I had to pull this comment out of the comments section and feature it inside this here post because it really resonated with me.
In the original post, I said, "Our weddings will be meaningful and memorable regardless of what we do or don't buy, thankyouverymuch" and Ms. Bear Cub responded with this:
The nerve of her aunt! I am someone who has been known to provide others with painfully honest feedback from time to time (which has caused me to get into fights with some of my dear friends), but to tell someone that the wedding cake they made tasted like soap and dirt? Seriously? What in the world!omg, sara, I wish it were true. I'm a pretty laid-back wedding graduate. I could care less how xxxx looked at this point (but I personally think everything looked wonderful in my point of view). Unfortunately, a few weeks ago one of my aunts decided to tell me she thought our wedding cake tasted like soap and dirt. WTF? I made the wedding cake. She knows I made the wedding cake. So wtf are laid-back anti-WIC brides supposed to do? Please everyone, so we don't get nasty comments like that after the wedding? Barf.
I feel for you, Ms. Bear Cub. I didn't have anyone say anything so nasty to me, but you know what? I am sure someone was thinking something nasty about our $2,000 shoestring wedding. Maybe they were criticizing the Make-Your-Own-Sandwich buffet at the Welcome Picnic ("What? I just spent $400 to fly halfway across the country and I have to make my own sandwich? And they aren't providing alcohol until the wedding reception tomorrow?").
Maybe they were criticizing the invitations ("A postcard? Honestly, they think a postcard does enough to honor the gravity and sanctity of marriage? This isn't summer camp; this is MARRIAGE!").
Or maybe it was my dress ("Huh? She's wearing a $15 sundress? From Target? And her shins are showing? On her wedding day? And she's wearing shoes she already owned?").
Or maybe it was my lack of professional hair and makeup ("That's all the effort she's putting into her appearance? On her WEDDING day? Doesn't she realize this is the most important day of her life? Doesn't she know this is a once in a lifetime opportunity? Or is she planning to get a divorce and do this all over again?")
Or maybe it was our decision to buy several regular small cakes from Whole Foods instead of a bona fide wedding cake ("What were they thinking? I can buy a slice of this cake from the grocery store for crying out loud!")
[Editor's Note: This process of making fun of my own wedding is really, really fun! Maybe I should turn it into a comic strip or something.]
But in all seriousness, there are also guests making fun of non-laid-back, model WIC weddings:
- "What? They spent how much on a dress that she's going to wear one time? And it doesn't even look comfortable!"
- "Yeah, the cake sure is pretty but it tastes like it's draped in plastic."
- "The bridesmaids are probably hating the bride for subjecting them to those dresses."
I think the best thing we can do is focus on our Circle of Influence. We need to devote our energy to the things we can control and try our very best to stop worrying about the things we can't control.
So, what can we control? We can plan the kinds of weddings that make sense for us. We can be authentic to our tastes and preferences, and we can invite our nearest and dearest to share in the experience with us. We can control the guest list, so that we invite more of "Our People" and fewer naysayers. We can develop duck feathers so that others' criticisms and doubts and negative comments roll right off of us.
In other words, we can continue the process of living authentic lives, of being who we are and who we want to be, regardless of what others expect from us. Our lives are too short and too precious to waste our moments trying to contort ourselves to fit into someone else's mold.
In this way, our weddings are good practice for the rest of our lives. They test our courage and our resilience and our willingness to stand up for the kind of lives we want to cultivate.
In the end, it helps to remember, "Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter."