Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Know Thyself

Here's the most important rule of wedding planning.  It's what you should always come back to as you are overwhelmed by inspiration, by creative, fun DIY projects.

Know Thyself.

My TTD dress came in the mail last week, and I love it.  I love it for somebody who isn't me.  I love it for playing dress up for a TTD shoot.  I love it because I can pair it with a birdcage veil and red lipstick and rock out as somebody I'm not.  It reassured me of something though. My dress is the right choice for me.  A slinky alterna-bride dress would not have suited me.  It would have made people say "is that Ellie?" instead of making them say, "awww!"

I have had fleeting moments of wedding insanity.  I thought about making napkin rings.  My sister laughed in my face when I floated the idea.  Because I'm not the kind of person that cares about napkin rings.  I'm a little surprised that we're having cloth napkins, instead of my usual standby of putting a roll of paper towels on the table.  Or wiping my hands on my jeans.

I think the thing that gets frustrating with planning, particularly planning in Blogland, is that we forget who we are because we envy other people.  I envy other people for being cool enough to pull off birdcage veils and beautiful, simple, lace dresses.  I envy the women who wear hot pink high heels, and I forget for a moment that I hate hot pink and I hate high heels.  Other people make the simple, long, flowy hairstyles look so cool that I fantasize about having long wavy hair that looks natural.  I envy people who have small families and can have intimate weddings.  I envy people who are satisfied with simple weddings.  But then I remember who I am.  A nerdy, complicated girl with a large, loving, and slightly insane family, with problem feet and very large thighs.

If I was really staying true to myself, I would probably have bought the soft pink dress that I tried on that I really loved, but didn't "go" with the fall wedding.  Oh, and I hate pink.  But I looked so cute and I wasn't wild about the whole "white dress" thing.  Regardless, it didn't give me the soft "oh" feeling in my stomach that my dress gave me, so I'm happy with my choice.

I think that the most important part of knowing myself has been knowing how I act around parties.  I know that I stress.  I know I get snappy and irritable.  I know I get impatient and frustrate easily.  Knowing these things about myself makes me feel more comfortable about buying into the WIC and it's "you must have a florist" "you must have a DJ" "you must have a caterer". Many people have expressed their desire to DIY projects because "they can".  Well, I know myself, and I know where my limits are.  So in the interest of having a wedding that stays true to who I am, I am a person who throws money at problems and doesn't care that much about napkin rings.

What has wedding planning taught or reminded you about yourself?


  1. Late Fragment-Raymond Carver

    And did you get what
    you wanted from this life, even so?
    I did.
    And what did you want?
    To call myself beloved, to feel myself
    beloved on the earth.

  2. Applause. Great post.

    Planning has reminded me that my older sister is a basket full of crazy and that I care desperatly what she thinks of me. Sigh. Annoying. Also, I am more insecure than I care to admit.

  3. I'm wayyy still struggling with this, mostly the clothing part. I still don't know what I like to wear day to day, so I have no idea what I'm going to like to wear on this big important day in four months. Again, that's why I am changing halfway through.

    Right now I'm struggling a little bit - or grappling, rather - with what I'm supposed to look like. We're "supposed" to lose weight, get fit, look "better" for our wedding. I keep thinking of what you said about your strong legs carrying you through a marathon (or something? sorry if i messed that up), and how true that is. I keep thinking, "I need to get in shape for my wedding," and then reminding myself that I *want* to get in shape for *myself*, and however I look is however I look. Just trying to remember to be who I am - which is a bit of a battle when you're not getting married.

    Good post, thanks for sharing :)

  4. It's taught me that being lazy isn't always a bad thing! There are quite a few details that I thought might be nice to have, but couldn't be bothered putting forth the energy to find/make/buy them. Are these things going to matter in the long run? I would certainly think not . . . so it's fine not to have all of the pretty things I see. It's fine not to fuss over them and put energy into the things that we do care about.

    I've also learned that if I'm going to delegate something to be done, then I should delegate and then leave it alone. It will get done, even though I don't do it myself. (Imagine that!)

  5. @roughit I totally thought the same thing, that I needed to get in shape for my wedding. I even bought the work-out tapes. But, as soon as my gown zipped up at my first fitting, I was done working out, just like that.

    So, wedding planning has reminded me that I'm not a person who enjoys working out. Also, wedding planning has cemented for me that my Mom doesn't really want the type of mother-daughter relationship that I want, unfortunate or not.

  6. It's reminded me that I can't wear heels for long, don't like wearing lots of make-up, like flowy dresses and making crafty stuff, and don't enjoy being the center of attention.

    Someone asked me, "well, don't you think being the center of attention is what being the bride is all about?" and I responded, No. I'm happy to have people witness our vows (that's what it's all about for me) but we've constructed our wedding so as NOT to be the main focus... you can't really have a center of attention at a BBQ picnic (esp. when you skip a big dress or tux, all dances, bouquet throwing, toasts, cake smashing, garter tosses, etc.).

  7. Yay for being true to yourself! I think this is important lesson to learn, not just for weddings, but for in life in general. But the wedding has a tendency to make us more hyper aware of issues like this.

  8. The most important thing I learned is that when I feel the need to take control of the situation, I kind of act like a huge b*tch and I need to take a step back. And knowing that I've tried to be very laid back about wedding planning so not to get too caught up in things. It's been a blessing and a curse- sometimes I feel too laid back, too lazy and then I panic. Then my crazy-side wants to take over. I makes me feel a little schizophrenic, but you know... gotta go with the motions. As long as I'm not walking down President having conversations with myself about mason jars and our dessert crisis, I think I'm ok.

    p.s. Definitely down for those mason jars!

  9. I'm really glad that you posted this. I have been having some problems with my dress. I've been trying on all these form-fitting dresses lately that make me want to show off my non-existant curves because these dresses make me look like I have a body, and I know my fiance would like one. But at heart, I know I need to have a princess dress, and I'm glad you were there to remind me that it won't really feel like my wedding in something else.

  10. i'm with you on a lot of this.....I'm all for DIY-ing things before hand...but I know I cannot be trusted to DIY anything last minute with pressure. For example: hair and makeup. I know, from experience, that if I feel pressured to look beautiful and i'm doing my own makeup and make a mistake with my eyeliner I will have a meltdown. I need to make someone else (a trusted professional) responsible for that...and flowers?? puh-leeez if I"m going to spend the morning of my wedding making bouquets! I want to be able to relax! have a leisurely breakfast and just show up! I am a definite "spend money to avoid stress" kind of bride.....who still cringes at bridal magazines and prefers to peruse non-wic weddings for my inspiration. :)