Happy Wednesday, darlings. Today’s post is a little different from most, and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and reactions to what we’re doing today. Because today, a gorgeous, smart, super real, super talented, and above all exceedingly cool and kind young lady is telling her story on TKB… and it’s kind of a big deal.
First, I imagine you’ll remember Rhi’s beyond lovely DIY wedding, which we featured back in April. She pulled off that numba one stunna because Rhi, who has an event design company called Hey Gorgeous Events, is brilliant when it comes to innovation, attention to detail, and just generally knowing what it takes to achieve that wow factor we crave so much here when it comes to wedding design. Here, take a quick look at a few of my favorite bits and pieces for a second… no it’s ok, I’ll wait…
Great stuff, right? Don’t you just wanna eat her up?
And, even though she, like many, did her fair share of Monday morning quarterbacking after it was over… it still looked absolutely PER-FACT to me, and I’m pretty sure to all of you, too. I mean every last nook and cranny of that thing was fanfreakintastic!
But nothing’s ever completely perfect. That’s just not reality.
Wedding planning often turns out to be one of the most intense, consuming, exciting, obliterating, thrilling, relationship-testing AND relationship-building experiences of one’s life. It’s an amazing thing, wedding planning. I’m obviously a big fan. :) Thing is, in this world of pretty pretty prettiness and shopping for the perfect dress and putting together the perfect guest list and just generally working to achieve one’s ideal, most memorable and most meaningful celebration of love – all of which are the coolest things EVER – there are more than a few upsetting stories along the way. There’s no denying it. Certainly not in all cases, but enough. And many brides feel the pressure to hide these stories and bad days or even make believe they aren’t happening, and that’s likely because they’re rarely if ever discussed openly in the wedding world. These stories can be embarrassing. These stories can be difficult to admit, even to yourself. But that doesn’t mean they can be ignored. Which brings us to Rhi’s story…
So, without further adieu, here’s Rhi with Part I of her experience…
It only seemed fitting for me to write about this topic because it’s been brought to my attention that I’m so far from the norm on traditional life ‘stuff’. Don’t believe me? Well for example my last name, I didn’t change it and instead I still proudly rock my maiden digs. My bank account? Remains just that. Mine and mine only. And kids? I don’t think I’ll ever have em, I’m too into my space, myself and my life. I’m a control freak and I like to be different, I like to stand out instead of fitting in and I thrive on knowing I’m sort of a breed of my own. Which is why in 2008 at the age of 22, when I called home to tell my Mom I was newly engaged that I should have known she would be less than thrilled.
Mom and I go way back. We’ve been buds for almost 25 years now and although we don’t always see eye to eye we share many similar qualities like our relentless nature to know what we want when we want it, our ability to do good for others, our overly warm giving and caring hearts, our hip less frames, our soft mid sections, our problematic skin, our creative, innovative ways and our soft spot for carbs, sweets and chips. We both hate to work out. We both love baths. We both get teary eyed over the same shit. We’re related that’s for sure. But we’ve both lived two different lives. And as a result see experiences and value things quite differently.
I was born in 1986. Mom was only a month into her 21st year, working as a waitress with no near plans or money for college. And I’m cool with knowing I wasn’t a planned babe. Her and my Dad weren’t married yet. Dad was actually out for the long weekend in May that year that I was born, on a fishing trip with buddies. He missed the whole thing. We didn’t (like I can’t remember, ha) have a ton of money growing up, the three of us. We lived over a bakery at one point. Fresh bread smells drifted up into our little apartment. Mom made me a tiny little backyard in the parking lot out back with a blow up pool, potted tomatoes plants forming a makeshift fence for privacy. While we never lived lavishly, I always had food in my belly, a Mom and Dad who loved me (and would later get married), a roof over my head and life would go on and we would continually be blessed. I went to school, moved around a lot as a kid. Welcomed a bratty little brother into my world the Christmas before I turned eight. I went to camp. Had sleepovers. My Dad worked hard and still does to give us the life he believed we deserved. I became a national level gymnast. Broke curfew. Fought with the bratty little brother. Bought an ugly and way too expensive graduation dress. Went to school on a scholarship. Met my husband. Got engaged. And that’s when the world stopped spinning.
After a little pause on the phone that day on the beach I was given a “Well-that’s-exciting-news-and-how-do-you-feel-about-it?” kind of response from my Mom. Planning my next response in the most carefully executed manner wile trying not to be all “Rawr I wanna rip yo face off for not squealing like a girlfriend and being all excited for me,” was tough but somehow we mustered up enough respect for one another to get through the conversation with what felt like the verbal equivalent of a congratulatory handshake. And with that I frolicked off into the Anna Maria Island sun probably to make a sand castle or something. It wasn’t like we’d get married right away anyways, I convinced myself. So we didn’t. And we held off on planning our wedding. Because my Mom, the one person I love the most, wasn’t having it and that was cool. I was game for making her happy and doing what she thought was best. But ever so slightly the fine line between people pleasing and doing whatever I wanted and whatever I needed to be happy, became so blurred that things got really bad before they got anywhere close to being in the same zip code, of better.
In Rhiannon’s next installment, coming soon, she’ll continue her story, and hopes to “lend some insight to other brides who may be stumped or hurt or upset or frustrated that their Moms may not want a thing to do with their daughters wedding.”
And now, to lighten the mood a smidge… here’s a little picture present my girl Em of Gem Photo sent me yesterday, which caused me to experience cuteness-induced cardiac arrest and only additional looks at the photo relieved me of the attack. I mean, the double chin alone…
Em, he looks so much like what I imagine McPuppypants will look like as a grownpup it’s frightening.
So, what are your thoughts after reading Part I of Rhi’s story? Can you identify in any way? Were you fortunate enough to have everyone on board for your big day, with no real hiccups at all? And do you have any ideas or experience in dealing with situations like this?
Rhi and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.