Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Matrimonial Meltdowns* & Mantras

Despite the fact that I am generally a rational, practical, level-headed person, I sometimes lost it during the wedding planning process. Yes, I burst into tears at the airport when we were struggling to find a wedding venue that fit within our budget, and Matt didn't feel the same urgency that I did. Yes, I was deeply saddened by the fact that we couldn't afford photo stamps for our invitations.

Sometimes, the teeniest, tiniest thing felt really, really big. Gargantuan, even.

One strategy that helped me re-ground myself amidst my matrimonial meltdowns was invoking my wedding mantras.

A wedding mantra is a short phrase that you can repeat over and over to remind yourself that you really are a rational and sane person, despite the fact that wedding planning sometimes drives you a little mad. Here are a few of my favorites:
  1. No matter what happens, we'll still be married in the end.
  2. Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.
  3. A wedding is about community, connection, commitment, and fun--not ________ [insert any number of trivial and inconsequential items that the Wedding Industrial Complex claims are aboslutely essential].
  4. Our relationship/marriage is more important than our wedding.

I also like this one from Ariel over at Offbeat Bride: "Your wedding is not a contest."

So, 2000dollarwedding kindred spirits, what other mantras do you have up your sleeves? Please divulge! Some of us could use as much grounding advice as we can get.

* I do not mean to feed the hysteria around wedding planning by implying that all of you will have matrimonial meltdowns. Hopefully, you'll read this post and think, "What the heck is she talking about?"

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Heather said...

My mantra, that I have to repeat to myself continuously: After the day is over, I am marrying the man I love, and nobody is going to remember all of the miniscule details that I keep obsessing over.

Sharpiegirl said...


Kiridoc said...

My fiance has two children, so I sometimes think... Do I really want to tell them "Sorry, you can't go to college because I had to have______(layered linens, confetti, more roses, hand printed invitations) at the wedding. No, I don't remember what they looked like either, but they were necessary" How CRAZY is that!?!

Words and Steel said...

My mantra became: You're getting married to the Boy, not trying to prove something to ________ (fill in the blank: mom, family, other wedding bloggers, etc).

worked like a charm (most of the time, anyway).

Anonymous said...

simple. easy. fun.

Yours was one of the first blogs I came across after we were engaged and I began this whole process. It was inspiring and allowed me to start thinking what was truly important from the beginning and I used your idea about finding a vision for the day. So THANK YOU. Knowing it can be fun and sane means the world to me, and it's been a fun process so far. :) 3.5 months to go...

Sarah said...

At the end of the day, the wedding reception is a PARTY!

Anonymous said...

1. The wedding will be nice, not perfect.
2. The people who are coming love us, and will enjoy us and each other more than any of the other things there.

megan said...

since your blog was pretty inspiring, i have kept pretty grounded and relaized that tradition can be bucked if i feel like it...it made me realize that a lot of the stuff is inconsequential. however, i always think to myself:

"is this worth the cost of us not buying a house?"

also, it made me realize that if you want things oe way, while someone else wants it aonther, it's so easy to be called a Bridezilla. i hate that term, especially if the bride is the one being reasonable.

Sarah said...

Family, Friends, Music, Wine, Love -- PERIOD!

Kate F. said...

Our wedding sets the tone for our marriage. How we approach it IS how we approach our relationship.

It helps me to remember that we don't want a marriage where one of us takes over or that's so planned its' inflexible or that we don't make it a priority to include our friends and family. So I don't want a wedding that doesn't do those things either.

the Lady said...

There is an interesting book called The Conscious Bride. What it says about wedding planning is very interesting. Basically, that the bride and the people around her focus on the details of planning a wedding so that they don't have to confront any negative feelings associated with getting married, and making a huge transition, because in America we don't have any ritual to deal with the feelings involved with this huge ritual. A good read, I'd recommend it.

elizabeth said...

That is such a good point, the Lady! I've realized/ been disturbed by the way focusing on itty bitty details distracts me from the various deeply anxiety-producing & identity-changing aspects of getting married. I've also noticed that most people aren't very open to talking about these darker aspects of a wedding. Everyone just wants it to be a happy, happy time with no ambivalence or shadow.

So go buy things, and forget about what's troubling you!

Anonymous said...

Great post! We totally have one of these, that I have blogged about myself: "Not perfect, but right." I think getting over the idea of the perfect little everything is a biggie for us!

christina said...

i love it...great post...my mantra was "steady happy" also my blog name...it was just a simple mantra to get my head to stop from spinning out on whatever it started to spin on...just a simple reminder to keep it simple, loving and let go of all the minor details...and remember my life with my partner is "steady happy."

Alison said...

For every DIY aspect of my wedding, when it comes to tiny flaws, my mantra has been, "No one will care, and if they do you shouldn't be friends with them anyway." :)

I've also had to ask myself a lot, "Is it worth the fight?" So, I have a veil, because for some reason it was ridiculously important to my mom, but we are having canned good centerpieces because they really WERE important to me! Thanks for some great posts lately, too!!

Mrs. Andi said...

I keep remembering to have FUN & play with what I want to do. Yes, it would be easier to buy my invites & programs, but I'm having fun making them & I'm proud of that accomplishment. I won't be mad if nobody notices, but I'll know. I'm also remembering that nobody will know or care if the napkins don't match the plates.

zoliepup said...

Mine is "Enjoy every moment". If I'm not having fun with some aspect, I back off and re-evaluate. I hesitate to say that there have been no major meltdowns, because I can't be sure there isn't one looming right around the corner... but so far so good!

jenifriend said...

when i start to panic about something ridiculous that someone else has suggested is the "right thing to do for the wedding" i remind myself that "it just isn't that deep." that's it. it's not that deep. oh i'm sorry mr. i don't think enchiladas and beef and broccoli are appropriate at such a formal affair...we dig it so we're doing it. i'm sorry mrs. it's only tradition to do the chicken dance and have a bouquet and garter toss...we don't dig it so we're not doing it. the end. any questions? if so, take 'em somewhere else, because to us...it's just not that deep.

Louise said...

This is one of the single most bestest posts I've read! My mantra is "Remember the love." It's a guide to remind myself why I am actually having a wedding instead of going to the courthouse. As a couple we believe that it "takes a village" to have a successful life, love and family. We want to dedicate our lives and love to one another and we want the people who are most important to us to bear witness to that commitment. Remember the love, y'all!

Rachael Eisner said...

Hehe. This is awesome.

When family/friends bothered me about little things the W.I.C shoots at us ex: "NO PURCHASED FAVORS?!?!"

1) Future dream house, or stay in an apt FOR-EV-ER.

When family/friends obsessed over little details that I found fun and enjoyable, but didn't fall in a traditional scheme ex: younger brother as my 'maid of honor'

2) Regardless of the outcome, they're still coming, and they'll still be excited the day of.

When quizzed about the stuff that is over my head ex: hair/makeup/fashion.

3) One thing at a time baby.

Other than that, I try and only play wedding planner for one hour a day. Period.

Anonymous said...

A wedding is just one day, marriage is a lifetime!

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