May 9, 2017

Your Wedding: The Art of Being You

I’d like to start my blog with a reflection on the nature and identity of weddings, and particularly the pressures and judgement they fall prey to. This is a concept dear to me, and one that I hope will tell you a bit more about who I am, as a person and as a wedding planner. So here goes.

I was reading a newspaper excerpt recently about the growing cost of weddings, which included a number of testimonials by people who had chosen to break the mold and not give in to this trend. In principle, I agree that spending money for the sake of it, or being flashy with the purpose of appearing superior, may of course be an unhealthy way of thinking. But I found myself slightly taken aback by just how critical the tone of the article was. Weddings are, by their very nature, one of the most personal reflections of a couple’s identity there is, and I truly believe there is no such thing as a perfect wedding, in absolute terms. There is no right and wrong.

The Japanese language, in its unparalleled richness, has a word that I’m now reminded of: wabi-sabi. This wonderful term describes the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycles of life, and revering authenticity above all. This concept is closely related to Kintsukuroi, which describes the technique of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer, and understanding that the flaw is a unique piece of the object’s history, and adds to its beauty.

I like to think I approach weddings with the same philosophy. Every person, and, as a result, every couple, is the result of myriad, impossibly complex life decisions that have made them beautifully, uniquely imperfect. Telling their story in a way that does them justice, in a way that is perfect for them just as they are perfect for each other, is a wonderfully creative exercise for me. Because of this, I would never judge a wedding for being “too much” anything – you want to spend most of your budget on a masterpiece, museum-worthy cake because you love food? Great! Or on a fairytale, crystal-encrusted carriage because it reminds you of childhood dreams? Wonderful! Or on an intricate clue-based treasure hunt because you want to share your love of mystery novels and transport your guests to another world? Fantastic! Or on an intimate ceremony in a forest glade or a quiet church, simply adorned in linen and daisies? Count me in.

As a couple hosting a wedding, there is nothing you have to do, and nothing you can’t do. Only you know how to “do” you. Your friends and family are there to show you their support, their unconditional love, and their genuine happiness for you – the more the day is as perfectly imperfect as you, the more they will live it.

Just before I go, I’d like to leave you with another stunningly untranslatable Japanese concept: Koi No Yokan. This word describes the sense a person can have upon first meeting another that the two of them are going to fall in love. Not “love at first sight”, as it doesn’t imply that the feeling of love exists suddenly, but rather it refers to the knowledge, in the deepest part of one’s core, that a future love is inevitable.

If you want to brainstorm some ideas, or would like some help in styling or planning your wedding, just get in touch ♡

If the concept of Wabi Sabi resonates with you, you might enjoy this stunning shoot styled by the wonderful Always Andri and exceptionally talented photographer Siobhan H; I also recommend checking out Cristina Colli‘s beautiful visual storytelling and her ‘More than Perfect’ article in Breathe Magazine; finally, I recommend this powerful blog post on Love My Dress about cost (and value) in the wedding industry.

Yours,

Valentina