Being a BAB has been an amazing experience for me. With my limited budget and limited crafting skills (I try, but I’ve learned when it comes to Pinterest fabulous chalkboard direction signs and flower arrangements … I’m better off using my other talents), I’ve had to learn to be resourceful to get what I want. And I’ve also learned that many things we’re told we want, we don’t actually want or need.
I wish I could say “not my best work” but actually it is my best …
I’ve never heard it said that “No BAB is an island,” but it really SHOULD be said. Unless your name is Martha Stewart (and seriously, Martha, call me back! I want you as a BFF!), there is absolutely no way to plan a wedding all on your own without being institutionalized while screaming “More Tulle!” to the orderlies. Wedding planners are incredible people and life savers for some, but they cost money that could also be spent on an open bar and are out of reach for many of us. This is where your circle/support system/friends and family come in.
I’ve been at the end of my rope several times through this process and I can’t believe how often there is someone there for me. When my friends heard I was reallocating my entire flower budget to getting a great a photographer (because: priorities) and was planning on doing the flowers by myself, one stepped in to offer her substantially better arranging skills at cost. (Yes, my budget blowing photographer is going to get photos of them for her portfolio.)
Another friend heard my crazy idea to have incredibly meaningful spaceships for centerpieces and said she could have them 3D printed for us. (I’m pretty sure all of the pictures of my high school sci-fi cosplays have been deleted. Yeah, they totally have.)
There’s always been a lot of space in our relationship.
My circle has been stepping up left and right to make sure my fiancé and I get all the things that are important to us included in our wedding. People are helping us with invitations, guest lists, dress shopping, accessory loaning and otherwise offering professional or amateur talents that they have for free or with discounts unbefitting their talents so we can stay within budget, stay sane and afford the things that our circle can’t provide.
This help has brought to light what’s actually important about a wedding. Hint: A lot of things the wedding industry really, really wants you to buy at incredibly high prices are not the most important things to insure that you marry the person of your dreams surrounded by friends and family.
By focusing on the people and fiancé I love the most, I’ve learned the power of thinking outside the box. It’s liberating when you open yourself up not to having everything that you’re told is necessary and expected for a wedding. Focusing on the basics means that there are more options available in your budget. We chose a wedding location that will give us everything on our priorities list, even though it’s not the art museum or country club we had in mind.
And the truth is, BABs, you need your network, not to provide you with free or discounted items (although it’s awesome when it happens). You need them to remind you what’s important, help you make decisions and to keep you away from those huge scary guys with the butterfly nets. I’m going to make it the new mantra: No BAB is an island.