The wrong way to make a bouquet? Learning to accept help and relinquish wedding control

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Brink Powell
Bruno and Tamar Wedding ATX
Photo by Ixi Photography

I am a rather controlling person. I know this about myself. When it comes to doing things, anything really, I operate independently. On my elementary school report cards, I always got comments about needing little supervision but not working well in groups. I was that kid that needed to take over because I wanted the project to be good, I wanted a good grade, and I was afraid that if I let other kids do too much of it then it wouldn't turn out well.

This tendency of mine to take on the brunt of any project alone has caused some issues in my life. When I was the editor of the high-school newspaper I proofread (a.k.a., re-wrote) every single article. This obviously upset the people who wrote them in the first place. In college, I once dropped out of a group project and did my own separate project the night before the presentation because the group one sucked, and no one would listen to me on how to make it better. (In my defense on that one, they got a D and I got an A). When I was the co-producer of a local theater company, I was the main contact person, I basically made all the plans and decisions, and I didn't let my partner have anything to do with the finances.

The point is I've been handling wedding planning the same exact way. I haven't been asking for help, I haven't been delegating, and I've been overwhelmed and drowning in an endless sea of paperwork and DIY projects. I've been so worried about letting people help because I feel like only I know what the end result is "supposed" to be, and I'm scared that if someone else makes something it won't be "right." This is where my thinking needs to change…

There is no right or wrong way to make a bouquet. There is no right or wrong way to tie a bow on an escort card. But, if it's not done my way, I get anxious and stressed out.

I started thinking about all this when my Maid of Honor came over to start work on our bouquets. She started on hers, and I started on one of the others. I didn't like the way she was putting the hydrangeas on, didn't like how she was putting pins everywhere, didn't like how she was so messy about the hot glue, etc. I didn't say anything, I just kept working on the other one in my slow, methodical, clean up as I went along way. By the end of the session my Maid of Honor was much further along on hers, but my personal feeling was that it was a bit of a mess, and I might have to "fix" it on my own.

A few nights later she joined me in another night of wedding DIY. She cut the strings for the bows, and I tied skulls onto tombstone escort cards. Once she ran out of string, she pitched in and started tying bows too. Our bows did not look the same at all. She even said, "Mine look wonky." The didn't, they looked fine, but they didn't look like the ones I had done. That's when this dawning realization hit me…

They're fucking bows. That's it. Who the hell cares how big the loops are on a bow holding a skull in place on a tombstone-shaped escort card? Who cares if half the bows are big and loopy and half the bows are small and narrow? Who is even going to notice that? If people are comparing bow sizes at our reception then obviously we're not good at throwing an entertaining event.

The next time we were working on the bouquets, I didn't even look at what my Maid of Honor was doing to hers. I just let her go and concentrated on the one I had. She got hers finished and started on the third and final one. Again, I didn't even really look at what she was doing. I'd told her my vision for it and, after seeing how hers turned out, I realized that I need to trust her and anyone else who offers to help. Her bouquet looks great, and while she didn't go about it in the same way I would have and the end result is different than if I had done it, the point is that it looks great.

I need to start delegating. I need to trust. I need to let things go. I can't accomplish everything for this wedding by myself, and if I try to, I will miss out on the fun of wedding planning and end up just being overstressed, overworked, and overwhelmed. Yes, there are some projects that I must do myself, because those have a deeper meaning. But for the centerpieces, chair bows, and all the other random decorations we want to incorporate, I'm going to ask for help and happily accept the end results.

  1. Thanks so much for this! I tend to be a little (re: a lot) on the perfectionist end of things. I'm just starting the planning process, but have already started with the lists and "Maybe I should re-learn to knit so I can make my own little cake toppers and I'm sure I'll have time to make x, y, z, and oh Future Husband shouldn't have to worry about that, I'll take care of that planning tidbit too" on top of trying to finish recovering from a major car accident, work, and other everyday responsibilities. I already needed the reminder to let people help.

  2. This is so true. I had to learn letting things go the hard way at my previous job, and i'm still not very good at it. Something tells me I'll need to take a big, healthy step back in this wedding planning malarky on several occasions. Great post 🙂

  3. I agree with this 100%!! I think the best thing to do is accept help from people who's opinion you trust on that particular topic. For instance, my mum is an avid gardener and my aunt is a florist, so I am pretty much letting them take care of the flowers and pick them out. I picked the colors, but besides that I am letting them run with it. And I'm saving money on a hair dresser by just having my bridesmaids do their own hair / makeup and pick their own shoes, because I totally trust their style judgement.

  4. Arghhhh I am having this EXACT problem. And like the author, it pretty much extends to every other part of my life. It gives me huge anxiety to not have things done "my way", and it's impossible for me not to fix everything someone elwe does. Wedding is less than 60 days away, I am going to have to find a way to get over this.

    • Take a breath, it will be okay. What helped me was to make a list of all the DIY projects I had left to do and then really think about what ones I needed to do myself and what ones I would be okay with delegating (the answer was initially, none!). But I needed to, so I slowly went through them and put things like my own bouquet, our binding cords, and the escort cards into the "Me" column and then stuff like the table name frames, table runners, baskets for the bathrooms, etc into the "Delegate" column. Just looking at the finished columns relieved stress because my list had been cut in half!

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