I could have arranged my flowers like this! Or, had this adorable candy bar! Look at this pose I would have known to do for photographs! Or, these great party favors I could have handmade for each of our 300 guests for next to nothing!
Today, as I read Megan at SortaCrunchy’s description of her wedding, her statement that it was “long, long before Pinterest planned weddings” resonated with me. Suddenly, it hit me: Thank God Pinterest was not around when I planned my wedding. My marriage and my family are better off for it.
Even though I love to plan coordinated and beautiful parties, especially with the challenge of a tight budget, I hardly DIY’d anything for the biggest party of my life – my wedding. And, compared to a Pinterest wedding, I barely scratched the surface in how coordinated and detailed I could have been. I don’t think I even knew my wedding had so much potential for creativity!
We were engaged for 4 months, during which I also was in my first (and most intense) semester of business school, so I didn’t have much time for wedding planning. In fact, the day before our wedding, my husband-to-be and I sat in Panera, frantically searching iTunes for which version of each song we wanted to have playing as our guests were seated.
With the time I did have for planning, I made a conscious decision to prioritize planning for our marriage above planning for our wedding.
As children of divorce, we knew we wanted to break old habits and to start our marriage off on the best foot possible. We met with our pastor and with a separate counselor, often having two counseling appointments in one week. As we discussed our future, our finances, and our families with these counselors, we spent even more time outside of their offices hashing through all that it would mean to join together in marriage. It was intense.
Instead of hand making party favors that would probably end up in the trash the next day, we worked on our communication skills. Instead of crafting gorgeous centerpieces for the reception, we planned how our interactions with extended family would look after we tied the knot. And, instead of dreaming up fancy displays for our reception’s food, we dreamed of life together, how many children we’d have, and what we wanted daily life to look like.
Don’t get me wrong – I would have loved to plan all of those things and more. But, with little money, I knew that we needed to start our marriage off debt-free. And, with little time, I needed to prioritize either our marriage or our wedding.
Throughout the wedding planning process, whenever I started to feel discontent about what I could afford or what I had time to coordinate, I repeated to myself: “At the end of the day we’ll be married. None of this matters as much as he does.” I continuously reminded myself of something I’d read in this book – the more I paid for something, the more upset I’d be when it didn’t turn out quite right. Sure enough, on our wedding day, when a couple things didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped they ideally would, I laughed to myself and said, “well, you get what you pay for!”
My wedding was all i could have hoped for. The weather was perfect; nearly all of our beloved friends and family were there; and at the end of the day, my love and I were married. Husband and wife, promising to love each other forever.
I think that if I had known about all these beautiful ideas on Pinterest, I would, at best, have faced a strong temptation to prioritize my assorted DIY projects above my marriage. Even with our low budget, my picture-perfect wedding would have felt within reach and I would have spent my time planning every beautiful detail of a day-long ceremony rather than preparing my heart for a lifelong relationship.
Today, looking back at my wedding, I can’t even remember what our party favors were (did we have any?) or how our food was arranged at the reception (I barely remember the menu!). Instead, I look at my husband – the one who I love more deeply and communicate with more effectively than I did as we planned our wedding nearly 6 years ago – and, suddenly, I feel thankful that I planned my wedding in a pre-Pinterest world.