Where I wish normal life would just put itself on hold while I blissfully plan the wedding of my dreams (otherwise known as “BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE”, “MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE,” etc) it just won’t listen to me and it keeps barreling forward. The thing about normal life is that sometimes it sucks. This is one of those days. I could go into detail about it here (as this is my blog and I can do whatever I want with it) but I think I would rather keep this blog for good, happy, wedding things for the time being. And honestly? It’s a good diversion from a bad day. I can just stop, think about some of the good things that are happening and feel better. I think that’s okay. So that’s what I’m going to do.
I never thought about getting married before Napkin. I never day dreamed about wedding dresses or first dances… It was just never something I wanted. In fact, the first time I thought about being with Napkin forever it was a terrifying, uncomfortable thought. He and I had been dating for six months and we were on tour together. We had a few days off in Chicago and he had taken me to see the great lakes. We were sitting quietly at this humungous body of water and it suddenly occurred to me, “I could spend forever with this dude.”
My next thought was, “Holy shit.”
One day I’ll tell you the detailed story of Napkin and I and how our fairytale romance is anything but. It is flawed and real and sometimes it’s really hard but OMG it is so worth it. Sometimes, when he throws his head back and laughs or something really simple and sweet happens I have to take a second to pluck that moment out of time. I tuck it away so that when I need something good, I can take it back out and remember that I am really lucky to be in love. Real, hard, flawed love.
This has really helped me with planning our wedding. As someone who has played a lot of weddings big and small, I see how easy it is to get caught up in the material aspect of things. “I need this four thousand dollar LED willow tree because it’s a statement of our loooooovvvvveeee!” That kind of thing. I have watched brides and grooms fight on their wedding day. I have watched the seven different people elected to be day of coordinators nearly bite each others’ heads off. I have watched a groom sneak away and smoke a joint to get himself through the reception. (#truestory.) I have also listened to friends get really worried that their day will not be what they want because they simply can’t afford the picture they have in their head. And who can blame them?! How do you put a price on what should be the most important day of your life?? Especially when everything and everyone is telling you that you’re supposed to go into debt for your big day?
But I’ve been really lucky. By being involved, I’ve found that the simple, smaller weddings are the ones I dream about afterwards. There is something stunning about a wedding that focuses on the happy couple and their commitment to one another. It isn’t about fine china, diamonds and expensive dresses. It’s about love.
Recently, I’ve been tallying up all the costs of our wedding and where we have been careful– we are already close to budget. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have help from my family (on both sides) but no matter how I look at it, my wedding is getting expensive. And every time I go somewhere I am berated with the “importance” of monogrammed napkins or personalized cake toppers. I’ve fallen victim a few times, I’ve spent more money than I should have… but I am proud of myself because, for the most part, I have held on to what the day is about. It’s about love. Not monogrammed napkins. It’s also been about my family– and realizing how much I love them. I was talking to my mom a few days ago about the RIDICULOUS cost of flowers and how I was going to have to get thrifty and creative. I have really wanted succulents to be a part of the bouquets and centerpieces on the tables– but to have them delivered cut and bouquet ready is in the multiple hundreds of dollars. Neither of us could believe it. But then my mom’s voice brightened and she said, “Being creative is more fun, anyway.” And you know what? She’s right. The most fun I’ve had has been creating things. The most excited I’ve felt has been when my friends have made me something for the wedding. It’s reminded me that I have people who love me enough to help me, that I have friends who are amazing (and talented) and that my wedding will be beautiful because it’s MINE, not a magazine’s. Not a Kardashian’s.
I hope this serves as a comfort for those of you who may be feeling the pressure to spend a lot of money to make your day beautiful and happy. I’m pretty close to my wedding date and saving money, spending time with my family and creating things with my friends have been some of the happiest moments of my life. Weddings are stressful. Forgive yourself for that. And when you’re stressed take a minute to remind yourself of the reasons why you’re getting married. Take a second to breathe and look at all the help you’ve gotten from your friends and family. Look at how excited the people who are close to you are about your big day. About your love. I promise it will make you feel better.
After the call with my mom over succulents, she found this wholesale bunch online at a fraction of the cost and ordered them for me:
“Let’s just keep these alive until your wedding day. It will be fun,” She said.
I love you, mom.