26 April 2013

Wedding Tip #3: Stifling Stubborn

I am a control freak. <Insert rant here> I want it my way, my way is the best way, and if it’s not my way, well, it’s wrong. Okay, that might be a little extreme. I’ll admit (just this once) I am not always right – but I am quite particular.  When it came to my wedding my issue with control was exaggerated to an insufferable degree. Watch out vendors, bride with a vision coming through! I’m the type of person that when I have a mental picture of something, it needs to at least reach those expectations or I am not a happy person.  Love me or hate me, that’s just the way I’m programmed.

Delegation is not a word that I’m comfortable with –I want to have my hands in every detail. Micromanage much? Absolutely and I am not afraid to admit it. But here’s the thing, when doing something that you haven’t done before (and I most certainly had not planned a wedding before), it’s probably worthwhile to consider the advice of professionals. Hardheaded [completes the Type A trifecta]; but they've done this once or twice before.  So this next little nugget of goodness that I’m about to share with you was a big pill for me to swallow. If I could go back and chat with my wedding-planning self, I would definitely smack myself give myself this advice:

Tip #3: Keep an Open Mind

The initial vision I had for my wedding and the actual wedding we planned were not the same (not drastically different, but different enough.) At the beginning of the planning process, I had a very distinct feel of what I wanted: beachy.  Seriously, long before there was ever a sparkly ring, I had my sights set on a venue that oozed “beachy.” The Freight Shed – a converted ship terminal/post office in historic Yorktown, right on the York River. Perfection. As planning progressed, my initial vision evolved into a night of elegance with just a touch of coastal…and the end result was better than I could have ever imagined!

One of the best examples that I can give for what I thought I wanted vs. what I actually got was the search for the dress.  Once I got my ring (hello bling!), a whopping two days later my mom, aunt, grandma and I were at a boutique sipping champagne and drooling over all the beautiful gowns. I was a kid in a very expensive, chic candy store; and I loved every minute of it! What I thought I wanted was a one-shoulder Maggie Sottero chiffon wedding dress. Flowy, soft, and feminine. Perfect for an outdoor wedding on the water. Well the 16th and last dress I tried on was “the one” (mom cried so I knew it was the one I was meant to wear.) It was a strapless, sweetheart, two-toned Casablanca (wait for it)… BALLGOWN! I kid you not, a football field worth of crinoline and everything. It had embellishments, it was heavy, and it was my mom’s choice.  There might have been a small mental temper tantrum involved – not that my mother doesn’t have great taste, but I wanted to be the one to pick out my dress. I mean I’m not in first grade anymore…it was everything I never wanted, but it was perfect.

Ballroom Gown Wedding Dress

Ballroom Gown Wedding Dress

Ballroom Gown Wedding Dress

Is it appropriate to wear your wedding dress on a daily basis? Because I want to.

This experience taught me that I needed to keep an open mind. It didn't mean that I had to compromise on the vision, or feel that I wanted. There is more than one way to achieve a goal…and maybe (as hard as it is for me to believe) I might not always know the best way to achieve that. So as wedding planning progressed, I learned to roll with the punches and to be satisfied with letting things develop organically. I had to learn how to navigate the thin line between knowing when to put my foot down and when to utilize the ideas of others. I encourage you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

Going along with the idea of keeping an open mind, let’s touch on this subject: the overzealous groom. Brides, the sooner you learn the art of compromise the better.  Who really thinks that the groom would care about what he wears, what flavor the cake is or what the signature drink is going to be? This girl didn't! WRONG! The comforting part of their involvement is that their requests most likely won’t apply to the whole wedding. However, be forewarned –some random detail will come up and he’ll get it in his head that he HAS to have it this way (hmmm, groomzilla?) The nerve. Even the most uninterested groom will have a request along the way that is so obscure that you’ll wonder if he’s even been LISTENING to the vision you’ve been obsessing over.  Hello, orange tuxes do not go with the selected color palette [you’re getting married – not going to jail.] But remember, it is his day too (stings a little bit doesn't it?) So instead of orange tuxes, maybe add a touch of orange to the boutonnière. Figure out a way to incorporate his request without disrupting the vision you have.

Regardless of who’s footing the bill – both of your ideas should be incorporated in some way, shape, or form.  Another example; my husband’s favorite cake is carrot cake. When it came time to do cake tastings, I have never seen a groom more ready to give his opinion.  From day 1 I was thinking pound cake. Not only did I think pound cake would appeal to the masses, I was worried that a carrot cake wouldn't be as aesthetically pleasing. Lucky for him us there’s a local bakery, The Carrot Tree, and they specialize in carrot cakes. Not only did they do a fabulous carrot cake that looked as good as it tasted, BUT they were so reasonably priced we were able to get a grooms cake as well. For “his” cake we decided to go with a chocolate cake covered with chocolate ganache; equally delicious. Honest truth: it turned out better than my lonely pound cake because there were two flavors for guests to choose from, AND everybody loved both! Success!

So when you’re knee deep in wedding planning and find yourself resisting new ideas, remember – you might be missing out on an opportunity to make your wedding that much better! Let your groom, family, and whatever professionals you choose to hire share their opinions. It just might make you see something that you could have been missing.  The devil is in the details and with weddings, there are LOTS of details. Enjoy watching your wedding evolve from endless daydreams to a beautiful event filled with the people you love and the details that made it all happen!

Xoxo, Christie

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