“Don’t be afraid to be yourself and be original. Follow your instincts and believe you can achieve what you want. Also – remember why you are getting married and that everyone coming is going to be there to support you (it will keep you sane!).
We had about four months to plan it all which isn’t long especially when you’re also making four dresses – if you can, give yourself about six months to plan it all. Any longer and it could drive you mad with ideas and any less – you can feel a bit pressured.
Above all else, make sure you enjoy it all – it is a fantastic time!”
I’ve been thinking about my post yesterday.
I’ve been thinking about calling all those lovely little extras ‘fluff’.
I’ve been thinking that might offend many people and I wanted to explain.
Many of the people who look at this blog will be looking for ideas, ideas that will help make their wedding individual to them, they’re seeking inspiration and they’ll be seeking inspiration from many places.
I have done the same, I have trawled many a website, read and subscribed to many a blog. Wondered at all these incredibly creative, crafty people and their fantastic wedding days. Rather than just being an inspiration I’ve found that they’ve made me feel inadequate, like I’m not doing enough, I imagine there must be many a bride feeling the same.
By calling all those lovely, pretty extras ‘fluff’ I wanted to trivialise them in my own mind, to make them lose their stature so that I am able to enjoy the next few months of final preparations rather than getting stressed out about them when they don’t go just as I planned. I fear that people may be offended if they imagine that I am suggesting they are being superficial by considering and thinking about all these extra things that go into a wedding. I am not. I am having lots of pretty elements, I have spent months collecting glass cake stands, and vases, I’ve agonised for weeks over fabric choices for my Bridesmaids, I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money on Swarovski crystals for my headpiece and so on and so on. I am as consumed by all these lovely extra details as the next Bride, it’s a major day in anyone’s life and you want it to be ‘just so’, that’s only natural.
I’m just trying to reign in my inner-Bridezilla!
The wedding is fast approaching, I love every decision we have made, we have even said that if we won the Lotto we wouldn’t change a thing. Which I think is nice, we’ve planned our day our way, and for the most part people have been happy and supported our decisions.
The wedding is 119 days away! And I’ve been thinking recently about the mad merry-go-round that is wedding planning.
Neil proposed almost 2 years ago, we never wanted a long engagement, but somehow it happened. The day we got engaged we discussed a list of 3 ‘must have’s’ each. Neil’s were low-key: mini-sausages, Skinner’s Ale and to be allowed to wear flip-flops at some point during the day, all of them are happening. Mine, were expensive and tricky: mini-patiserrie from Maison Bertaux, Soho (we’re getting married in Cornwall), my hair to be done by my London-based hair-dresser (we’re getting married in Cornwall), and I can’t even remember the third! None of mine are happening and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I don’t mind. We’re having a cake competition instead where guests will bring an entry and Neil and I will be judge’s, my hairdresser is teaching me to do the hairstyle and I might get her to teach one of my bridesmaids too (just in case!).
I have moments when I get caught up in all the ‘fluff’, thankfully I’ve only had one meltdown, I don’t want to turn into a Bridezilla! Whenever something isn’t going strictly to plan I think about my parents wedding. They married 29 years ago, they had very little money and came from modest backgrounds, they married in their local church, dad wore his No.1 Army Uniform, mum wore a dress that cost £70 from Debenhams (her eldest brother paid for it), they had their Reception in a local Social Club, the family made the buffet. Has their marriage been any less because they didn’t spend a small fortune on the day? In a word, no. Like all marriages they have taken the rough with the smooth, but the amount spent on the day has made no difference to the quality of the marriage.
If I were to have my time again I would by a dress from the High Street, I would ask friends to bring along a dish for the buffet, I would have the Reception in a small village hall, and I wouldn’t worry about all the ‘fluff”.
That said ‘Operation Fluff” is well on it’s way now, so I’m riding the wedding roller coaster, only thing is I’m not going to worry anymore if things don’t quite work out the way I originally planned. My marriage isn’t going to collapse if I’m missing ribbons off my napkins on my wedding day! And ultimately it’s the marriage that counts, the wedding is after all only one day.
A few years ago, during a therapy session I was receiving for a bout of depression I was suffering with, I described myself as a ‘recovering perfectionist’, I came up with the phrase whilst writing in my journal and reflecting on my ways, it describes me perfectly. I guess what it means is that I am a perfectionist but I try consciously not to let it rule my day to day life.
If I am honest, it’s my perfectionism that stopped me from pursuing a career in Theatre Design which is what I originally trained in, I found the whole process of designing for the theatre so incredibly stressful that when I first graduated I couldn’t accept any work that came my way, I was too scared of failing.
As a Newly Qualified Teacher I struggled for the first couple of years until I realised that all the work would never be done and it would definitely never be done to the standard I wanted, so the important thing was to prioritise the work that needed to be done and do it as best I could in the time available without working myself into the ground, I think I’ve mostly succeeded but I still have moments when I push myself too hard, but I think most people do.
It is my perfectionist tendencies that prevent me from really pursuing a more actively creative and crafty lifestyle. I think the creative process is fabulous but as a perfectionist I find the process challenging to say the least, creativity does not, I believe, go hand in hand with perfectionism. I might be wrong? I am envious of those people who can really pursue their creative passions without self-censoring. And yes I know, I just need to get over it!
Anyway, I find it very hard to quash my perfectionist tendencies, in many aspects of day to day life I tend to manage it but I am finding it hard with this wedding malarkey. I am desperate not to turn into Bridezilla, but small things just seem to keep going wrong and I’m finding it hard to deal with. My perfectionist tendencies seem to get worse whenever what I am doing will be seen (or in my mind, be judged) by others, and our wedding will be seen by all those who are nearest and dearest to me. Whilst I know that they won’t be there judging me, a part of me (that is often very powerful at times) believes that they will. I myself have described all the extra things that we are including in our wedding day as ‘fluff’ and as such I KNOW that they are not important, that mistakes will be over-looked or won’t even be noticed, etc but I still find it tough.
Knowing is one thing, feeling and believing often another.
Well, what have I done to ‘fix’ this? I had a good old moan to the lovely ladies I have met through the RMW Real Brides competition and as per usual they were incredibly supportive and kind. I have spoken to my Neil and I have taken a step back from all the wedding stuff for a couple of days to spend a bit of quality time with my Neil and put the real reason for our marriage to the fore-front of my mind.
Any other ‘recovering perfectionists’ out there? How do you ‘quash’ your tendencies? What’s your trigger?
Anyone else having to step back from all the wedding ‘fluff’ to gain a bit of perspective?