless pleating. If nothing else, we won’t be bored over Christmas. And that’s a start. And we’re going to figure out the rest, somehow. And at the very least, at the end, we’ll finally be married. Dealing with economic turmoil, like dealing with everything else, is so much better when there are two of you. As always, I welcome your stories and perspective. This is a h*ll of a time to be planning a wedding. The rest of Kimi’s amazing pictures are over here Meg Keene Founder & Editor-In-Chief Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.