A few hours before sending off our save the dates I had a mini panic attack. Everything was ready to go with our email design and wedsite. Both of them looked polished and the writing had personality and managed to be informative. Jason and I had talked through the design and wording so much that we'd exhausted all other possibilities and were entirely happy with the result. And yet... about three hours before I had planned to send them out, I emailed two girlfriends in a panic.
"What do you think about the wedsite? Does it look okay? Are the pictures flattering? Oh g-d, you'd tell me if it was terrible, right?"
Both of these girlfriends are honest enough to tell me if the website is terrible. And both of them were honest enough to tell me I was being neurotic and crazy (in the nicest way possible, of course.) Because, despite all my insistence on ease and just getting the d*mn save the dates out already, I'd frozen up. I'd panicked at the sudden realization that people were going to see these things. That our people - including about a ton of people on Jason's guest list who I've never met - are going to be introduced to our non-traditional wedding via our non-traditional wedding website and our email save the date that's covered in giant green flowers. I mean, Southern California residents might know that the giant green flowers are actually succulents, but what about everyone else? What if they think we're just weird and that we don't understand what color flowers are supposed to be? And what if people read our long-debated "about us" section on the website and don't like it because it's not overly gushy? And what if they disapprove of us referring to our wedding venue as a hippie-artist-non-profit location (even if it is)?
What if. What if I was panicking because I suddenly felt 210 invisible pairs of eyes turn on us and our heartfelt wedding plans and wondered what they'd think of our non-traditionalness. It's been easy to craft these wedding plans up until now - we're paying for the wedding ourselves in part so we had the freedom to design a celebration that reflected us and our needs without judgment or compromise. Our financial freedom has given us a real measure of creative freedom. But once we send the save the dates, the wedding is no longer just ours. It's out there for everyone to see. And examine. And judge. And so I panicked, because 210 pairs of eyes can suddenly feel like a lot, when you're laying your love and your very personal wedding plans bare for them to read.
But my girlfriends calmed me down and reminded me that our site is smart, well-designed, and actually informative. And they reminded me that I'd been procrastinating for a month and that I just needed to send the darn things already. And suddenly, I realized why I've been procrastinating: because once I send this save the date, our wedding becomes real. It becomes boisterous and noisy as the email replies and excited phone calls and opinions start rolling in. But what I forgot about that noise is all the joy and excitement it expresses. In my panic, I didn't think about how our one email finally allowed our community to rally, en masse, to tell us how much we are loved and how much they are looking forward to our wedding.
We haven't received a mean reply yet. Which is probably because our community is awesome and supportive and just the sort of people we're excited to surround ourselves with on our wedding day. The fear of judgment was definitely strong, but it's been powerful to be reminded that their acceptance, love, and support is even stronger.