Open expectations: stop wanting the perfect wedding

Guest post by Melde
meirybomb prep2

Since I got engaged, I've been saying that I have “open expectations,” an idea that was inspired by Offbeat Bride. I tend to use the phrase like this: “My expectations are not low — they are open.”

A corollary to enjoying open expectations might be working on a tight budget or desiring to not micromanage; both are true for me, but certainly wouldn't have to be for others. I bet open expectations could be a helpful philosophy regardless of one's situation.

At thirty-three days to go until my wedding, I've learned that the best thing about open expectations is this:

Open expectations get met beyond what you could have come up with or hoped for.

My standing answer to the question of “can I do something for your wedding?” has been “yes!” Something I wouldn't have been able to do if my expectations had been more rigid.

  • Can a master gardener who knew my step-father when he was in Sunday school, and has never met me make a floral arrangement, for free? Hells yeah.
  • Can my brother's close friend from high school fold us a thousand paper cranes? God yes!
  • Can my parents bring guacamole for everyone, since my partner and I don't like guacamole, and were opposed to spending our limited budget on it? Sure! Why ever not!

I didn't ask for any of these things. I didn't hint that we needed them, because we didn't. No one “needs” a thousand paper cranes, but let me tell you, receiving that gift felt pretty fucking phenomenal.

I really hope that after the wedding I'll be able to carry my open expectations into married life. Open expectations for marriage: I anticipate we shall rock them.

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Comments on Open expectations: stop wanting the perfect wedding

  1. I like open expectations. This way no matter what happens or didn’t happen as long as we are married at the end of the day nothing else will matter.

  2. Nailed it. Letting control lie in the hands of the word “yes” has the capacity to open a whole new realm of possibilities, enlarge the vision — however blurry it may be, with open expectations — and allow others to not just feel as though they are helping, but to actually help in a tangible way. Awesome.

  3. I happen to know this young lady personally and this has been a very big out look that has made more than this possible for her. I look forward to the days to come in knowing her 🙂

  4. Such a great viewpoint in life! I shall try to apply “open expectations” to the hectic week ahead and will accept as much guacamole, (I love it! I should go to your wedding)and paper cranes as they come my way 🙂

  5. What a perfectly stated case for letting go of that “Must…control…everything” mindset that is always threatening to creep into even the most offbeat of brides. Thanks for this reminder!

  6. I think this is a fantastic outlook to have. If I wanted to I could probably come up with a huge list of things that “went wrong” at our wedding. And if I did I could probably conclude that something “went wrong” during every part of the wedding, and eventually convince myself the whole thing was a disaster.

    But instead I spent a lot of time talking myself into the attitude that as long as we were married by the end of the day it was a success. If we got to have a fun, laid back, party as well then it was perfect.

    And that’s what happened. Yes I was distracted during the processional because I had to direct the flower girls, yes the same song accidentally played twice at the reception, yes someone got drunk and had to go home early, yes everyone did talk loudly through the awesome song we’d picked while we signed the paper work in the ceremony but none of that mattered. (Ok that last one did bother me a little.) That just proves it was real life and not a fantasy or a movie.

    The more you want to control and fixate on the details the easier it is for things to go “wrong”. If you can talk yourself into letting it go, open your expectations (I like this phrase), there’s more chance it’ll go well.

  7. Wahoo! I totally agree with you 🙂
    We’re planning a wedding with a very small budget, so have had to say ‘YES PLEASE’ to alot of offers (the only one I have turned down was a full on Victorian mourning dress complete with bonnet for my wedding dress).

  8. This is a concept that I had not heard of before… but it turns so much of mainstream wedding planning on its head, I shall adopt it immediately.

  9. Yep – I’m at 23 days until my wedding and while I have the big things in progress and am working on some small details, my motto is that if it doesn’t get done, it wasn’t important. Period. The most important thing is that my man and me and my new stepdaughter are all there and even though I’ve worked hard to bring all the other stuff together, the rest is really just icing.

  10. This was pretty much my mindset going into my wedding and it worked out well. Several things went “wrong” but I hadn’t had my heart set on any details being perfect, so when my dad ended up sitting in the front row of the ceremony alone or the guestbook painting was in a totally different place than I’d requested, I didn’t really care. It also left room for me to find it funny that we got locked out during our “grand entrance” instead of freaking out like my photographer thought I would.

    The only problem I found with open expectations was that NO ONE believed me before the wedding. “I don’t have a preference” and “I don’t care” and “No really, I could give a tiny rat’s ass” are, apparently, unacceptable answers from a bride. I straight up had people telling me my zen approach to wedding planning was going to lead to a huge meltdown on the day. Spoiler alert: it totally didn’t.

  11. As an empath and a family-girl, I would absolutely love personal little things that people would to for our wedding. Warmth and personal touches from the heart mean more than professional florists, decorators, etc. Sure, you might want a theme to your wedding, but compassion and love is the ultimate touch for your day. This article is great– for nothing is perfect. If you enjoy the simple things, and get married on that day, you’ve reached your goal and perhaps a “perfect” day. Enjoy the imperfections– they add a flair to the occasion! “open expectations” is a great phrase for everything. This is great!

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