Wednesday, June 2, 2010

on perfection

 Sera, of broken*saucer, is one of my blog besties.  I just love our email conversations...she's been such a lovely sounding board over this past year of wedding planning.  I love that I have made friends like her in the blog-world.   Thank you for everything Sera! (And ohmygod, her handmade dress details are dazzling!)

Eight months after my wedding to the love of my life, we have yet to write our thank you notes. Naturally for me, designing my own thank you notes is something that I feel that I need to do. And I have almost finished designed them, but they are not finished or ordered, have not arrived and we have not written the individual thank yous nor have we sent them to the loved ones who were kind enough to give us pretty things for our wedding. Although technically, Emily Post says that the newlyweds have a full year, deep down I know, I'm an ass.

You see, I have perfectionist paralysis. It is something I have dealt with all of my life and it is something that like many things during wedding planning, became exponentially harder to deal with because of wedding planning. There were so many emotions involved in planning an event which celebrated our love in front of our loved ones that many things became more stressful. There is nothing like a wedding to bring out the worst in people. At our wedding, I felt so loved. By my man of course - the high from the ceremony is incomparable - but also from our families and friends that gave their time, help and love to celebrate with us. Maybe it was just the free booze, but I don't think so. In any case, because of my perfectionist paralysis, while I could have given normal amounts of time to choosing and completing the lengthy wedding list to-dos, I focused on three main things: the save-the-dates, the invitations (which had to be as good if not better than the save-the-dates) and my dress.  Other things completely fell by the wayside. And I could go into the long list of we-didn'ts but there I see little use in that now.

When I think now about the fact that I was still hand sewing parts of my wedding dress just three days before the wedding, I know it was completely crazy, but also what kept me sane and occupied. In the end my dress was not perfect, but that close to the wedding, it no longer mattered - it was a zen point of focus that held me together. And there were so many things that I forgot about or didn't do because I just, well, they weren't important until it was too late. And because of this, in my masochistic perfectionist hindsight, I was flooded with regrets for days and weeks after the wedding. The regrets would come and I would rationalize them away, and then, in a moody state, they would attack me again (see long list that I try not to think on).

Now, eight months later, I think I'm over it for the most part. The regrets, not the perfectionist paralysis. Like I said, I still haven't finished the thank-yous.

Right now, Jes and Tommy are celebrating their wedding with many of the people that they love most before they drive across the country together - a lovely start to a marriage. I have followed Jes as she has planned her wedding, and all I can say is, despite how much more stress she has been under than I was, than normal brides have been, she has done it all with such amazing spirit and beauty and aplomb. But I know that there are moments in those last few days before where everything starts to feel too insane - so I wish Jes and Tommy a piece of zen, whatever that may be. For me it was my dress.

In the end, a wedding isn't perfect. It never should be. Love is not perfect. Love is more important than perfection. And the celebration of love is about how beautiful it is that in this imperfect world, two imperfect people can find and love each other not just despite but for their individual and lovable quirks and imperfections.


  1. "Love is more important than perfection." Well said, Sera. Your last paragraph expresses the (dare I say) PERFECT groundrules for wedding celebrations and more importantly, life beyond the wedding.

    And may I say that you were a beautiful bride!

  2. Great post, Sera, and thanks for sharing the photos of your awesome dress!

  3. Agreed eclair!

    Many thanks for sharing Sera. I felt like you were describing me in many ways. And naming the feeling--perfection paralysis--is sort of liberating.

    And thanks to Jes for assembling such a warm and thoughtful group of women to guest blog. It has been so cool to "meet" everyone!

  4. I definitely suffer from perfection paralysis in life and I hate it. I do believe one can change though. ;) And you are right . . . Jes has done well under tremendous amounts of stress that I don't think I could have handled at all. Even when she thinks she's complaining too much, I'm still in awe at how many balls she juggles. :D

  5. Sera,

    Beautiful post. And a beautiful dress. I wish that people could be more easy on themselves leading up to weddings, because as we know after, there is little that can ruin a wedding.

  6. so simply put, "love is not perfect" therefore a wedding shouldn't be. There were so many things that didn't go "perfectly" at my wedding--but they dont matter in the end.

    Great post!

  7. Sera, thanks for admitting up you haven't finished your thank yous!!! We have been married 7.5 months and I am not done either. I have done some, but have many to go. I guess I procrastinate because I know I can never fully express my deep gratitude, and maybe also because half of them need to be written in French. Sigh. Thanks for your honesty and good luck finishing them!

  8. thank you all for your sweet comments. I was petrified that you would all think I was nutty... and I try to save that for my own blog. ;-)



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