November to December is normally a whirlwind for me. I am a huge Christmas fan so a lot of my time and efforts go into find the right gifts, decorating the house, baking, crafting and making sure that everything is amazing for those who I love and who I call family and friends. The past month for me has had moments where I devoted time and effort to wedding related things (our invites, getting my dress ready, urging the groomsmen to get fitted) but above all, this past month has made me look at the wedding in a different light.
Shortly before Thanksgiving, I started to feel some numbness in my feet. I shrugged it off as nothing worth noting but it persisted for a week and then two. So I called the doctor, have had a bunch of tests done and am still waiting a final verdict on what is going on with my body. At this point, it’s assumed it’s a bulging disc in my lower back. Throughout this, I’ve been forced to slow down, relax and try to focus on me a little bit more, give my body a rest. It’s also been emotionally taxing but Mr. PB, my family and his family have all been supportive and helpful. It’s scary not knowing what’s going on with your body but feeling the love around you definitely helps you navigate the course.
Another thing that happened this holiday season is a gift drive at my work for families in need. The organization I work for serves school-age children and some of those children and their families struggle to meet basic needs throughout the entire year, not just the holiday season. In alignment with me being honest, I know how those students feel and didn’t live the most luxurious life growing up with my mother. I sympathize with students who understand others have more than them, who have learned to appreciate small tokens as gifts rather than gaming systems and expensive boots and who have families that struggle to put food on the table. One family in particular struck a chord with me and made me realize that all the money that is going into the wedding is for one day, one event.
Mr. PB and I already have a plan on how to give back to others through our wedding (more on that later), but this was an immediate call to action that needed to be addressed. I had been having a hard time finding an affordable videographer in the Rochester area and when I did, the person I found was horrible with communication. Customer service is a huge thing for me so having the lackluster results was really leaving a sour taste in my mouth. I wanted the video services more than Mr. PB and really, I just wanted to be able to capture our ceremony, our toasts and our dances. I wasn’t even looking for a fancy pants edited video with music and such.
When I heard about this family, I suggested to Mr. PB that we take the money that we had budgeted for the down payment for the videographer and use it towards this family. Without hesitation, Mr. PB was on board and my step mom contributed as well. In the end, we were able to provide a large amount of items for the family, from home goods, kitchen items and holiday decorations to clothing, books and blankets as gifts. Christmas morning meant a lot more to me this year because I knew that family was feeling joy and love as they opened new items they deserved. For me, it was a moment to pay forward the kindness I received from multiple families as a child, when churches would bring us gifts and food boxes. It also was a moment to step outside the wedding mindset and make an impact on the lives of others instead of channeling that money towards something unnecessary for the wedding.
Even though I stepped away from the blog for a little bit, I am happy to be back and can’t wait to catch everyone up on some great wedding related projects that are done and even a few in progress.
Did you have an event during your wedding planning that helped to put things into perspective for you? Did you snap back to reality and realize there are other things that could use your attention (and money) more than wedding extras?