Progress, Not Perfection: Accept, Enjoy The Journey
My wedding just ended, and it couldn't have gone more smoothly. Everyone was happy, no one acted too embarrassing (at least, that I know of), and everything (well... mostly) was in our budget-range.
We did have some help from our parents, and I'm extremely grateful that things worked out the way they did. However, the last four to six months of our lives have been, at times, a small version of hell because of the planning. And since I'm not a mom yet or a homeowner, I have to say that planning a wedding is one of the most stressful life-events I've ever encountered. (Sounds silly, doesn't it?)
Why? There's just SO MUCH to plan that you wouldn't even consider. Like brochures to give out during your ceremony? The cost of a DJ (we just had a friend hook up their iPod to the sound system at the reception)... Not to mention, in general, just pissing people off who come when you're not even aware anything is wrong.
And on top of that, you'll probably end up needing more money than you initially planned. (With weddings in St. Louis ranging from $34,000 to $10,000 according to NerdWallet.) We were about $15,000, and that was cutting it close.
With all that's said and done, including how the planning itself almost drove my husband and I insane, (if you have the money, I would highly recommend a wedding planner), I would do the whole thing again. It was very, very special and something we'll always remember. And something our families will always remember, too.
If you were a stranger looking in on the wedding, it looked perfect and effortless. But it definitely wasn't.
I remember a lot of things like this in my life... lots of things that took an incredible amount of work and stress but came out nearly perfect. In my experience, the things I've put the most effort into have always been the ones I treasured the most and that were the most successful. This has been particularly true for my writing.
When I was younger, I abandoned so many writing projects and gigs that had potential. Primarily because things got too hard, and I wanted that instant gratification. When you don't see results right away, what's the point?
And at times, I even felt like this about our wedding ceremony. All of the steps to get there, meeting with different people after work or odd hours (since my husband and I have completely different work schedules.) Can something that's supposed to be this fun and wonderful really be this much work?
Similarly, if you're good at something, like writing, how can you need so many edits to get something published? It just comes naturally, right? I don't need help from anyone else.
And similarly, with the wedding, if it's going to be this exciting, it shouldn't cost this much money or be this time-consuming. Our family and friends already know how we feel about each other. Why put ourselves through all this stress?
In my experience, the things that are the most time-consuming and the most work are almost always the most enjoyable and rewarding in the end.
It took me a while to get rid of that "instant gratification" need. But it comes with practice, and it comes with time.
Perfection Is Impossible
I knew our wedding wouldn't be perfect, and some of the imperfections of the day made it that much more wonderful. (Like me being nervous and putting the ring on the wrong hand of my husband when we said "I do.")
With anything else, perfection just isn't possible even when you give everything you've got. And we definitely did for this wedding.
Additionally, with writing (and all jobs,) some of the mistakes and flaws in your work can give it more character. They can make it more unique.
It's just important not to get hung up on the mistakes or the setbacks, but to remember the journey and the small goals that got you to where you are.