Over the last few months I've come face to face with the fact that the shape that my wedding is taking is completely different from what I originally thought it would be. Most of that evolution was the product of the sharp learning curve of wedding planning. Until now I had absolutely no need for information such as the price/shopping locations for linen rentals, bubbles, or peacock feathers. I knew that weddings were expensive, but I thought the expense was attributed to pricey perks like dresses made out of Swarovski crystals and 500lb twelve-tier cakes, not the sheer cost of simply feeding your guests.
You know who did know some of this stuff? My mom.
Eventually I came to realize that her advice, which at times irritates the hell out of me, is not an attempt to rain on my parade or rein in my creativity, but can be a little sprinkling of reality.
She tried to tell me, but it took me forever to hear her. That's because I was too busy rolling my eyes at her shock over some of my choices, deleting the emails she sent with pictures of big poofy dresses, and dismissing the idea of wedding packages.
Eventually I came to realize that her advice, which at times irritates the hell out of me, is not an attempt to rain on my parade or rein in my creativity, but can be a little sprinkling of reality. That's not to say that her advice is always correct, and shouldn't be taken with a grain of salt, but sometimes my rebellious heart needs to slow down a little and actually listen. I need to calm down the sixteen-year-old me that comes out whenever my mom tells me something I don't like, and rationally weigh my options.
Here are some things my mom was right about:
- Knowing your budget and costs really is important. Yes love is free, but everything else costs money.
- It rains sometimes. So, if you're looking at an outdoor venue, you need to either be okay with it raining or have a rain plan. Or, if it's not worth the risk, make another plan.
- Finding a wedding dress isn't like finding a party dress. You can't just go find a full-on wedding dress on the rack. Unless what you are looking for is the kind of dress that lives on racks, you need to plan ahead to allow for time for alterations or the time it takes to have something custom made.
- There are a lot of pieces to even a simple wedding. You don't have to think about them all at once, but they exist.
So, okay okay, sometimes my mom is right. And my learning curve has led to a complete evolution as I realized that the simple backyard wedding I initially dreamed of was actually pretty complicated when I factored in catering, rentals, tents, lighting, etc. And it's completely exposed to the elements. I am indeed better off with my Meat and Three barn venue with a full rain plan, my more realistic budget, my dress ordered with plenty of time, and a checklist of to-dos (tailored to me and my priorities).
The lesson for me is to not block out messages I don't want to hear, and to not be hasty to dismiss advice. Don't get me wrong: I still stand my ground, I will respond to situations/limitations in my own way, and there are many aspects of my wedding that are 100% my own and I expressly do not want input on. I drew a few lines, and communicated those lines with my mother, to avoid confrontation and to also make sure that when we discussed other parts of the wedding I would actually listen without becoming defensive.
Because, in the end, I know that she is telling me these things because she loves me and because every once in a while she is indeed right.