Calligraphy, shoes, pillows, linens, note cards, makeup, processional timing, seating chart, songs…
Those were just some of the elements of my wedding that went awry. The ones I remember, at least. The one I recall that went right? We had fun. And, after all, that’s really what matters.
My recently engaged friend called to catch up the other day. When I asked how her wedding planning was going, she groaned. I could relate. Wedding planning is a rite of passage. Everyone deserves to go through it once to know they never want to do it again. While trying to give her some advice, she asked me what went wrong on my day to hopefully avoid those pitfalls herself. “How much time do you have?” I replied.
I’m a serious planner. It runs in my blood. My grandmother needed to know as you were leaving when you were coming again and my mother’s calendar looks like the aftermath of a blood drive with all the red ink so I get it honestly. My wedding was no different.
I planned the crap out of that thing working daily for the better part of a year on every little detail, agonizing over the font, stamps and signage and orchestrating each moment from the welcome cocktails to the after party. I wrote every word of our ceremony, excluding my husband’s handwritten vows, and gifted each child with a personalized sand bucket filled with toys and activities appropriate for their age and gender and, of course, the occasion (our destination weekend-long beach wedding). I poured over sixty combined years of photos between my husband and me, making sure there was not one but several shots of each guest on the memory clothesline at the reception to let them know they were not only a part of our day but our lives as well and, after searching for months, hand-picked jewelry that suited each bridesmaid’s personality and unique dress. You name it, I stressed over it. Please let the record show, I’m not patting myself on the back; I’m illustrating how crazy I was. Something my sister and Maid of Honor reminds me of to this day.
I should have saved myself some time and sanity. Because at the end of the day, “the best laid plans of mice and men go astray.” Poet Robert Burns should have included brides. Whether I noticed the faux pas the night of or upon examining photos after the fact (Hello massive, plastic trash can in the background of all our aisle shots!), there was plenty that went astray and not at all according to plan.
But, the rust colored, geometric printed shams that were supposed to be solid white, the too small to write a complete thought guestbook cards, even the groom almost losing me during our heavily-choreographed, much-practiced and quickly forgotten dance (The dip was more drop.), didn’t matter. I was married to the perfect man for me (Okay, he could use a few more dance lessons!), we were surrounded by love and laughing our faces off. I’d take that over perfectly placed table assignments any day.