i'm not exactly sure what i thought being engaged would be like. 
i mean, i have never been engaged before. 

but i have to admit, i've been a little surprised.
suprised at how hard it is.
although i'm not sure what expectations i did have coming into all of this, i think i subconsciously thought it would be a piece of cake...a walk in the park...as easy as falling off a log...well, you get the idea.

but it hasn't been all rainbows and butterflies.
my expectations and reality have not exactly seen eye to eye.
and i've struggled.

please don't misunderstand.
i love mr. lesley and couldn't be more thrilled about starting our life together.
but i think it's important to admit the challenges, in hopes that someone out there might feel a small piece of comfort and know they're not alone.

i find myself looking at wedding blogs and daydreaming.
just hoping that my special day can look just as the images i see.
perfect couple.
perfect venue.
perfect everything.

and i have all these expectations of how the wedding day should be.
and how i want everything to be perfect too.
so we can be impressive.
and everyone can say how great it was.
and no one will complain about the food, or the venue, or the attire, or the location (people can be quite nitpicky about weddings after all).

but with all those expectations of the wedding, i forget that it's just one day of our lives.
and the focus should be the marriage, and not just the wedding.
and it doesn't matter if everything isn't perfect because chances are it won't be.
and that's ok.
it's a day to celebrate.
not a day to impress after all.

so even if i don't get the wooden chairs i want and even if our favorite caterer doesn't fit into the budget and even if i didn't pick the perfect colors, it will be ok.

so i think what the issue is is not to make my expectations lower but to make them realistic.
to stop putting so much pressure on myself to create something magical but to enjoy the process and be gracious toward everything in my life that i so desperately want to make perfect.

and to embrace the struggle. and remember that just because something is hard doesn't make it bad or wrong.
and recognize all the good and beautiful things this process has brought.

-the amazing people who have supported us and have already done above and beyond to do whatever we need to make our wedding a true celebration
-the opportunity to talk and disagree and agree and be scared and be excited with mr. lesley. it is a wonderful thing to marry your best friend
-the privilege it is to plan a wedding as my sister is planning hers and share in the joys and struggles together

so, i guess the point of all of this is that no matter where you're at in life (planning a wedding, having a baby, struggling at your job) know that life doesn't always fit into our cookie cutter expectations.
and that's ok.
because that's life.

and when i am honest with myself, i wouldn't want it any other way.


  1. This is great...and oh so true. This is my favorite line: "so i think what the issue is is not to make my expectations lower but to make them realistic."
    Sometimes it's easier said than done...but we're not alone.
    Love you friend!

  2. Hannah, I love your honesty. You're doing well, Friend.

  3. Love this Hannah!

    Even though I'm not getting married, it's such a great life lesson to remember.

    Be grateful even when things are not exactly cookie cutter or things fall short of your expectations. I'm going to make a gratitude list like you:)

  4. this is a great piece.
    i am also engaged and getting maried this year, and i have to agree with you, things can be more challenging than the "fairytale" makes itself out to be.

    but it is most definitely worth it!

  5. What a great reminder! Interesting how it takes months to plan for ONE event, but it's really about the days that come after :).

  6. it sounds if you have it all sorted (even though you are not sure if you do)-remember , that yes, it is an important event, but only because it signifies the start to the rest of your lives together-that is what is important. the planning will all come together-and everyone will have a great time-even if there are stressy moments before hand. (hey-do i sound like i know-i don't-but only because of friends and my brother's recent wedding). x

    PS- the reCAPTCHA takes so long to load its hard to leave comments on your blog. But I'm always reading. :)

  7. Breathe, Hannah . . . just breathe.

  8. hannah bear, i love this. because this was me 9 plus months ago. and now, i look back and think how perfectly imperfect our wedding was. and when i was planning i wanted to change everything and start over, and now i wouldn't change a thing. knowing you aren't alone and most everyone who has ever been engaged has felt this same confusion expectations helps to make the process better. i really just wish that someone would have told me right when i got engaged that it was going to suck (you know what i mean). You're almost done! and then you get to be married and judge other peoples weddings. i'm kidding.....

  9. Oh sweet girl! I feel for you! Being engaged is SO HARD. But you're on the right track. Just keep telling yourself, "It's just a day!"

    P.S. I realize I've let February get next to entirely away from me and we've not gotten together for coffee. How did that happen?! Trev's family is in town this weekend (a bit unexpectedly...) but I'm now wide open the first weekend in March. What do you say? A Sunday afternoon coffee? You pick!

  10. You're so honest and I love it! I continually freaked out about not hiring a caterer when I was engaged. We had decided that our non-negotiables were as follows: 1) everyone's invited and 2) there will be beer. Beyond that, we knew we didn't want to take on any debt. I convinced myself over and over that we'd just have to hire a caterer - no way we could serve beer and not feed people, and no way we could feed them without hiring a caterer! My husband reminded me repeatedly that we are both intelligent, creative people and that we'd come up with a solution if we worked hard enough at it. We ended up hand-making 250 PB&Js for our wedding dinner and attaching our programs to brown paper bags that people filled in the buffet line at the reception. It was one of my favorite parts of our wedding.

    You've already made the biggest decision there is to make - the rest is just details that won't matter much a few years from now.

  11. You are on just the right track... realizing that it is just one day. No one really wants to hear that when they are getting married because that one day is theirs...foever. And it will be--no matter what. Treasure and enjoy it. Spend time focusing on your relationship because marraige applifies it and once the day is gone that is what really matters.