Some of the best lessons learned and moments lived have occurred for me immediately after rejection.

Of course, that's never easy to remember in the heat of rejection, when you're told by a photographer with whom you've been talking for more than a month, who told you she'd booked your date for you: Never mind. I don't want to barter after all.

I thought about not sharing this. It's humiliating, and it hurt my feelings. But, once again, in vulnerability, I've learned something about me, something about Steven and something about life.

Late Tuesday night, I started anew my search for photography. I found it hard to sleep. Wednesday morning, I awoke to discover that my husband-to-be had stayed up until 3 a.m., wedding planning. He's never done that before. But in my moment of defeat, he stepped in. (Reason #34,891 I'm so in love with him.)

He refined our invite list to make dinner more affordable. He spent hours researching centerpieces. And then, he proudly told me while I brushed my teeth that morning, he struck his own bargain on eBay. He managed to buy eight of these for $50 instead of six for $60 like the seller pictured below:
I think these could look beautiful with some sort of lace detail on our tables, maybe like this:
Tuesday night, at about the time I was lying in bed, restlessly worrying about my ability to find someone who had a need for a seasoned writer, an email arrived in my inbox from a photography company interested in a blogger. A surge best described as a flutter started beating its wings. My confidence was creeping back.

Another silver lining: The photographer rejected our agreement BEFORE the Today's Bride bridal show on Wednesday. So, I revised the flier I'd written (designed by my sister) to reflect that I still needed someone to capture our moments and set out to spread the word with Steven and my "entourage":
I wanted people to know that I have something to offer THEM, too.

The show was informative, yet intimate. I chatted with my DJ, for whom I'm ghost-writing, and PartyPix, the photo booth company with which Something New Entertainment collaborates often. Here's a photo we took wearing their ridiculously bright props:
Actually, we played in two photo booths. My advice: Proofread future husbands who can't read...
So it's the day after the show, and I've received a phone call from a different photographer potentially interested in my blogging for his company and creating a Story of Your Life about the 10-year-old enterprise. I also received an email from someone who shared her packages but said she didn't need writing or editing. I appreciated her honesty and her other cost-cutting suggestions: no engagement session, fewer coverage hours, the exclusion of a second photographer.

I also received an email from a photo booth company whose owner asked me to visit his web site and explain how I would improve it. I will. (I've been in talks, though, with another photo booth company for months, and I want to be fair. I guess it comes down to details and contracts, who feels I can benefit them most and who I feel will benefit us most.)

My confidence is at full-flutter again. If I may, I'm going to steal, while citing, a line written in a recent blog by Jasmine Star that really resonated with me throughout all of this:

"None of us are above doing what we need to do to get things done in the name of our dreams."

I'm certainly not. Indeed, it's the premise that drives all of this.