How Not to Plan a Perfect Wedding. Perfection, Part 2

This is the second part of my “Perfection” post series. Check out the first one here

A couple months ago I called my best friend whining. “I’m so tired of having to give up what I want and settle for what I can get,” I said, as she listened patiently over the phone. I was venting my frustration on wedding planning hopes that had been shattered by the reality of… tan tan tan! THE BUDGET.

Almost a year ago, I started planning our dream wedding. We made a list of what was truly important for each of us, then I hired a wedding planner, and off to the races we went. Literally… because we are getting married during racing season in Kentucky. 


But then I made my first big mistake, I started following wedding planners, venues, photographers, dress designers and bloggers on Instagram and making mood boards on Pinterest. Subjecting myself to the tragedy of frustration by comparison. A few months later I had a whole new list of what we should have at our wedding. The list kept growing with ridiculous details like the color of the ribbon on the flowers and the thickness of the fabric that covers the tent poles, even the color of the dance floor made the list. Yes, the dance floor is crucial at our wedding, I just didn’t think the color would ever matter so much.

“I don’t want that gross parquet floor,” I told Betsy, our wedding planner. So true to her ability, she found us a beautiful shiny white dance floor that had to be brought in from two cities over because it was so “fancy”. It was also so fancy it cost more than the Mariachi band I was interested in. “Ok, I guess the black and white checkerboard dance floor will have to do”, I told Betsy, with a deep sigh.

Then the flowers came up, Every blog post I read seemed to have one theme in common, “Whatever you do, don’t even think about making the flower arrangements yourself, unless you want to ruin your chances of enjoying your wedding day,” said the glamorous writers at The Knot. True to my perfectionist self, I listened and had every intention of hiring a florist. Let’s be honest, the only thing I care about is that the flowers are real and if possible local. Everything else, I could not give a shit about. That was my thought on flowers until the florist asked me to create a Pinterest board with flower arrangement ideas. All reason went out the window then. “Ooo high vases with candles. YES, that’s what I want. No, low vases with gold accents, that’s what I want,” I invoked, with every finger tap on my iPhone. Nine months into the planning, I was another wedding industry victim.


The timeline, the save the dates, the colors, the music, the food, the visuals, decorations, chairs, tables, and drinks… I was so worried about every single detail that instead of fun, planning became frustrating and sad. “Can’t have that, no that’s not in the budget, will have to go with the white plates, instead of the antique ones.” Because of all the things, the color of your plates is what people are going to remember about your wedding day.

Until one day this past December, I opened up the list that D and I made last year and realized that we were getting everything we wanted! We had a memorable location, outdoor wedding, the music will be wonderful, the food will be delicious, and our family and friends will be there. What else do we need? Turns out we’ve covered everything on the list, short of a couple more details. But I was so caught up in the veil of wedding perfection that I couldn’t see clearly. What we want and what the world says we should have are two starkly different things.


“Only what we want matters, not what society says we should have,” D said as he was comforting me one day, after I sadly pointed out that the “perfect florist” was not in our budget. As I went through the list of things I had to settle for he asked me, “Do you want to rent that expensive antique couch because it’s important to you, or because it will look cool and glamorous?” “Can’t it be both?” I replied, with a sad puppy face. The truth is I want the couch because it will look amazing against the backdrop of the bluegrass fields, but it’s not more important than the food or the music. “Fancy antique couch was not on our list, so do you want the couch or is Pinterest making you think you want the couch?” D pointed out. Sigh…

He was right. I was disappointed not because I wasn’t getting the perfect wedding we wanted, but because I wasn’t planning the wedding social media told me I should have. With perfect flowers, perfect venues, perfect food and perfect people. None of that is the reality. Weddings should be about the marriage not the thread count on the table linens. Am I right? Please tell me that’s right! Because right now it seems like everyone on social media disagrees.

So I decided to take a break from wedding planning in January and just focus on our relationship instead. I think as a creative person, it’s always a battle for me between what I need and what I imagine I should have. Plenty of people have told me wedding days are never perfect, so I should start getting used to the idea that no matter how attainable it seems, no wedding goes off without a glitch. There will inevitably be the opinionated, the late, the under-dressed and the way too drunk. And what are we gonna do about it? Let someone else handle it and dance our asses off!

P.S. Our not so perfect love story was featured on The Wedding Concierge blog last month, along with our Kentucky photo session. Click here to check it out! 




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