Wednesday, January 6, 2010
musical chairs and dress-up
When Mr. FP and I first got engaged, I immediately went into what I like to refer as "bride-mode". I started scouring the internet for as many ideas as possible concerning every single detail of the wedding. After being engaged only a week, I was convinced that I'd made the final decisions on table linens, centerpieces, the guest list, the bridesmaids dresses etc. (Ha! "Final decisions". I've changed my mind about 340,093,787 times since then.) This "bride-mode" took over my brain and made me think strange thoughts. Although I've always known that I wanted a simple, small and (above all) casual wedding, I forgot all about my dream wedding because I was so consumed with what I thought a wedding had to be.
Once again, here's an example of the wedding industry at its best ... making people who are otherwise perfectly sane think they need to spend $30,000 on their wedding. As far as I was concerned, there had to be fresh cut flowers in my centerpieces, I needed to have a caterer, I had to get married in a church and I reception would have to be at a banquet hall.
Some of the biggest "ah-ha" moments I've had during wedding planning occur when I realize that I don't need to have any of these things. The first one occurred when I was talking to my mom about the seating chart and she suggested that it might be better to forgo escort cards and a seating chart entirely in order to promote the casual atmosphere of the wedding. The first thought through my mind? : "What do you mean? Not have a seating chart?! How can I possibly do that?!".
The second one came during my first visit to a bridal salon. I had spent the past half an hour sweating and maneuvering myself into giant, puffy wedding gowns that cost more than two months rent. I did not like it at all. I didn't want to spend $1,200 on a dress. I wanted to be able to move around without fear of knocking people over with the layers of tulle under my dress. And above all, I wanted the ability to pee by myself on my wedding day! It wasn't until the consultant at the salon brought in a bridesmaid dress that was similar to the style of gowns that I had hated the least that I remembered my original plan to order a bridesmaid dress in white in lieu of a gown.
Looking back on these moments, I feel so stupid. So unbelievably stupid. I'd been duped! From the moment that ring hit my finger, all those visions of a simple, fun, casual wedding that I really wanted flew out of my mind.
Thankfully, I ultimately realized (after an embarrassingly long time) that our wedding didn't need to have or be anything. And while I've been frowned upon for some of these decisions which go against the grain (from making my own bouquet, to doing my own makeup on the day, to not including the names of our parents on the invitations) it's been much more rewarding on the whole. When the day is done, we're planning our wedding, not the wedding industry's.