You know how we talk about the insane expense of a wedding, and the fear that everything will go wrong? The greatest quote I ever heard applied to wedding planning was Mrs. Cheese, who said, "the entire wedding industry feeds on our fear of regret." Yes, yes they do. But you know who is worse?
I mean "the bar" in the lawyer sense, not the alcoholic sense (not to deride that 25% of lawyers are alcoholics). I'm alllllllllllmost done with the bar application. I just paid my deposits for bar review. Yes, deposits. Because I'm taking two courses. Because one is a supplemental focused exclusively on the multistate, aka multiple choice questions, and if I don't do well enough on the multistate, I can't waive into DC. Why am I doing all of this?
Because I don't want to fail the bar.
I have been told by people that it's not that bad, and that I will probably pass it. In fact, I have an 88% chance of passing it. But that 12% is enough to make me fork over well over $3,000 for review courses. Plus $525 just for the privilege of taking the exam.
I want to believe that if I throw enough money at the bar, I will pass it and never think about it again. So I got to wondering - do I believe the same about the wedding? If we spend enough on the wedding, will we ever do it again? But truthfully, I don't think that is the fear that Mrs. Cheese was talking about. I think the fear she is talking about is the fear that somehow, making the "wrong" choice at your wedding will lead to unhappy guests, or something going wrong, or not being able to enjoy the day. Then, for a lifetime, people will always remember that your wedding wasn't that fun. (Or worse - I went to a wedding that went down as The Wedding From Hell.) My fear isn't that in 30 years, I'll look back on my bridesmaids dresses as unfashionable. My fear is that, to save a few dollars, our guests will go hungry. My fear is that there won't be enough alcohol for them to enjoy. My fear is that they will not be able to read their invitations and won't come to the wedding. My fear is that the iPod will malfunction or our playlist will be sad and nobody will dance.
The thing to do, when these fears grab you and won't let go, is to breathe and relax. Because if your guests go hungry, they'll order a pizza when they get home and blame the fact that they didn't eat a big enough lunch. If the bar runs out, the bar runs out. People aren't going to have less fun because they're not drunk.* If they can't read their invites, they'll call my mother and ask where the wedding is.** If the iPod malfunctions, we will have a backup. If people don't dance cuz there is no DJ, they'll see me dancing alone, and feel sorry for me, and come dance with me.
There are problems you should throw money at, and there are problems that are WIC-created fears. For example, any DIY project that is going to take up a large portion of your wedding weekend, isn't outrageous to pay somebody else to do, and you don't want to do, throw money at. (Florist, decor, setup.) And if you can't throw money at the problem because well, you don't have it, then just breathe and remember - it doesn't have to be perfect. You won't regret it if it isn't. You will regret that you spent so much time stressing over everything being perfect that you didn't have any fun. You will regret not spending enough time with your friends and family because you were trying to get everything finished. So bring your loved ones into your DIY projects, and don't be afraid to ask for help. But most importantly, don't be afraid to let things go. Every party I've thrown, there is always something that gets forgotten, and usually, it's a pretty good time without that thing. Just don't tell everyone at the wedding, "well, it would be so much better if I'd finished the bathroom baskets."
What are your fears?
*Remember those "you don't need alcohol to have fun" posters? They are right.
**Or go to the wedding website - but we sent out the STDs a year in advance and I still have people asking me where the wedding is.