Don't Compare It's the Road to Madness - Part I

Bouquet

For close to an hour now, I've sat here typing and then erasing all that I have typed. I feel like although this is my blog I have to tread lightly on topics where many people have different opinions. Yet, as much as I love to showcase other people's work, big days, photography and so forth here, I do enjoy maintaining the personal aspect of my site which allows me to freely express my feelings.

Yesterday I was reading through a handful of blogs when click upon click I ended up at a blog I've read a few times. This said blogger (who I will not name) talks openly about planning a wedding on a budget and the steps she took to do so for her own nupitals a few years ago. And when I say budget I don't mean a $15,000 - $20,000 budget. I mean her budget was less than a quarter of that price; just so we're on the same page here.

First of all, let me say I am all for saving money on something whether it be using a coupon for 15% off at Michaels or skipping the subway to walk to the train in order to save $3.00. I can be realistic when it comes to separating my needs from wants even though I like most people can be frustrated when it seems like there's never enough money for the things we feel we're entitled to. I know I like nice things, I really know I like pretty things and I know and can admit, that from time to time I may have wants that truly exceed my needs and my financial capacities. I'm getting better at it. The more I grow the more I learn how important this is.

Photo by Meg Perotti

However, I became very discouraged and a bit sad when I read what said blogger had to say. From "Do you really need a manicure to make your wedding day perfect? Isn't your wedding about the love you and your husband have for one another and not how much your nails cost?" to "I wasn't about to spend my hard earned money on photographer when a friend could just take photos himself," I couldn't help but feel embarrassed sitting in front of my computer screen. As if said blogger was staring at my manicured nails wagging her finger in my face all while tsk tsk-ing under her breath (if only she knew I have a terrible bite-my-nails-until-the-whole-nail-falls-off-habit and fake nails are the only way I can kick the habit. Gross, I know). Said blogger's rants went on and I became so engulfed in her words and other reader's similar comments that I logged on my computer feeling a tad confused. And greedy. Very greedy.

Last night I thought long and hard about our wedding. And about the things we have planned, the things I really want and the things that we don't need, can't afford or really don't represent us as a couple (like pouring sand during the ceremony, throwing a bouquet or renting a limo). And I remember what my editor at work and I chatted about the other day: Don't Compare. It's the Road to Madness. And it's refreshing for me to finally step back and see, that I've been living a lot of my life (not just in the wedding realm) on a basis of comparison. And it.is.and.has.been.driving.me.wacky.

Did I spend way too much money on my wedding gown? I think so. Will I ever wear it again? Probably not. Will I feel beautiful, special and perfect on my wedding day? Absolutely. Is it a necessity that we have pale pink roses, belles of Ireland and white hydrangea centerpieces so perfectly placed in lace-wrapped vases atop beige, damask linens? I may have to say no. But does it make me happy that we made room in our budget for these centerpieces and that they will in fact be sitting proudly on our guest's tables come September 24th? More than you could know. And I could go on and on and on...

What I am trying to say is your wedding, whether it's coming up, is in the really distant future or has gone, is just that: your wedding. It's no one elses. If someone else wants to blog about how upset they are that someone else had a better photographer or that only the high maintenance-kind-of-brides have candy bars and stretch limousine chariots than so be it. If someone else wants to flaunt the fact they just ordered 5,000 imported pink peonies to have draped around the arch they should be wed under, then that's fabulous too. Be kind and be happy for them (after you secretly wish you had that many lovely peonies too of course :) But remember, Don't Compare. You're not them. They're not you. And your big day is only yours. Enjoy it for what it is.

Photo by Meg Perotti

I wanted anemones and peonies for our big day. But at $25 a stem, it didn't make sense. I would love to be able to afford cute custom gift bags for all of our guests, but realistically we may have to find a more affordable option. I put up a huge fit with Apb (sorry babe) about ordering Chiavari chairs instead of banquet chairs but at $10.00 a chair it just wasn't a possibility. And it would be divine to have a professional make up artist come airbrush my face to perfection on the 24th but I can confidently do my own make up and look like I do any other day; which is in fact the person Apb fell in love with. Instead we invested our money in a wicked photog, trusted my creative instinct and vision when it came to the small details and kept our guest list small in order to throw a really intimate-biggest-party-of-our-lives. And I know in my heart, it's going to the best day ever.

Whether or not I have all the things I want, love and/or need, the most fantastic part of Andrew and I's wedding is that our love, respect and kindness for one another will always be the same. I could have gold leaf manicured onto my nails and I still think it would be next to impossible to forget the reason why I am saying I Do. A price tag doesn't define our love, relationship or future, but we're blessed to be able to throw a beautiful event for our friends and family.

Enjoy all the gorgeous photos by Meg Perotti. Hope it makes your Friday oh-so-sweet and kicks off a sunshiny-weekend, my loves. See you all soon! xo

Photo by Meg Perotti
Photo by Meg Perotti

To everyone who has commented on this post, I thank you for taking the time to write such sweet and encouraging words. I read each and every comment and truly appreciate your thoughts and words of wisdom. This post surely doesn't apply to only weddings but stretches far beyond a one day event like a wedding to the highs and lows everyday life. I hope to add to this series in hopes of inspiring others while generating enlighting comments from all of you :) Thank you again! xo

30 Lovely Comments:

I'm Lindsay! said...

Very well said. At the end of the day it's your wedding and that's all that matters.

LouBoo said...

Ok Rhiannon, I read every word of this in detail (can I just say it's beautifully written?) and felt my emotions rising as I read. I know exactly what you mean about comparing and even more so, the comparison via blogs is like the purest form of the comparison game. You are so right to call this out and so thoughtfully so.

To my mind, it is easy to say that the beautiful things in life don't matter and love gets you by. As a wise friend of mine always says - money doesn't buy you happiness, but it certainly makes being sad more bearable! I think you have found that balance between acknowledging that you want beautiful things on your wedding day and that it matters to you. But as you say it's not everything. It doesn't mean you and Andrew aren't madly in love and won't have a wonderful marriage. Of course not.

I always feel a bit melancholy when people say they have been saddened by reading someone else's blog as I think this blogging pastime should be a happy one. So you just keep going - choosing the things you love, keeping a grip on reality and it was all be OK (way more than OK) on the day!

Sorry for the epic comment...

And P.S. peonies are stunning and we all love them, but something's gotta give ;-) Whatever flower you have it will be perfect. Lou x

Simone said...

Oh Rhi, this was so brilliantly - and beautifully - written....seriously....wow!!

You are absolutely right about it being your wedding - do what you want to do and how you want to do it - and DO NOT COMPARE IT TO ANYONE ELSE'S!!!! We all spend what we want - or rather what we can and it has nothing to do with anyone else.

We spent a lot on our wedding. I spent more on my wedding cake than one friend did on her whole wedding.....but that was up to me, she did her thing, I did mine. I didn't broadcast it - and I didn't judge her and she didn't judge me.

We were friends though, I am sure other people thought I was extravagant and whatever.

YOU ARE NOT GREEDY. AND YOU SHOULD NOT FOR ONE MILLISECOND FEEL EMBARRASSED....EVER!!!!

And please don't be discouraged or sad either (thought I wouldn't shout that bit!!)...quite honestly the other blogger shouldn't be making you feel like this with her opinionated comments - and nor should anyone....your wedding is your business alone.

xoxo

TeachingInHeels said...

I completely agree with you. A wedding is a day for you and your fiance. It is to celebrate your love and lives the way you want to. Everyone does this differently and that should never be a bad or wrong thing.

Caroline said...

I absolutely agree!! You can apply this to life in general. Love your posts so much! xo

Natasha said...

rhiannon,
i am in COMPLETE agreement with this post--wonderfully written my dear! everyone's wedding is up to their own and VERY unique interpretation and we all budget based on our needs vs. wants.. i love the don't compare because you can't--it's not comparing apples to apples in any scenario and i am all for skipping starbucks daily so i can have my little bits of heaven (i.e. favors, cocktails, wedding band, etc)... as long as you know the real meaning behind a wedding that is all that matters (and i know you do!) this process is a lot of fun, but it's a lot of hard work, too and people need to remember that--everyone is entitled to their own opinion, yes, but we're also entitled 1 magical day we can relive every single day for the rest of our lives =)

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

You did a great job of expressing yourself without being snarky. :)

I think it's absolutely silly to go into debt in order to throw a party (reception), but if a bride and groom have the money, the resources, and the know-how to do it...I think that's their business.

Lenore @ Lather. Write. Repeat. said...

Very well said. I agree that a couple's wedding is one of the most personal things they will ever do and it should reflect them and what they want. Splurge on the important stuff, skimp on the not-so-important stuff. Your day - your choice.

XO
Lenore

Shauna said...

So well perfectly put. Just came across your blog and love your way of thinking. Your day will special to you and thats all that matters!

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

girl, i know exactly what you mean about comparison and trying to write a post. it's hard to write when you think too much about who may be reading... after all, it's your blog! comparison is so ugly and leaves you feeling guilty, envious or jealous. yay for nicking it in the bud!!!

Nicole-Lynn said...

Perfectly said! I think we all get caught up in what everyone else has, etc. It's best to stay true to what you want and can afford :)

Very pretty pics.. lovely flowers!

Design Apprentice said...

Thank you for reminding me about comparison, it can be so maddening to see what others have and yearn for that exact same item when it's just not feasible. This was such a wise and helpful post. I admire your honesty.

Juli said...

OH I totally totally hear you. I mean, looking back at my wedding, I realized I really could've done with some comparing which would have saved me a bundle but it was still MY wedding.

The dress part made me smile, I had a girlfriend who used to expound on how ludicrous it was to have a dress with a value of over $300. Until she realized I wasn't about to tell her how much mine cost (like, x a lot more than 300) did she stop. To each their own. And yeah, I had the EXACT same blow out with my then fiancee about chairs or upgraded chair covers. We didn't think it was worth it either. :)

Becca said...

Yes!
I'm proud of you for saying this!

Koru Kate said...

Great post! It's your budget & your day- don't let anyone make you feel bad about it!! Be strong & confident with your choices!! Plenty of people will spend more or less than you on their wedding & comparisons help nobody. Try to enjoy every moment as a bride-to-be- it's such an exciting time :-)

Anonymous said...

Once again RBS you amaze me! I think this is a great post and I am glad you have come to the relization that our day is ours and no matter the food, flowers, decor, guests, or even chairs (PS those chairs are very cool looking but who rents a chair for $10 a piece and then charges a set up fee of $2 a chair? Come on!) it is our day and it will be amazing. Glad to see you are making your blog a bit more personal, I think everyone will enjoy it! ILY
APB

Melanie said...

This is such a wonderful and thought-provoking post. Very beautifully written. I could not have said it better myself. BTW, your gown is to die for.

Remember to enter for your chance to win a Two Strap Belt from Sway!

Melanie@UnravelledThreads

Jesse said...

Some very good advice! I think it is easy to get caught up in comparing. You are right that in the end it is the two of you and your emotion and love for each other that make your day perfect.

annelise said...

Funny, I've just done a post on feeling the need to justify my decisions to other people and how it's really starting to annoy me. Not that I'm getting married but I imagine the sentiment is the same.

A friend and I were talking about our future weddings (she is getting married, I was just being a typical girl and planning ahead!) and she's planning this big fairytale/princess type wedding, whereas I would want something small and intimate, without the $30,000 price tag that she's budgeted for.

But that's cool, that's what she wants and she's happy with all her decisions. And so should you be. Everyone is different, everyone thinks the ideal is something different to the next person's idea. As long as you and your fiance are happy, you don't need to justify it to anyone else!

JEM - Aqua Bride said...

It's like everything has completely reversed. Gone are the days when brides were embarrassed that they couldn't afford something. Now because of budget minded brides, brides who are able to indulge are being made to feel guilty.

At the end of the day, you know your financial situation and what you can or can't live without. There are a lot of things budget brides (like me) would have done if we had the money.

It's your wedding, do it the way you want.

Amanda said...

I think the core of your post is so important - don't compare. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you're on. Don't worry about what you can't have, wishing you could have this or that that you see other people having, and don't let others make you feel poorly about the choices you've made if they're important to you.
I think it's just a major aspect of our generation and our culture. We've grown up with our eyes on everybody else all the time, sizing them up and comparing ourselves, whatever the criteria might be. It's sad, because it makes people so dissatisfied with themselves. It's great to want to improve ourselves, but I think sometimes it reaches a point where we're so focused on keeping up with others we'll never be satisfied.
{this has been a bit of a theme with articles, books, discussions, etc. this week it seems}

Closet full of hopes and dreams said...

So true! No use and no gain in comparing. Everybody's different. My sister is planning her wedding and it's going to be a lot different than ours. I loved our wedding, but I think hers is going to be just as beautiful but in another way. We have always been different, but I love her to death. Diversity is what makes the world go round!

Malin said...

Beatuifully written post!! ANd you're so right! What someone else spends on their wedding is totatlly irrelevant to you, you should spend what you are comfortable with, so that you are happy with your day!

Lisa said...

What a beautifully written post, Rhiannon! While my wedding was 13 years ago, this sentiment can certainly be applied to many areas of life. I always enjoy what you have to say, and your lovely photos! Can't wait to see pictures of your own special day in September!

clearlytangled said...

rhi, i really could not agree more. great post! like the others have commented, don't let anyone else make you feel greedy or embarassed. your wedding day should be how you and apb want it. nothing else matters!

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

This is a great post Rhi! go for hat you want honey, don't compare and go for what will make you happy, Im sure your wedding will be amazing and in budget xoxo

Roselie said...

Kudos to you girl for realizing and admitting it. Most people choose to just ignore it and be miserable. I 'm glad there 's someone else who's not one of them.

apparentlyjessy said...

Rhiannon, I think you have hit the nail on the head! I absolutely agree that weddings are so individual, and it's not about anyone but the bride and groom and what they want to do. So I am proud of you for realising this, and not comparing yourself to anyone else or their wedding!
I am certain your wedding day will be a truely beautiful day!

Simone - honeyandfizz said...

Hi Rhiannon, just new to your blog but had to comment on this post. I feel that blogging is about what makes us happy, what we want, admire etc. It doesnt have to be practical or even attainable! Enjoy having the things that makes your wedding a standout day for you and Andrew, dont listen to any negativity. We all have different needs & wants and thats ok :)Beautiful pics, by the way x

sara said...

Here, here, Rhiannon! Such a lovely, articulate, insightful post. It's far to easy to get bogged down in comparison - especially in the blogging community. I say that a couple's wedding is perfect because it is THEIR wedding - no matter if their budget was $1000 or $1,000,000!