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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Authentic vs. Original

I just read Becca's post about her losing her cool (a mini-meltdown) and felt I needed to respond.

For those not yet following A Los Angeles Love, I'll summarize: Becca and her fiancĂ©e Jason are getting married this coming April. They've been planning now for about 13 months and Becca's been sharing the details, the unexpected, the stress, and the triumphs. Becca is a real bride - not one who has bought into the WIC or labels. In her post she talks about how Jason just returned from a friend's wedding and talked about what they did for escort cards. Turns out Becca had been planning on doing the "same" thing. Now this was one of the details that Becca hadn't blogged about (if you're not a bride blogger, let me explain the significance-the details you don't share are the ones that you care about the most and want to share the day of for guests and/or your groom). So Becca had a mini-meltdown and lamented about being seen as a copycat.

Now I understand the emotion. I understand the belief that people will see you as a copycat. How do I know? Because I saw a friend give her boyfriend a birthday gift - a gift that we were going to be giving to some of the boys in our wedding (of which he's one).

Note that this wasn't even a wedding (no one but me would tie the two occasions together) and I went into full "OMG I'm going to be seen as a copycat" mode. (Context: These gifts were not blogged about. I'd been trying for almost 6 months to acquire these vintage items and had just succeeded in getting the 4 I needed.) Unlike Becca I went into full on tears in front of my friends (and almost into a panic attack). In hindsight, a total overreaction. But in the moment with the stress of running our Burning Man camp it was too much.

Luckily my friends are very understanding. And luckily my bridesman came up with a solution (once he calmed me down enough to figure out why I'd burst into tears).

The gist of what he said? And how it applies to Becca? The gift/idea for escort cards is authentic. Everyone who knows you (and your guests should know you) is going to know you carefully thought about and selected the detail. And here's why original - or being first - doesn't matter. If you're authentic - that is people see you and your partner in what you're doing - no one is going to see one detail standalone. Each detail is viewed in the context of you. 

Our wedding will be original. Not all of the details will be new to our friends or to the blogsphere (we've been planning for six months and ideas that we thought we original - not on blogs - are now showing up on blogs, but we're not changing our plans). But the combination and presentation of those details will be new. 

And more important than original? We'll be authentic. Just like Becca and Jason.

So when you see your friend or coworker seemingly overreact, remind them that it's the authenticity - the unscripted moments - that makes your wedding special.

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