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

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finding Authentic Creative Outlets

Different people have different reactions to planning hand-crafted weddings. Some people get to end of the process and think, "I'm never picking up a piece of ribbon again!" Other people completely reconnect with their creativity and their passion for creating and think, "I need to start a business doing this every day."

Meg wrote a fascinating post about this concept a while back, but I can't find the link (Meg, will you point us in the right direction?). It was about how those of us who get really into the crafting and creating part of weddings need an outlet for those energies.

For Matt and me, our wedding DIY-ness wasn't the birth of our creativity. It was more like an extension of it. We had already spent years making costumes, planning scavenger hunts, hosting themed dinner parties, etc.

However, looking at all the prettiness on wedding blogs really started to affect my sense of what made a "good party." For example, for the first post-wedding birthday party I threw, I obsessed with the pretty details. I made handmade invitations (where did my evite sensibilities go?). I made signs with layers of paper and glue. I spent hours searching for and working on a pretty, pretty dress.

After a few months of trying to live up to the crafty and pretty blog standards, I realized that worrying about pretty is not for me and my creativity. That's definitely not a judgment against those of you who do like pretty and who need more creative outlets for dwelling in pretty. To each his/her own!

The important point is that if we pay close attention to our wedding planning processes, we can get clues about what we kind of creative outlets we need more of in our lives.

For me, I liked the project planning aspect of the process. I liked coming up with goals and then backwards planning the smaller steps aligned with the desired end. I also liked playing a variety of roles in the process, from dealing with the vision to the budget to the Excel sheets. I like dreaming it and then doing it. I realized that I like working on self-directed and self-contained projects. So after our wedding, I continued working on such projects, like starting a neighborhood time bank or my most recent endeavor, creating an online course about purposeful conception.

Our wedding planning processes inevitably come to an end (thank god?), but the parts of the process that resonate with us and help us express our unique talents and interests more authentically can continue on. And on and on and on!

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Kirstie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirstie said...

Wedding planning has definitely helped me to realise (remember?) that I like creating things and making things happen. Since we started wedding planning I've come up with a project which brings more creativity into my degree work, something I probably never would have managed without a jump start. I study maths (math for most people reading this I suppose), which I love but it doesn't occupy me in every way I'd like it to. The first couple of years of my degree I just sulked about this and let it slowly eat away at my enthusiasm for my subject, which really wasn't constructive. But since wedding planning resparked my making-things-happen-ability I've proposed a History of Maths project that got approved and I'm now working on this semester which means I get to write as well as do maths. Long story short, planning a wedding has reminded me what makes me happy on a day to day basis, and kind of stirred me out of a slump by helping me be creative again. I'm excited to get crafting to make our wedding happen but I'm excited about all the other projects in the future too, which is even more awesome.

Tamara said...

Thanks for this.

Angie said...

Sara, you are a machine! Churning out ideas and creativity and inspiration... love it!

Imperfectly Perfect said...

This wedding planning thing has definitely given me the creative outlet I have longed for...and you are right, it has shown me what creative bits I need more of in my life and what just causes me stress.
I have discovered that I love to plan, and that sewing really calms me. And also that paper crafts make me cry. All good stuff to know.

~Rebecca~ said...

My fiance and I are trying to plan a wedding under $2000. so i will be visiting your blog often!!!

God bless,

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