“I just wanted everything to be perfect.”
I recently had a bride say this to me at the end of the night. In that one sentence I understood why she had struggled terribly with several disappointments earlier in the day.
There wasn’t anything significantly horrible that went wrong that day, but there were a few things that happened outside of my bride's best-laid plans. Perfection is such a relative term, isn’t it? Each of us has our own idea of what perfection is. And, the word perfect is sort of a dangerous word, like a booby trap, laying in wait for an unsuspecting bride. Merriam-Webster defines "booby trap" this way.
- a trap for the unwary or unsuspecting
- a concealed explosive device contrived to go off when some harmless-looking object is touched
As I said, perfectionism can be dangerous. It can be a bride’s so-called kryptonite. And, while it is rare in grooms, I do find parents of the couple effected by the idea of the perfect wedding for their daughter or son. On that day, my bride felt like she had been hit by a series of bombs. In the moment, I wasn't able to help her with her perception. And, because I am completely sure I am not perfect, I can accept that I couldn't sooth that particular bride. I remind our site coordinators all the time, that as much as we want everything to go smoothly, we are not here to fix people, we are here to support people. Moving forward, a mindset of perfectionism in others is now on my radar. Being able to identify it will help me prepare them for a potentially unpredictable day. It is simply the nature of weddings. When you think about it, as much as on-stage productions are rehearsed and practiced for months, things go wrong in front of audiences. Why should we expect a completely unrehearsed wedding day to unfold perfectly?
In many ways, asking brides not to become perfectionistic is unfair. The wedding industry in America is built on the concept of perfection. Wedding blogs post the most perfect weddings. Wedding vendors post the most perfect photos of their work on their website. We know that fulfilling "the dream" is what couples are looking for, asking for. And, our goal is for our clients to be completely satisfied. But, I wonder... is the idea of absolutely being able to control a perfect wedding a unicorn?
In my experience, the biggest wildcard at a wedding is people’s humanity. Perhaps the veil is discovered to have been forgotten at home just minutes before going down the aisle, a toast goes embarrassingly sideways, a trusted vendor under delivers, or a member of the bridal party let’s you down. And when the weather doesn’t cooperate, suddenly the day is completely out of everyone’s hands. I have witnessed quite a few weddings by now, and I have to say, what makes a wedding beautiful is pretty simple. It isn’t all the physical details. I have seen completely simple weddings here, with nothing more added to what we provide in our packages, be considered the most beautiful wedding the guests have ever attended. Allow me to cut to the chase. In my humble opinion, what makes a wedding wonderful is inside the hearts of the people present. It is the love shared. It is the moment celebrated. It is being REAL, and knowing that is more than enough. As you are planning your wedding, remember that. Make it your goal. If you do, you will be able to enjoy your wedding no matter what happens... which is pretty darn perfect, if you ask me!