From a very early age, you have envisioned wearing a beautiful white dress, having a perfect bouquet, getting married at a spectacular location and of course, marrying the person of your dreams. You’re trained to think that a bride equals wedding and a wedding equals a lot of “perfect things”. It’s not your fault, it’s engrained in our culture.
When we think about weddings in the most basic of terms, it’s a gathering of people to witness the start of a marriage. Yet, when you open up the average wedding magazine, you’re led to believe differently. Rather than anything being about the marriage, you see latest gown trends, vendors, venues, makeup, tanning products, accessories.
Our wedding industry is just as consumed with materialism as any other industry out there.
I’ve watched friends get engaged and over the years I’ve seen the excitement quickly turn to frustration. They follow all the instagram accounts for wedding planning, Pinterest becomes where they spend any free moment, and the weight of planning a unique, never done before wedding starts weighing on their shoulders. Just last week, I had coffee with a sweet friend who just wanted to get married and was defeated from wedding planning and all of the expectations. That’s when I knew, enough was enough, I had to say something. I am part of the wedding industry and it breaks my heart to say this but not all wedding vendors have your best interest at heart. Like most industries, the wedding industry is fueled primarily by money.
Friend, it’s no wonder why you’ve gone into planning your wedding with innocent high-hopes and you’re now finding yourself feeling disappointed, insecure about your ability to have the wedding you’ve dreamt of, and often just feeling awful. You’ve shown up and in return, you’ve been told that it is not enough.
What you are capable of as a bride, is not enough.
That dream wedding? You don’t have enough.
The dress you fell in love with on Pinterest? You don’t have enough.
The perfect venue that you went to go see? Yeah, you don’t have enough.
You don’t have enough. You don’t have enough. You don’t have enough.
Before you know it, ‘not enough-ness’ becomes the resounding theme of your engagement. You walk around in a state of feeling like you don’t have enough. In Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she comes to a powerful conclusion about the scarcity mindset and its impact on our lives. She says, “What makes this constant assessing and comparing so self-defeating is that we are often comparing our lives, our marriages, our families, and our communities to unattainable, media-driven visions of perfection, or we’re holding up our reality against our own fictional account of how great someone else has it.”
You’ve grown up in this consumer driven world and have a scarcity mindset of “not enough” that now is leaking into all aspects of your life…including your relationships and your future marriage. And that’s a scary place to be. There’s 3 things that you may notice when you are in this mindset that Brene Brown talks about in her book:
Shame, Comparison, Disengagement
It starts with the shame of dreading people’s questions about the wedding or your future because you feel less than since you cannot afford the “perfect wedding” (This is so comical to me because from someone who sees a lot of weddings, the ones that look so perfect in photos are usually the ones that are the stressful days that the brides don’t even enjoy. I promise, you don’t want a “perfect wedding”.) You feel like you aren’t the “ideal bride” for the vendors who put out all of the pretty photos because there’s no way your wedding will be like that so you dread even contacting vendors thinking that it will be another disappointment.
Next, the comparison game starts. We all have done it. We compare ourselves and our lives to other peoples. Whether those are our friends or someone we saw in a magazine. We forget that what we see is their highlight reels, not the whole story.
And once you’ve dug yourself into the hole of shame and comparison, you’ll feel even worse about yourself and you’ll start isolating yourself from your loved ones, your life. If you’ll never measure up, why even try?
The truth about what you’ve been battling?
You’re not over reacting or over sensitive.
You’re not losing your mind.
I’d be willing to bet that if you had a true heart to heart with almost any other bride, you’ll find they are feeling similar. But that’s not what you are seeing from their highlight reel…you have to engage with them and get to know them beyond the happy wedding planning chats that are easy to have and mask over the real feelings. We are all really good at covering up and being a certain way that we think we have to. True change begins with letting that mask go.
But dear bride, this is your time. This is your love story. And I’m not about to let you continue on for another day thinking any more thoughts about not having enough.
Over the next few weeks we are going to be diving into some of these hard conversations and helping figure out the best way to plan a wedding filled with joy. Joy both in the engagement and in the future marriage. See you soon friends!