Photo by ecdahl. Used by permission.

I am nine days from our wedding — our VERY tight budget wedding — and two days ago we had an unexpected $500 expense come up that couldn't be postponed. At the time, I freaked out a bit about how we would pay for everything that's left to take care of.

I am no longer freaked out. In fact, I am really bemused by the calm I feel. The peace and acceptance I feel for this IMPERFECTION astounds me. I am a Virgo. I am Type-A all the way. I am a perfectionist, a go-getter, the make-it-happen girl. I always have been. I have never settled for anything in my life.

In the last month or so I have cried and screamed and thrown many a pity party. I have raged against my parents and family, against his friends and family. I have wailed about why, just this once, it can't just WORK OUT for me. And then, I started to have moments of wondering when I became so entitled. And when we handed over our credit card on Wednesday, the light bulb came on…

And I am settling now. And even though the word “settling” has a negative connotation, it is most emphatically NOT a negative feeling. Maybe it'd be better to say that I have re-prioritized? But semantics are just that, and I am settling — happily settling — for less than everything I want.

Nine days to go, and I am just now getting it. I am just now letting go of “perfect.”

It doesn't matter if this is The Perfect Wedding. It doesn't matter if we have more soda than beer. It doesn't matter if we ask our DJs to record their mixes for us so we can play them over the speakers on the boat and save the money on renting all the DJ equipment. It doesn't matter if I am the perfect Southern Hostess with impeccable etiquette. It doesn't matter if I get new earrings, or more props for the box, or a guestbook that I like better, or finish making the dinosaurs or not. It doesn't matter if the cake tips over on the way to the boat, because I'm not going to be there to hold it upright the whole way and stress about it.

What matters is that in nine days I will stand before everyone on this earth who matters most to me and promise to love this man forever and ever. (More than UNC Basketball.) And what matters is that I know he is going to promise to do the same. What a beautiful gift that is! To KNOW he is going to promise to love me forever and mean it. No doubts. No fears. For the first time in my life to be completely certain of another person.

What matters is that my soul sisters are flying in from all over the country. That they banded together to get those who couldn't afford their own ticket here anyway. This will be the first time in over two years we have all been together, and THAT, in and of itself, is more perfect than I could ask for.

What matters is that the friends who can't be there in person will be in spirit — through homemade, FedEx'd baklava, through a necklace gifted to me just before his death, through a song and through drunk dials at the bachelorette next Friday night.

And all of that will happen with or without booze. With or without fancy DJ equipment and speakers for our Break Beats and House. With or without his sister. With or without my pretty little stud earrings.

It may not be The Perfect Wedding I wanted. But it will still be my wedding. And it will be beautiful and fun and special anyway. And that's what matters.

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Comments on Letting go of perfect

  1. thank yuo for this — i am 95 days away and this was great to read !! I am tired of trying to fight all the “wedding must haves” !! i dont want my guys to wear flowers…or the flowergirl to carry anything but elmo…and i dont want to invite these people just because…and im tired of worrying about everyone else’s good time…and now, after reading this article…i will think about….no wait — i WILL give myself permission to just enjoy myself and my guy. After all, it is our day…
    thanks again for sharing this !

  2. THANK YOU, THANK YOU… we’re 2 months away now, and I needed this reality check!!! It doesn’t matter if my DIY centerpieces are less than perfect! It doesn’t matter if I get this tablecloth versus that one! (Will anyone besides me remember them anyways?) What DOES matter is that our friends and families will all be there with us, and on that day we’re all becoming one big family. THANK YOU for writing this!

  3. And you know what?

    When it’s all said and done, when you take a moment to take a big, deep breath, you’ll say without hesitation–“That day was PERFECT.”

  4. yes! THIS!! I’m 18 days away from mine and have gone through all of that myself and had the same realization that in the end it’ll be perfect because it’s ours no matter what happens!

  5. Moments of realization like this were the only things that kept me sane in the months and days leading up to my wedding (over a year now!). The “Oh my God, what will everyone think?!” thoughts came very close to taking over, until I realized that things WOULD go wrong. And they did. My dress was still partially bustled during the ceremony. I didn’t walk down the aisle to the right song. It rained cats and dogs. But you know what? NO ONE NOTICED (well, my bridesmaids noticed the bustle, but they’d been with me all morning). Or cared, in the case of the rain. All that mattered was I was marrying the love of my life and celebrating like crazy with our loved ones. And that’s what people still remember! Once I stopped worrying, it became easier. I was still nervous as all heck, but not because of the details or worrying whether everything would go according to plan.

    And like dootsiebug said…at the end of it all, I definitely thought the day was perfect.

  6. this brought tears to my eyes! I thought I was a “bad bride” by NOT being stressed out, because in the end just being there is perfect enough. Thank you for reassuring me that I’m not rowing this boat alone.

  7. I love the way articles on this site can sometimes sound like any other wedding site on earth, then in the middle you get a sentance like “It doesn’t matter if I get new earrings, or more props for the box, or a guestbook that I like better, or finish making the dinosaurs or not.”

    Why dinosaurs? This has intrigued me now, details please. 😀

    Also your wedding may not be perfect but it does sound Awesome! A boat party, Fedex’d baklava, friends and family from all over, home made dinosaurs…I’m sorry I’m missing it. 😀

    And on top of all that you’re absolutely right. It doesn’t matter if all the details are perfect, what matters is getting married.

    • That sentence stood out to me as well! I was like “dinosaurs? TELL ME MORE!” This wedding sounds awesome.

      • The dinosaurs were supposed to be covered with fabric and made into a banner, and were most definitely not finished – at least not the way I’d wanted them, but it all worked out. 🙂

  8. Remembering my own wedding day, my parents were the ones who had to have everything “just perfect.” I was more concerned about perfection in the “happily ever after” part. You caught the true spirit of marriage long before I did. For that, you Rock the Casbah.

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