"What's you're biggest weakness?" the person interviewing me would ask. "I'm a perfectionist" came my reply. Let's face it, it's the text book answer to a question like that.
I never really thought about it; I was always dedicated to my work in teaching, put so much time and effort into planning and making resources that the kids would love and respond to and then continued that level of diligence with my work now.
But it's soul destroying. Exhausting too...I've watched my shiny perfectionist badge tarnish as I've realised that the level of perfectionism I've held in my work has massively crept in to (or perhaps has always been a part of) every day life. And I've judged myself so much over decisions I've made and I'm only just realising how damaging my mind-set has been. I think it's perhaps been highlighted since our little one arrived but once I'd realised it was there, I felt drained.
I always thought of perfectionism as holding high standards. So not true. High standards are good; they motivate you to do better and to achieve great things, maybe with a messy path of mistakes along the way, which you were able to learn something from. Perfectionism, on the other hand, can stop you in your tracks and sabotage a perfectly good piece of work, strategy or conversation within seconds.
The reason I'm bringing this up here today is because I talk to so many brides who stress over having things "perfect" for their wedding day. I feel your stress, I really do...the drive for the picture perfect wedding just adds more strain on to an already stressful time. I have no idea why we do it to ourselves; maybe it's a deeply embedded belief from years ago that told us we weren't good enough at something or maybe it's the pressure of keeping up with friends, family members and fashion. The problem with being a perfectionist is we don't allow any room for error. If things don't go to plan, we see it as a disaster, rather than a bit of a speed bump. And then we beat ourselves up about it, which makes us feel even crappier than when we started.
I don't think my perfectionism reared its head too much when we were planning our wedding, although I'm sure if you ask my mum or husband they might say differently! I focused on details but I knew deep down that if something was a bit out of place, I'd still be marrying my best friend so it didn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Focus on the meaning behind the celebration and expect little things to crop up throughout the day - chances are you won't even notice them as you'll be too busy enjoying yourselves and making new memories with your loved ones.
If you're finding that you're getting really stressed over the finer details, there's one thing to take away from this; you can't control the weather. So no matter how perfectly you plan your day, the rain may fall or you may even get snow in March...as long as you can get to the church or venue and marry your special someone, that's all that really matters isn't it?
Let your wedding suppliers take that stress off your shoulders; they take great pride in their work and you're paying them for that service, so believe that they can make magic happen and your wedding day will be even better than you imagined.