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We were together. I forget the rest.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 11.01.41 AM

As it turns out, planning a wedding is not for the faint of heart.

There are the logistics.

And then there’s the emotional stuff.

It’s really easy to perseverate on the logistics to avoid feeling the emotional stuff. I’ve noticed myself veer in that direction countless times in the last year and particularly in the last month or two.

It was shocking to me how many peoples’ first question after I told them I was getting married was, “What are your wedding colors?”

Really?! Out of all the things that contribute to a wedding, let alone a marriage, the first at the top of our minds is what are the colors going to be?

Now, I consider myself an artist. And I love adding beauty to the world. But I must admit, my wedding colors were never top of mind (and they ended up changing several times and finally being determined by the color of Mike’s suit and my sisters’ dresses).

I, of course, have not been left out of the crazy tulle and sequined froth that the bridal industry whips us into around these events.

I have obsessed about place cards, baskets for sparklers, signage, beverage containers, bistro lights, decoupaging the frame of a bulletin board, Road Trip themed mix CD’s and welcome bags, to name a few.

Each time I feel myself sneaking down that wormhole called “Stuff you’re wasting energy on that you’re not even going to remember in six months,” I’ve done my best to stop and back up.

Yesterday I was pretty far down the Welcome Bag wormhole. Making people feel at home is one of my absolute biggest pleasures and highest values. So the welcome bags for out-of-town guests have been a huge focus for me.

I couldn’t let the logistics go even after Mike officially called me off the project and told me he’d handle it. (He’s SO good like that. Reason #876 why I’m marrying him.)

Finally, he came up behind me to give me a hug. I tried to pull away, feeling rushed —I had more important things to do than stand around and hug.

“Don’t resist me,” he said. I still pulled.

“Don’t pull away,” he said. I still pulled.

“Let go,” he said. I pulled for a moment and then, finally, I relaxed every muscle in my body and melted to the floor, tears stinging the corners of my eyes.

Mike laid down next to me and we both fell into a fit of giggles.

A few months ago my friend Rachel posted the following quote on Instagram:

twitter_standingWe were together. I forget the rest. ~Walt Whitman (Click To TWEET)

Photo Credit: Gabrielle Bernstein

Photo Credit: Gabrielle Bernstein

When I read it I felt a zing of recognition through every cell of my body.

It was exactly the touchstone I needed during the wedding process.

(I even got it printed on cocktail napkins for the reception as my talisman reminding me to release the details that don’t matter and focus on what does: marrying the man I love in the company of those I love.)

I knew that I would marry Mike in a brown paper bag and serve bologna sandwiches if it meant getting to be with him and be witnessed by those I love.

Ultimately, that’s all that matters. And what I’ll be left with after the wedding day is my love for Mike and for the other people gathered with us.

Life is full of emotional transitions. Birth, death, marriage, graduation, leaving jobs, starting new ones, moving, breaking up, falling in love, surgeries, debuts, and more.

And for every emotional transition there’s an industry, substance, or set of rules designed to help you avoid feeling what it feels like to leave one state of being and start a new one.

No matter the life moment you find yourself in, take Mike’s words to heart:

Don’t resist.

Don’t pull away.

Let go.

twitter_standingSometimes God is in the details. And sometimes the details distract us from what’s real. (Click to Tweet)

Focus on feeling what’s real. Distill everything down to what really matters. And forget the rest.

What are you obsessing about right now that you could let go of? 

What detail has been a thorn in your tush for a while now that you could extract by deciding it doesn’t even need to be done?

Leave a comment below – your stories of letting go will be salve to others’ souls – including mine.

Epilogue: I wrote this post on July 3rd. Two days later I married the man of my dreams in the company of those I love. It was epic. (That is not a word I use lightly or often, but it’s the only one that truly captures the day.) The beautiful details like looking out at all the faces of our nearest and dearest during our ceremony are etched in my heart forever. We were together. I will forget a lot of it. But I will never forget the way it felt to be next to the man I love, surrounded by the most important people to me in the world. That will stay with me forever.

Photo Credit: Terri Cole

Photo Credit: Terri Cole

 

  • Elizabeth Montana Kizaki says:

    Dear Kate,

    You have a beauty, grace and genius in the way you write. I am so happy for you and Mike, and have loved viewing the wedding photo posts on FB. This post made me teary with happiness and memories of the emotions I felt planning my own wedding many years ago. Your writing is so genuine. Don’t resist, don’t let go….let go. Yaaay Mike!

    Love & many blessings to you both,
    Elizabeth

    • Kate says:

      Thank you SO very much Elizabeth!

      • Kate was BORN with that ability to write. I remember a story she wrote about ladybugs when she was 9. I was astounded. Still am. Seriously. Thanks for letting her know from someone other than her mother!!

        • Lisa says:

          Such a valuable gift when they hear truth from sources “outside” of themSelves, affirming and increasing the recognition of what the “inner” circle has said all along.

        • Emma Tynan says:

          Hi Kate,

          This was so beautifully written. WOW. Like you were reading from my own heart :)

          Talk about finding this post at the perfect time. Today I tried not to have a breakdown about table numbers. I’m planning our wedding in August and I had no idea how crazy things can get. All I want to do is commit to the one I love in front of our friends and family.

          Can I pinch your Whitman quote for my wedding napkins?! ;)

          I feel more centred already.

          With love and much respect,
          Emma x

  • YES. This is almost the exact same blog post that I have been meaning to write for months but just haven’t found the perfect words. This is SO perfect — thank you!!! My husband and I got married last Summer after a long journey (10+ years) that involved a couple of break-ups and too many personal changes to list. Before we even started planning a wedding, I was acutely aware that it was a *marriage* with this man that I wanted, that the party would be sweet, but it wouldn’t be the only day of happiness and joy in our lives. Though I frankly couldn’t have ‘given less of a care’ (haha!) for what we had on our tables, if we had a seating plan, or our ‘colours,’ even tending to the basic details of a wedding can feel all-consuming and entirely emotionally draining. And then, just as everyone promised, that wonderful, almost surreal day of feeling the joy, love and support of our families and friends flew by in a flash… At the end of the night, I hung up my dress over a screen in the B&B we were staying in, and all that was left of that day was the man I love, and the vastness of our future. We have beautiful memories of that one day where our journey from the past up until that time at the altar was celebrated…of that feeling of being firmly in the present as we committed to our lives together… Weddings are fantastic, but in the end, it is the marriage that we are left with — something far less glamorous and much more stunningly real than anything we could anticipate on that ‘perfect’ day. The details really don’t matter. How much you truly want to live everything about THIS full, rich, imperfect, colourful life with THIS person in THIS life, does. Congratulations, Kate & Mike.

  • Megyn says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  • Roza Selimyan says:

    Kate and Mike, congratulations again!! You are a great couple, and I wish you all the very best for your life together. It was lovely reading this post. I am glad Mike has persuaded and that you ultimately gave in to fully enjoy an amazing time of your life

  • This is the main thing I try and get my couples to realize – it’s easy to get caught up and overwhelmed by the details, and stressed about how it’s going to work, but at the end of this day, you’re going to be surrounded by everyone you love and everyone who loves you. It is, as you say, “Epic.” There is so much love and fun and joy available on that day, and the days leading up to it. You just have to watch for it.
    “We were together. I forget the rest.” That sums what your wedding day is supposed to be – is built to be. Awesome.

  • Wow. I live this so much and wish I had read it before I got married.
    My head was so far in the logistics, I actually was unhappy with how my wedding turned out because it didn’t happened how I imagined.
    It’s not until now, 2 years later, reading this, that I feel free from those feelings and am just so happy that I married the man I love.
    Thank you Kate xo

  • I just love this. Beautifully put. Thank you for the reminder to be present and focus on what’s most important — which is always the being together, the connecting, the love, right?! Congratulations Kate.

  • maria says:

    Ahhhh…sooo lovely…Thank you for sharing…that was really sweet!!

  • Kate, you never fail to move and inspire me with your sincere, vulnerable, and beautiful writing. Thank for you for reminding us all what’s REALLY important in life. The minutiae of life CAN be where the beauty is, but it can just as easily be what distracts you from the big picture and what truly matters — it’s important to recognize the difference.

    Congrats on your epic wedding day! You made such a radiant bride!

  • Debbie says:

    Thank you. And, Congratulations!

  • Tara says:

    Tears, tears, tears, reading this post.
    You are absolutely right.
    My hubby and I have so much of the same. Marriage is not easy, but when one of us is pulling hard for some[insignificant]thing, it’s “Don’t resist. Don’t pull away.” Those moments are the most significant in our short 18 months of marriage so far.

    I cannot wait to meet you both in September!

  • Bobbi says:

    Thank you SO much for this post! I am getting married in September, and while I am very laid back, I am just starting to feel the pressure of all the little things… I could not be more grateful that we have an amazing event coordinator who has dealt with most of the details, phone calls, contracts and will be handling all the set up and logistics the day of, but I still noticed since our shower two weeks ago, I am taking on OTHER’S anxiety. I loved this post, thank you for sharing so much about your special day with all of us <3

    • Kate says:

      Have a gorgeous day and my one piece of advice is to lean on others’ help as often as it’s offered and as often as you can ask :)

  • Karin Sokel says:

    Congratulations Kate, on your beautiful wedding, and I am oh, so grateful for your wise personal story. The timing is so synchronistic. Not only am I a fellow Team Northup sister, I am also the mother of three sons, the first of whom is getting married on August 9th. My son and future daughter in law have opened their hearts and arms to our involvement in planning their wedding, and I’m having a blast, yet I am noticing the rise of anxiety for them in light of all of the last minute details and “to dos” on their plates right now. I will be forwarding your brilliant, loving message to them and their family to help us all remember the ultimate Intention behind their wedding day. And how perfect it is that # 6 on my “to do” list today is “Decide What to Put in the Gift Bags” – and now I know. Along with water, Usana Protein Bars (: things to do in Annapolis, etc, I will be placing a copy of your precious article for our guests to remember as well. And… on the outside of the bag: Sarah and Jordan…We Were Together With You – We Forgot the Rest.” Infinite Gratitude, Kate!

    • Kate says:

      Oh Karin! I’m SO happy that my post was helpful and I LOVE your ideas for incorporating the message into your welcome bag – how fabulous!

  • Christina B. says:

    Well done! Congratulations and much happiness to you both : )

  • Pamela says:

    Congratulations on your marriage!!
    And another congratulations on planning your own wedding.
    It is not an easy task!
    I planned mine as well, and I’m an event planner.
    But there is no great pleasure than knowing how much you pleased everyone
    and especially yourself!!!

    So fun to hear about your wedding journey!

    I know it was full of love.
    Keep relishing those special moments!!!!
    Love,
    Pamela

  • Heather says:

    So beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. It’s brightened my day!

  • Congratulations Kate & Mike! This post brought joyous tears to my eyes. Great sharing here… so much wisdom and joy. Wishing you both absolute continued bliss.

  • Leah says:

    Absolutely beautiful wedding day picture Kate and an absolutely beautiful Post! Congratulations. Wishing you both the most extraordinary life together x

  • Lienna says:

    Kate,

    Congratulations on your wedding! So happy for you! The wedding day was the best day of my life!

  • Kathy says:

    You guys are beautiful. Thank you so much for all you share with the world. You inspire me to keep living all in no matter what.

    I’ve been on the edge of tears all day today. I know not why. You guys pushed me over the edge again. I will love like this, in my own matchless way. I will love like this because I have too too much inside me not to share…

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m letting go of it all, I’m not resisting anymore its too exhausting. I trust that Love will lead me where I need to be.

    You and Mike’s union helps me to believe in love and romance on the deepest and most Holy level. It helps me to see that it is possible for me to meet a man of great love and devotion and to live a life beyond my wildest dreams.

    Thank you for being a light of love,

    I wish you a lifetime of happiness together <3

  • Kristin says:

    This is great! love the relationship you have!! :)) Super Congrats.
    Now, on to the question of the day…..
    What are you doing on a blog right now, Ms Kate!? :) You ought to be taking a load off somewhere relaxing away from it all (all of us)! :))) xox

  • Congratulations, Kate & Mike!! Wishing you the best!

  • Tracy says:

    Congratulions Kate and Mike, Wishing you a life of love, fun, joy and happiness. You have inspired mine.x

  • Cathy says:

    Staying away from the detail- (and demands of others-) wormhole is exactly why we eloped, then had a party with our nearest & dearest later. The day was about our Love and hanging with a few friends. Thank you so much for sharing your wedding-journey with us. Here’s to you & Mike growing joyfully old together!

    And so easy to see how this applies to the rest of life: right now the concept of whittling down to essentials in my work & business feels great.

  • Nicole says:

    “Life is full of emotional transitions. Birth, death, marriage, graduation, leaving jobs, starting new ones, moving, breaking up, falling in love, surgeries, debuts, and more. And for every emotional transition there’s an industry, substance, or set of rules designed to help you avoid feeling what it feels like to leave one state of being and start a new one.” Goodness, that’s brilliant! It’s so, so true. We don’t really have rituals or pausings in our culture that help us honor one thing ending and a new one beginning. And then we wonder why we’re emotionally stifled, sick, and stressed out.

    Since the start of this year, I have changed jobs twice, am anticipating making one more change in the next month, and veered away from the career path I have been pursuing for the last 5 years because it drained me instead of filled me up. All the while I just kept moving forward, focusing on the next “best” thing. Thank you, and Mike, for this reminder to pause, to surrender, to let go. Congratulations on your happy life together!!

  • your blogs are eloquent, personal and so REAL!!! I appreciate you and would love for us all to be able to communicate with such honesty. Thanks sincerely for sharing the intimate. I learn and grown with you, through your words. Congratulations for finding that person you are real with to share your life with. all the best

  • Carol says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful. I love how you apply this to any transition. Being closer to your Mom’s age, the “later” ones are in the foreground now, but there’s so much in common … especially in regard to surrender.

    And Portland … what a city! !!! We just returned from there. It’s “thick” and spacious at the same time. Loved it – you’re very fortunate.

  • Lisa Froman says:

    Gorgeous photo. And gorgeous story. Thanks for the reminder. (P.S. Love your Libra mom, too.)

  • Regina says:

    Congratulations to you and your husband, Kate

  • Lisa says:

    My daughter’s wedding plans seemingly “blew up” 2 months away from the Big Day. I was able to assure her that the Divine knew her desires even more than she did and in the end, after all the edits, her comment as she called her mom to say thanks after leaving the celebration was “I wouldn’t have changed a thing, Mom.” Great post, Kate. It will offer much to many. Thanks for sharing yourSelf.

  • Nadjejda says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, I’ve had your blog post on my laptop screen for days and finally read it today! It was exactly what I needed to brighten my day and to remind to not resist, not pull away and let go! Congratulations to you and Mike, wishing you both a lifetime of blessings! Love and light :)

  • Marie says:

    Thank you so much Kate for this beautiful blog post. I’m getting married in 2 weeks and this was just what I needed to hear right now. Planning a wedding is definitely not for the faint of heart. This post really helped me to see how beautiful the whole process has been and how excited I am to cherish what matters most – spending my life with the man of my dreams and growing and evolving together. Thank you for writing this. Xo

  • […] the first five days of the trip. Five days turned into 10 months, 41 states, 34,000 miles, and a wedding. It was a good […]

  • Raven says:

    Whoa Kate, I missed this the first time, but I’m so happy to receive it now. My guy and I often say this in different ways. How blessed to be with those we love. Thank you for your perfect words and heartfelt spirit! May your love continue to bless you in both expected and unexpected ways.

  • Gaby says:

    Hello Kate,
    My story is a bit different from the others. I got married 21 years ago and I can tell you that the adventure is worth.
    Having someone by oyur side always makes you grow and hopefully, become a better human being.
    Mike´s words, “don´t resist, don´t pull away, and let it go” said to you for the first time made me think how many times I have told them to my husband and him to me and maybe that is part of what has kept us tegether for so long.
    Enjoy you honey moon.

  • Always enjoy reading your posts Kate. I am presently with my husband Robo at Toronto Airport after escaping the snow storms in Halifax Nova Scotia. We were stranded in a hotel just outside of Halifax for 2 days with our flight cancelled 3 times! We have simply been rolling with it … going with the flow … when the knots start to prickle in my stomach I just take a deep breath and affirm that all will be well! Happy Hols to you and Mike! xx

  • Charlene says:

    My second time reading this post and it is even better than the first! Thank you, Kate, for sharing so generously of yourself. Your emails always feel like a chat with a great friend; refreshing, uplifting, inspiring.

  • I cried twice, grateful.

  • Cyndy says:

    Hey Kate, SOOOO happy for you! Sounds like an absolute blast! Thanks for the great reminder about being together and really “being together”! I just love it when my honey and I are on the couch in our PJ”s watching house hunters too! Thanks for your inspiration as always! :)

    Many Blessings, Cyndy

  • Alessandra says:

    Kate sei bravissima!! Ciao !

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