NeonBride 101: Stay True
Welcome back to NeonBride 101! Today, we're discussing element #2 of the NeonBride definition: Stay True. By this, we mean 3 things: 1. You are in this TOGETHER 2. Do NOT compare your wedding day to others' 3. Stick to your guns, despite loved ones' opinions. Basically, just do you... and only you. You'll be happy you did... and let's be real, your happiness is all that really matters! Allow us to elaborate:
You are a team.
Let's take a moment to pause, and just remember what your wedding is all about. It's about the the union between two people that love each other, pledging to spend the rest of their lives together! For a wedding to occur, both people need to realize this one, simple fact. A fundamental aspect of being a NeonBride is recognizing that it's not just about the bride, but about the couple. There's nothing that saddens us more than the groom (or bride!) getting lost in the commotion and losing his (or her) voice. People might say it's all about the bride on this day, but we highly disagree - it's about the couple!
Both me and Dustin, as well as Derek and Sugi, tackled duties together from the get go. The guys were equally excited to start the planning process! We assessed our skills and delegated accordingly. For example, because of Sugi's design background, she created the invitations and wedding website, while Derek was able to print labels because of his Excel knowledge. Being a freelance graphic designer and still working in the restaurant biz, Dustin tackled designing the Save the Dates and handled the caterer, while Nicole's marketing and event background allowed her to handle the website design and decor. Throughout the process, we've distributed each job and worked together, as a united front. Not one decision has been made without consulting the other, and it's really made the whole process feel like ours - as it should.
If you think one person is controlling the situation more than the other, take a moment to calibrate, and make sure you're on the same page. For this is day is for BOTH of you. As we've stated in our very first post about the NeonBride, it's important to remember why you're getting married. Up until now, you and your significant other have developed your own way of doing things, your favorite hobbies, your favorite places to eat, favorite things to do, etc. Try to remember this when planning your wedding. It'll truly make your day special, and unique! Most importantly, it'll bring you close together and align your communication before your marriage even begins! Winning!
"Comparison is the thief of joy."
A big part of being a NeonBride is knowing how to stay true to yourselves as a couple. There's a lot of money in the wedding industry ($50+Billion to be exact), which means there's a lot of opinions out there on what's best for 'your big day'. People are literally paying top dollar to convince you that they know best. But just because this industry says it's what your supposed to do, doesn't mean you have to do it.
The average wedding costs $26,720! THAT IS STRAIGHT BONKERS! But it's that way because marketers in this biz know how to sell their shit, and people buy into it. "Why" you ask? Well, because of one simple, but ruthless word: comparison. This word creates so much frustration and unhappiness for the couple, and this is why it plays such an integral part in the NeonBride definition. Being a NeonBride means never comparing your happiness to others, and staying true to who you are as a couple.
It's so easy to get caught up in the wedding-hype and play "keeping up with the Joneses" - "they held it at this winery", "they had this amazing band", "she had this gorgeous dress", "they skydived into the ceremony" (we're sure it's happened)... and the list goes on. Well, let us be the first to say - WHO CARES what someone else did?! Again, this is YOUR day, no one else's. So do what you feel comfortable with, and what excites you. If your budget is only $2000, find comfort in the fact that your wedding will be creative! If your budget is $50,000 take a moment to appreciate that. Then put things into perspective and think about ways you could utilize some of that budget towards your future (down payment, paying off debt, 401k, etc). Even though society has lost its way and thrives off of comparison, it doesn't mean you have to follow suit.
Another big contributing factor to comparison, is something we hold near and dear to our hearts - social media. While fun and entertaining - social media creates this world of jealousy and judgement... and anyone judging you for any part of your wedding is not worth your energy. From Instagram and Snapchat, to bridal blog features, we've unintentionally created an arena for unhealthy competition. It's nice for inspiration, but the moment you start doubting yourself and obsessing over how your wedding isn't good enough, is the moment you're not yourself anymore. Don't ever lose that gumption and conviction to create what you truly want, and what you can proudly accomplish within your means. Own it, people! (Check out our Social Media Diet post for some perspective on this topic.)
Stick to your guns.
Another big part of "staying true" also involves saying "no" to those you love the most. Here's a prime example: my parents really wanted us to get married in the Catholic church. It was extremely difficult for me to say "no" and let them down - for they are my world and I knew how incredibly important this was to them. But, I knew in my heart of hearts that getting married inside of a church, was not what Dustin and I truly wanted. Getting married in the great outdoors, and being surrounded by friends and family amongst the trees was everything to us! So, I built up the courage and we told my parents 'no church'. Yes, they were disappointed... but eventually understood and supported us. I know I am one of the lucky ones - as a lot of families out there wouldn't be as empathetic. [Thanks mom and dad ;)]
Sugi and Derek were tested as well. They were in a position where his family wanted to control the bridal party situation, and it had potential to cause major drama. Derek wanted to comply because it was easier to please the family, but Sugi saw it as an opportunity for them to truly stick to their guns and stand together as their own new family. They weighed all options and resolved the issue with their own solution and everything worked out just fine.
Throughout the process of planning our weddings, Sugi and I have heard countless times of people letting society, or family, or friends influence how things went down on their wedding day... and each person said they regretted it. We don't want anyone to regret anything on their big day! If you're lucky, you'll only have to do this once in your life, so live it up and make it the best it can possibly be! Make it a day that reflects your love. A day that's truly yours.