Let's call this my epiphany post. So first, we were planning on having an elegant-ish, small, rustic wedding in a lodge in a State Park. Then we decided the lodge wasn't very practical, and we wanted to invite more people. So we decided to go with a community art gallery that could hold more people, and scale back the fancy-factor. Then I started acting like I gave a crap about color-coordination and bartenders and favors and formal engagement shoots, etc.
Finally, I had a little hissy-fit in my head: Who the hell does this wedding belong to? WHOSE WEDDING AM I PLANNING, BECAUSE IT SURE AS HELL AIN'T MINE.
I live in a land of mismatched furniture and plastic cups at sit-down dinners. I buy fresh veggies and I turn them into ugly messes that taste decent, but won't be featured in Gourmet any time soon. My favorite pictures of us as a couple are unposed and spontaneous and taken by artistically-inclined friends. Our room always has dirty clothing on the floor, books never make it back to the bookshelf, and our bed sheets occassionally match and that's usually by accident. I buy prints that never make it into a frame, let alone get hung up on the wall for others to enjoy.
In short, I realized that I never cared about formal photos before, or registries, or themed parties (other than alcohol and pirates/zombies/etc, does that count?), or catering, florists, fancy cakes, or venues. So, why do I want a giant one-day event that doesn't reflect EITHER of us? Just because it's… you know… expected?
I always felt I would be an Offbeat Bride who didn't give a crap what anybody thought and would do what made me happy. But I STILL kept falling into this whole mindset of “this is my chance to act like a real adult who does floral arrangements and changes their household decorations to match the season like a live-in Jo-Ann Fabrics.” Even though it wasn't me, I still sort of wanted to do all of those things, just because I had the excuse. Wait, what? That makes no sense.
What made all this worse was that I had a serious argument going on inside my head this entire time. I was stressed out, because I felt like I was acting fake, and then because I was worried I'd “miss out” on something that might be fun, but was rejecting because it was too “normal.” I was collecting a large amount of stress, and that was just THINKING about planning!
Then about two weeks ago, I happened across a posting about a wedding held at a summer camp I was familiar with as a kid. This wasn't just wedding pr0n for me, it wasn't just material for an inspiration board — I was actually INSPIRED. Tears came to my eyes. The sudden realization that I could have my cake and eat it too, that I could have a celebration that was authentic without offending anyone, that there WAS a place out there that I could be excited about… all made me cry.
In short, it's not a “wedding” anymore. It's an awesome-palooza weekend filled with friends and family and fun. It will be the wedding equivalent of a barn raising, with everyone involved. I'm planning a huge fun party that is going to be messy, tacky, and it sure as hell ain't gonna be elegant. We will have the blow-out party of the century, we will invite who we like, eat what we want, and celebrate the way we know best.
Just taking the word “wedding” out of it has done so much for me. Not just in terms of vendors (not calling it a wedding helps there) but for my own piece of mind. Since it's a party now, and not the loaded W-word, suddenly, all those expectations disappeared. It felt like physical weight fell off my shoulders. I'm EXCITED now! It's no longer an obligation, it's something to look forward to! I realized that the fewer expectations I have, the less there is to go wrong or mess up. How can something that was never planned fail?
So, the new motto is: “Whatever will be, will be.” And that. feels. awesome.