Surprise: What surprised you the most this year?
I always say, “People only like to be surprised by two things: puppies and diamonds.” Really, those are the only surprises I like. In 2012 I got both a diamond and a puppy, so things weren’t looking real promising for 2013 in the Surprise Department.
I do not like to be surprised because I like to be in control or have some sense that something is in someone’s control. But preferably mine.
I have been this way since I was a kid. We were going to play by my rules or we were not going to play at all. Change my schedule suddenly? Well, then I hope you scheduled at least 15 minutes of TOTAL MELTDOWN (this actually still happens sometimes). I will admit to this being a total personality flaw and tell you that it doesn’t always jive with the Cool Kate I Want To Be. But alas, it is the Planned and Somewhat-Controlling Kate That I Am. C’est la vie.
So, when I was maybe 3 months in to wedding planning and decided I had to let go of my demand to be in control, I was terrified. And in hindsight, it sort of seems brash to decide to let go when planning such a Very Important Day. I could have started a little smaller– like, taking a different bus to work.
Friendlies, I once ran a marathon having never run a half-marathon, a 10 mile, or a 10K. Go big or go home on the things that scare you, so it made total sense to give up control over my wedding day.
This is not to say I didn’t spreadsheet the bananas out of the planning details. It’s not to say I stopped asking for what I wanted. And it certainly is not to say that planning was stress-free. But I often told my vendors, “This is my idea, but I trust you.”
I woke up on my wedding morning and said,
“Oh my god, I cannot believe I am hungover!” “Whatever happens today, happens. It’s gonna be awesome.”
The lesson for me was, when I gave up the need to control, I gave everyone around me freedom. Freedom to be themselves, freedom to be creative, and freedom to just have a good time. And from the moment I stepped out my front door, the most wonderful surprises rolled out in front of me. It was complete magic.
Here is just a list of the little surprises that made the day so perfect:
- The bridesmaids chose their own hair-dos and dresses and they all looked stunning. Their whole style complimented their personalities perfectly and I know I could never have done a better job picking dresses and hair styles.
- I told my makeup artist that I was not in to dramatic makeup and we wanted a casual feel at the wedding and that she should just do the rest. It was perfect.
- Two bridesmaids crafted the greatest “getting ready on your wedding day” playlist with some fabulous boy band throwbacks and wedding-themed favorites.
- One of our readers shared a little personal story about why we had chosen that reading before she read the scripture and that felt incredibly meaningful.
- Our pastor gave an incredibly funny and honest sermon that included some of the best and worst parts of each of us (like the time I threw tuna at Aaron in the grocery store). It felt so fitting, as our marriage is a funny and honest blending of the best and worst parts of each of us.
- People bought us drinks and shots at the bar we visited post-ceremony, pre-party.
- My sister delivered a serious Shock & Awe speech after telling me for weeks she would give only a toast. Not only did she tell my most embarrassing story to date, she zinged me pretty good.
- The church ladies (like, an entire choir-full) wrote and sang us a song at our reception.
And that’s just the big things. But there were wonderful little surprises– the decorations were perfect, though I had never really seen all the elements together at once before our wedding day. The food and layout of the reception venue were fabulous. It was just all so right. Partly because I had let go of the idea that anything could really be wrong.
People only like to be surprised with three things: puppies, diamonds, and awesomeness.