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

Last night was a rough one. No, nothing happened to me, everything is OK, I am healthy, safe and happy. It's just that I came across this specific wedding. This really gorgeous Californian wedding where I swear on my life the floral bill probably cost the same as our entire venue. Judging from the photos the bride and groom had a pretty high end swanky wedding and well, I felt sad and slightly jealous. Actually, I felt defeated. Because our wedding didn't quite measure up. Here I am trying to break into the world as a wedding planner and it's as if my own wedding day was sort of a let down in the aesthetics departments.

As a bride-to-be, some of us spends years, months, and weeks trying to imagine and pin-point how we are going to feel when we slip on our wedding gown and go from bride-to-be to bride. We imagine feeling pretty, we imagine feeling the same emotions that we get when we look at lovely photos. We imagine feeling lots of different things depending on the type of woman we are; sexy, cute, happy, sophisticated, gorgeous, complete, dreamy, your best. We imagine our backyards, our ballrooms, our art galleries, our mansions being turned into these romantic paradises nothing short of looking like the photos we've been staring at since we started our inspiration folders upon our engagement. We picture custom candy bars, live bands, paper poms, phootbooths with little heart shaped chalkboards; we imagine all of these things and manage to scheme up all of these perfect and completely personalized expectations. Then in such a short amount of time we cross our fingers and hope we can fulfill them within a few short hours. We go through the emotional experience of becoming married hoping to feel something physical that we've schemed up through mental expectations. That was such a deep sentence, wasn't it?

I'm a Mrs now. No longer a bride-to-be or bride. No need to tell people "I'm getting married in 2 months!" And to be completely honest with everyone, I feel a little down I'm no longer a yet-to-be. Because this means I have to move on and accept my wedding day as is. Some days are really easy to do so. Some days, like last night, are extremely hard for someone such as myself (perfectionist, lover-of-all-gorgeous-things, aspiring wedding stylist) to do so. I think to myself that I could have been a better bride, I could have picked prettier florals, I should have picked this, that and all of those. I should have worked harder while I was in school to save up more money for that vendor, or that pair of shoes. I should have thought things over more, hired a planner, asked for help. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. It's the same little phrase my sweet and supportive husband keeps reciting to me over the phone every time I bring up the I'm-feeling-bummed-about-our-wedding-conversation. Bless his heart, I love him.

Yet at the time of planning our wedding, everything felt so right. We did what we could afford. We paid every single bill upfront without using credit. We had a fabulous day. We were surrounded by love and happiness and support. We got married! The funny thing that gets me about wedding blogs, features and all the pretty pink fluff in the blogosphere is no one ever really considers the money that goes into planning and creating the majority of these gorgeous affairs. Time and time again this is one of the main reasons I end up appreciating our own special day, because we did what we could financially to have our day be not only beautiful but special to us as a couple coming together as one. When you add in videographers for $5,000, florists for $3,000, a band for another $2,000 and custom linens, draping, lighting and styling for x, y and z amounts, well thank you to the couples who fit this bill; your weddings are gorgeous and such a treat to look at. For the rest of us married folk, you know, the ones who ran around like a nutcase decorating their venue the day of because paying someone to do it wasn't feasible, the ones who did their own makeup and hair to save a bit of money, the ones who used carnations in the centerpieces because peonies weren't in the budget, your weddings are gorgeous too. Because they are yours and that's what makes them so darn special.

Andrew always asks me at the end of our discussions if I truly want to be a wedding planner and stylist. It seems to him, to be a bit torturous for me to be swarmed with gorgeous images of weddings day in and out, when I feel so 'deprived' of such beauty of our big day (sounds way more dramatic than it really is, I promise). Sometimes it is hard. It's the whole I want what she's got thing. And for split second I feel a bit of dread like what have I gotten myself into? But then I think of how special I can make a bride's day be for her, I imagine the things I could create for her so that when she does walk into her reception she feels blown away by the decor, I visualize a bride's face lighting up when I tell her this flower is just as pretty as that. And I feel happy because I have a marriage and the rest of my life to have days with my husband that are far greater than the day we became husband and wife.


Love you Apb. Thanks for marrying me :)

32 Lovely Comments:

Lori said...

I can really relate to this post. When we got married I was not working, my Dad had passed away earlier that year and we had moved out of town a month prior to our big day. I look back now with only 1 regret (other than Dad missing it of course) and that was that we did not have a receiving line. After the wedding I had the planning blues ~ I crashed big time. Chin up ~ you are going thru the wedding version of postpartum depression! This picture is gorgeous ~ I cannot wait to see more. xo

Emma said...

I can relate to this post too - but I am a bride-to-be still, but I do feel that when it's all done and dusted and I'm a Mrs I will miss being engaged and planning our wedding. I know what you mean :)

kelly said...

I am reading this post from a completely different standpoint...

I am neither married OR engaged. I can't relate to all that you mentioned but can say to continue to be thankful that you've found your soulmate; that you're married...it's something that so many never have and that, my friend, is priceless. :)

Caroline said...

WOW .... you are so beautiful!!! XO

Cassie said...

Although I am not married, I can totally relate to the post! Try not to be so tough on yourself. You looked amazing on your wedding day.

Just found your blog and I am now your 600th follower! Excited!

jessica lynn said...

YES YES YES YES!!!!! You know what I love most, coming upon a featured wedding on a popular blog with the title "Down Home DIY Wedding" except for each and every detail is diy-d by a planner, stylist, florist and 800 other people at $x an hour. Oh vey. I would love to know the average cost of a wedding featured on those high traffic blogs. And, to each his own as far as the $ amount spent. I was like you, I saw no reason to go into debt for our wedding and it was still beautiful. Perhaps not drool-worthy for all of those blogs out there, but it got the job done. :)

I cannot wait to see your pictures from Amanda (she is so talented!). The ones that you have shared so far are GORGEOUS! Love your dress, veil, bouquet, bling, etc. :)

Krystal said...

Aw lady, I'm sure that your wedding was incredible. and it was YOURS and no one elses. I got married so long ago that I would completely do my wedding over if i had to do it again, how is that for wishing your wedding was different! I don't think I even liked it, haha!

Michaela said...

I've never seen such a pretty waist band as yours. It's so unique! You're gorgeous, as always (: I love your last paragraph of the post, because that's what it's all about! Being side by side forever. I think you'd make a wonderful wedding planner...like I've said before, I'd hire you in a second, girlfriend!

Kelley said...

I found myself feeling the same way as you after my wedding. I have a degree in Interior Design and am an aspiring Wedding Event planner and therefore wanted my big day (this past Sept) to be spectacular and show everyone how great of a designer I am :) However, our budget was very small so I wasn't able to have one of those weddings that you see on those amazing wedding blogs. I did a lot myself (like the flowers)and little decor details here and there, which made the day feel special. After our wedding when I would come across a fabulous wedding - I kept telling myself that what mattered most was not the decor, but how we felt on our wedding day (AMAZING!) I want you to know that I appreciate your honesty because I think this is something that a lot of perfectionist, detail loving, wedding obsessed past brides go through. Remember that although you may feel this way, your wedding doesn't define you (nor does it define your design sense!) Looking forward to seeing what I am sure are beautiful photos from your wedding day!

Irene said...

Ok so I don't really know you but I read your overview of your wedding day and all the things that didn't go quite as you planned...and I just HAD to comment.
Everyone has this idea of how they want their wedding to be, but from a stranger's perspective you looked beauuuuuutiful, your dress is SOOOOO flattering, you have a gorgeous groom.....
you shouldn't waste a single second second guessing ANYTHING!
Perfection depends on the point of view....and from where I'm sitting it's pretty close to it.

Gracie said...

I do understand what you mean because I went through a down stage after my wedding too. But you know it does pass. Sometimes it's hard the first few months especially because you are so used to planning and being a bride to be. I just try not to compare my day to others because I know on the day that I loved it!

And that photo is beautiful!

DiamondsandTulle said...

Rhiannon - Thank you for posting this and I completely understand and relate to this post (even the part of wanting to be a wedding stylist - though that's on a back-burner for right now). Did you see my post about wedding hangers? And I'm a married for over 2 years already. It's always a shoulda would coulda, but appreciation of the day for having it at all in the end. If it's any consolation, I find myself (as I'm sure many of your readers do) with the same wedding-envy over your wedding! My biggest wedding regret was the choice of our photographer. She is a highly rated, recommended, and published/featured photographer. But we chose a very popular wedding date and she did not turn down our wedding. Rather, she and her associate spplit up our wedding, rushed through, and we didn't get many of the photojournalistic shots we had wanted. One advice I'd recommend if I were a planner would be to make that "Must Take" photo list. I had read that it could hinder the photographer's creativity and you should leave it to the professionals, etc. But at the end of the biggest day, you can't get that moment back to re-take photos. So I wish I had paid more for our own photographer for the whole day, and made the list. Wow - see how much regret I have still? Wedding photos always bring that "wish I had..." out in me. You look beyond gorgeous and I'm sure your wedding was the best any of your guests have ever been to!

xx Vivian @ http://diamondsandtulle.blogspot.com

She Wore It Well said...

i think that the one day really is not that important in the long scheme of things... time to let go

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

Im going to be very short here, because I think you did an amazing job, I do understand you, I dream of a big bold wedding but for the moment it wont happen for different reasons, so I get you, but darling yo did a beautiful job and you should be proud! and I love carnations!!

April a.k.a. "A. Liz" said...

Thank you for putting some real emotions out there, the type of feeling that I'm sure strikes every bride at some point (whether for a millisecond or a lifetime). That's what makes people relate to you so well; you're REAL! :)

style'n said...

Wow you look stunning and I really love your dress! I think we all look back at our weddings and wish we could have done some things differently or better but in the end it doesn't matter b/c what counts is the life you build with your partner. It's the marriage not the wedding that's most important. But having said that I think you will be great at event/wedding planning and you clearly have great style! I would love to see more pics from your wedding!!

Lavender and Lilies said...

I can totally relate. I was 22 when I got married. I really didn't know what I was doing planning a wedding. I was graduating from college, taking the LSAT and getting law school applications ready so I was not in the best frame of mind to plan a wedding. I feel like I got frustrated and took the easy way out. I loved my colors, pink and chocolate, but now my aesthetic has changed so much that I look back at my wedding like well I wish I had done white, cream and black. I wish it had been smaller. I wish I had worn a different dress. I wish I had a smaller wedding party. At the end of the day, I am married to the best man alive and I am so happy that I get to be with him everyday. That's what matters. It's been 7 years and I can't say that I really think about our wedding anymore particularly not the details. It fades with time but I have totally been there.

bailey said...

YES! You know I already know what you mean, but be proud that you stuck to your budget, and looked good doing it. We did my wedding for what some might spend on a catering bill alone! So while it might not have been snazzy, when I look at what we DID have, and the help from family and friends, I am so proud of me and my mom!

Wallow for a little bit, everyone needs to. But then, take a look at you and your husb's face in those photos and SMILE!

bailey
traveling-anchor.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Tiny, I really enjoyed reading your post even though I have heard all of this first hand. To be honest with you, I was blown away by our wedding. It is only when you put a microscope up to it that you start to focus on the things that are not important. The important thing is that we had a great wedding with our amazing friends and family. I know your passion gets the best of you sometimes but this is what is going to make you an amazing wedding planner. I love you very much and cannot wait to see you soon! APB

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Too gorgeous and too wise. *Hugs* and let me know what you're up to via e-mail!

Simone said...

Rhi......you look absolutely amazing, seriously!!!! Absolutely gorgeous!!!

I understand regrets.....there are things about mine - even 12 years later - that I would have done slightly differently and a couple of things that went wrong - like my super-expensive wedding cake that the hotel had set up so that it leaned, I could see it as soon as I walked into the room!!!! (Even thinking about it now is making me mad LOL!!)......but you can't think about it too much otherwise you will drive yourself mad!

So much went right and you had a beautiful wedding.

I understand missing all the wedding planning too.....my planning was super-stressful thanks to my mother so actually I didn't mind too much when it was over, it was a relief to be honest.

And NOOOOOOOOO.....never compare!! Have you any idea how many people will be looking at your wedding and wishing they had done what you did and had the ideas you had....and had an amazing dress like yours.

Love you sweetie! xx

I BLEED PINK said...

I think its human nature to look back at something and nit pick it, but the thing is it was your special day. It was the union of you and your special guy and that has to be the most important factor to remember.

The good thing is in a sense doing wedding planning and styling will allow you to plan weddings ALL the time.

Koru Kate said...

I'm coming from a bit of a different place than you . . . I have been planning weddings for ten years before I began planning my own. Wedding magazines & blogs were long a part of my daily routine before I had a ring on my finger. For me, it's been so special & fun to plan our wedding at long last. I doubt our wedding will be blog-worthy but it will be ours & that's all that matters. Yet I know when our wedding is said & done, I'm grateful that I still get to be a part of the wedding world as a planner. Weddings are too much fun to give up!

Love that photo- you're a beautiful couple!!!!

Jennifer Rose said...

that is a great picture of the 2 of you :D

The only thing I wanted at my wedding was for hubby to wear a kilt, which he did :D so I wouldn't really change anything about it. But i do see some wedding photos and it sometimes makes me wish I could do it again (and hubby would still have to wear a kilt, even tho he hates it lol)

Ashley said...

oh rhi, you're big day was sensational and nothing less!! You worked so hard; you should just think "I totally ROCKED what I could afford and do on my day. End of story. I am the best." ;-)

Then look at the weddings featured elsewhere and be inspired for your future brides! Focus forward on the future instead of reflecting on what may have been in the past.

You totally owned your wedding girl. Totally.

Kristin said...

Nobody went into debt over our wedding either. There are things I wish we could have had...but not enough to still be paying for them. In the end, all I really wanted was to be the hubs' wife! You've got the right idea lady!

Slamdunk said...

I hope your husband gets to read this beautiful post. That you all "..paid every single bill upfront without using credit" shows your wisdom.

Scientific Housewife said...

There will always be fancier weddings when money is no object. You just have to be happy with what you created and came up with. I've been to fancy weddings but I also love how personal ours was.

Leah said...

wow, you look amazing. Sometimes I feel like a smaller budget pushes you to make things more personal by doing them yourself. Hope you are feeling a little better after some encouragement from these lovely people.
xo L
www.littleredpurse.blogspot.com

LouBoo said...

Darling Rhi - you are so honest, it's a breath of fresh air. I kinda suspected you might get a bit of this down time as the wedding was so all encompassing. You should look at it like this: you are addicted to beauty and love and this is like weaning yourself off a really big splurge of those two things. Life still has much beauty and love in it but it's just not as concentrated as that day you wed.

Can I just say you look absolutely beautiful - as I always knew you would - but also can I say that there was that shot from your honeymoon where you had a hat on and the cutest, most natural smile and that is, to me, even more beautiful than this one. As we always said weddings last a day and marriages can last a lifetime. I think you will be an awesome wedding planner as most important of all you have elegance and style. Your day matched up - absolutely it did - I can see no difference between the few shots you have shared and all the other fantastic weddings I see on blogs. Big virtual hugs...you'll be more than fine. Lou xx

laviedevi said...

I love your rawness in this post. Comparing myself to others as well as being a perfectionist is something that I have definitely done in the past (and I'm still trying to break that habit). But you're absolutely right, you are safe, happy, and healthy, and in the end, that's all that really matters :)

Natalie said...

You two are seriously stunning. Your dress and hair are perfect.