Your Style or Follow the Leader?

IMG_7552 We have all done it. Fell into the web of the follow the leader game. While the game is a ton of fun when you are a child, the perpetual never ending keeping up with the Jones mentality, is draining. Sorry if your last name is or will be becoming Jones soon. For the rest of us this living up to an unlivable standard means, stress, discontentment and failure. We can not be who we are not, at some point the act will end and the truth will be told. Behind every white picket fence, Facebook post, smiling Instagram picture, or wedding event, is the unseen. The work, the supplies, the cost and everything leading up to it.

Sometimes planning a wedding can look like the best game of follow the leader anyone has ever seen. How ever entertaining that game may be to watch, living it is another story. It is often easy to follow along and do what everyone else is doing rather than march to the beat of your own style. So how do we stay away from everyone's style and find our own?

Budget. Remember that pesky little thing called money? It doesn't actually grow on a tree in the backyard. Sorry to burst your bubble but mom and dad were right. You can't just go in the back yard and pick from the never ending, money giving tree. As much as you wish money would pop out of thin air or someone would just hand you a bundle of cash for your special day, this is not usually the case. If for you it is, please let us all in on your secret or who your wealthy relative is! We want in on that! For everyone else, when trying to decide what you are going to do for your wedding, remember how much money you have. Knowing your monetary guidelines will help in the practicality of the things you can pull off for your special day. That real edible gold you wanted on all 12 tiers of your cake might just eat up your whole wedding budget, so be careful.

Pinterest. Put the phone down and step away from your computer. Don't ask questions, just do it. Much like that white picket fence that makes a house seem perfect, those fences do not give all the information that we need. It is easy to get lost in all the ideas and not see the reality. The reality is you never know what the truth is until you walk in someone else's shoes. A picture is one carefully crafted, edited image of one small portion of large event. It does not tell what happened before or directly after that perfectly staged moment. If the picture was poorly taken or the article sucked you wouldn't even give it your time. It has to exude perfection and pop for anyone to take notice.

A pin and a board do not require any commitment. A pretty picture, a good idea and bam onto your board it goes. Reality check. Are you pinning things that go with a beach wedding but you are getting married in a downtown loft? Do you have unlimited resources? Step away from technology and get back to basics. Remember your who, what, where, when, why and how. It is like fourth grade reading all over again.

Design. Use your life as your inspiration. Seriously, go take a walk around your house. Make sure you hit all the areas that you love the most and do not forget your closet. While this practice may sound silly but in actuality the clothing you wear and the things you won't put on say a lot about you. Your environment can help with the things that you choose to have for your wedding, because, where you dwell and how you dress are truly an expression of your self. Are you simple with a neutral color palate, earth tones and clean lines? Do you like things crazy, chaotic, loud with lots of pattern and bold color choices? Do like things clean, new and cutting edge? Would you rather be walking around grandmas house marveling at the old furniture? These things that make you, well you, will help make your day a unique expression of you and your love blended together. No two people are the same. Why should your day be some Pinterest replica?

Venue. Not everyone has the luxury of getting married exactly where they want. Many factors play a part in picking the “perfect” venue for you. What is your guest list size? Do people have to travel? Is there places for them to stay? Do you have to make sure your venue is handicap assessable for those needing it? After you get the logistics down, what else was it about this location that made you pick it? Did you pick it for a specific reason? Did the history, charm, decorations or overall feeling speak to you? Made you feel like this was it, the place where the big event will go down. Or was this simply all there was? The date, the location, all the requirements you had to fill and this was the only one that fit. Even though it was not your first choice, it was however the only choice.

If you got to pick where this wonderful day will happen, remember why you picked it. Use those things, the charm, character, decorations, size, location, and over all feeling to your advantage. This is a time when you can let the atmosphere speak volumes while adding little touches of your swag at every turn. Let this day speak volumes.

If you didn't get to pick but this was all there was, then turning lemons into lemonade is where it is at. Mom said you were getting married here. Everything else was unavailable. Grandma couldn't get her wheel chair in any where else. What ever the circumstance was, clear your mind. Try to find any positives about the location and go from there. Anything from the color of the carpet, the chairs, the front door, the food you are able to have can be a spring board for inspiration.

It is not the venue, style, decorations, activities that make the wedding. It is the couple. 10 years from now no one is going to remember every detail that happened. Don't sweat the little stuff. They will remember if the food was good, if they were comfortable and if they had a good time. Go for the big picture and then fill in the details to get there. You want your guests to walk away saying that wedding was so you...in a good way.