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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