Well, my creative soul, that is! If you had asked me three months ago, I would have told you that planning my DIY wedding was horrible, wretched, brutal and downright miserable. But, in reality, that was not the case at all. If only I could have realized it then.
After all, it was my own fault for deciding to plan a wedding amidst working full-time and going to graduate school in the evenings. But as they say, hindsight is indeed always 20/20. Together with my husband, who should undoubtedly reach sainthood after all of this, I created and pulled off the wedding of our dreams. What our dreams lacked in tradition and fanciness, they made up for in uniqueness, creativity and simplicity.
I was my own wedding planner. Over the course of our year and a half engagement, I spent hours (I’m talking hundreds of hours) researching online before making any decisions. Being on such a strict budget, I was forced into being a jack of all trades. Not only was I my own wedding planner, but you can add baker, interior designer, foreman, landscaper, event manager, handyman, seamstress and craftsperson to that list as well. Overwhelmed and anxious, I spent every spare second that I had planning.
Looking back, our wedding saved me. Since getting my life back on track nearly eight years ago, I have struggled day in and day out with my creativity. Before my life hit various speed bumps years ago, creative was the first word that I would’ve used to describe myself. I happily filled my time with crafts, sewing, photography and writing. But life got in the way and I had more important things to worry about at that point than fostering my inner creativity.
Once I steered myself onto my right life course again, I tried desperately to be creative. To write. To brainstorm. To craft. But to my dismay, I felt washed up. I started to question life and my purpose. Even worse, I started to question myself.
And then I got engaged and everything just clicked. I have no explanation other than that maybe the pressure of needing to get everything done, and making sure our 150 guests were full and happy, outweighed my own personal struggle and hesitations. As an admitted procrastinator, I was accustomed to putting everything off until it absolutely had to get done. But with a wedding, that’s just not possible (trust me, I learned this the hard way with a few wedding projects). I had to step up and make it happen. I was determined to make our DIY wedding dreams a reality.
In the end, we pulled it off (with the gracious help of family and friends, of course). My husband and I crafted our own invitations, arbor, bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, photobooth, guestbook, card box and the décor for the ceremony and reception, to name a few. I personally baked 14 loaves of various dessert breads! But we did it (thanks to many “all-nighters”). We were able to have our dream wedding with 150 guests for $7,500, including our one “splurge”: the photographer.
Since the wedding, I feel like I have my soul back. That creative drive that I felt so many years ago has reemerged. Part of me was scared that, once the wedding was over, I’d go back to being my mundane, creativity-lacking self. Boy, was I wrong!
My mind races now with different writing and craft ideas. I started this blog to help people realize their creative potential, with a budget-friendly twist. Planning my wedding saved my creative soul, unquestionably. Slowly but surely, I’m becoming more confident in my abilities and I can’t stop. I won’t stop.