What do they know? My giant “eff you” to the wedding world.

23 Feb

I’m really excited – giddy, actually – about our marriage. Some days, I’m even excited about the wedding. The day that we found our venue, for instance, or the first time I spun around in my wedding dress. I love when wonderful friends (Layla!) pass along bits of their wedding, because it makes me feel like ours will not be this one overly-hyped day, but a part of something bigger. It makes me happy when R gets excited about something wedding-related, like the day that he spent hours listening to local bands and contacting them to see if they’d play a wedding on our budget.

These are all things that came about fairly organically. I wasn’t really seeking them out, they just happened. They were done kind of stealthily, before everyone had an opinion on where we should get married, who should officiate, what I should wear, who should be in the bridal party, what food should be served, who should (or should not) be invited, what our favors should be, and a zillion other things that I am not listing but are really, definitely topics of conversation.

My reaction to all of this has been, essentially, not to plan for the wedding. I just keep telling people who are wedding troublemakers that we’re too far out to even think about it. If you’re not on that black list of crazy, then I may just be willing to talk about the wedding.

But when I think about our wedding day, I’m excited for things like seeing all of our friends and family, sharing our vows with everyone, having a blast on the dancefloor, and getting some truly kick-ass photos. Can everyone just stick to those details, please? Because the other ones, the ones where only certain veil lengths are proper, and getting married in our city is an incovenience, and *gasp* the lack of a wedding cake are making me want to pull my hair out and elope.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not something I dwell on often. We still talk about our life and our marriage much more (oh, and the honeymoon. What’s not perfect about Paris?) than we discuss the wedding.

So, as a remedy to all this wedding crazy, I want to share with you all a little about our relationship. We’ve been through quite the ups and downs, through the angsty high school years, the transition to college and adulthood, and the stress of finding careers. We’ve had those months where we didn’t know how we could possibly make ends meet financially, and the string of days where one of us was always working or in classes, and it felt like we were perpetually waving at each other on our way out. But we’ve been pretty good at keeping our standards directed at our relationship, and putting the other person first.

One of our old fights that we constantly rehashed was the good old lack of communication. I admit it, I was a hinter. I thought that somehow, he would know what I meant when I dropped a hint, and I got upset when he didn’t pick up on it. Then he would get mad that I was mad, and he’d storm out of the room or go silent. Which only infuriated me more, because I felt like he was giving up on the situation. There were some pretty stormy months like that, and it took sitting down and establishing how to fight fairly to actually eliminate most of our fights. Now they honestly don’t happen much unless one of us hasn’t  had enough coffee that morning. And really, who can be blamed for that?

The aspect of our relationship that has, without a doubt, kept us happy more than any other is how we spend our together and alone times. We don’t have the spending money to have an actual date night, but we love to plan dinners at home, take walks together, and sit at outdoor cafes for hours on summer mornings. That is our time, and when we’ve agreed upon it we don’t let life get in the way of it. Those days are so important to me, because they help me sort out my week and make sense of what’s going on in my life.

Almost equally important is the time we spend apart. There is something to be said for having independent relationships with friends apart from other couple friends, and I think I’d go insane without coffee dates, brunches, and girls’ nights.

On the surface, it seems like this is just regular relationship stuff. And it is, undoubtedly. I’m sure everyone works out their own system of what works. But this is the stuff of our marriage. Because at this point, marriage is just a public statement of our commitment, and an acknowledgement of that commitment from society. Marriage will not change what we already have, it will just solidify it. I love waking up in the morning to my best friend and the person I love right now just as I will through the years of our marriage – and that is why no amount of crazy wedding talk truly gets me down, even though it can be all sorts of annoying. Because really, it’s the marriage that matters to us.


17 Responses to “What do they know? My giant “eff you” to the wedding world.”

  1. Steph February 23, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    While I am admittedly pretty excited to be planning our wedding, I whole heartedly agree that it’s the actual marriage that matters most (as it should, of course!). Part of me wishes we could just return all our deposits and whatnot and just get married next week with family there.. but I realized that part of the reason I’m so excited for the wedding is that we can (hopefully) have most all of our family and friends to share in the occasion with us. And that? Is what matters most to us. Being with the ones we love for such an amazing occasion.

    I’m glad your wedding is coming together pretty organically for you, though.. that’s the best!

  2. Hannah February 23, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    I agree with you on everything you posted. I did not buy into the wedding hype and we had a very unique, totally us wedding. (I blogged about it here: averygatorwedding.blogspot.com )

    If you read my posts, we spent a lot more time working on our marriage than our wedding. Given, a lot of marriage lessons are learned throughout the planning process – we made sure to concentrate on our relationship. Our county’s {free} pre-marital course helped with communication styles, too – so that was fun!

    Honestly, it irritates me when I see brides so self-absorbed with their wedding that they let their relationship fail. It just happened to one of my bridesmaids – they had to call off the engagement and he just moved out. It was obvious to him that her priority was a party and not their relationship.

    So GO YOU! It is wonderful to see a bride understand what really matters on that day!

  3. Jessica @ One Shiny Star February 23, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Hahaha… I guess, because of a comment you had left on my blog, I thought you were already married! I’m blaming pregnancy brain. 🙂

    People are awful, and they forget who the wedding is actually about. My own grandmother boycotted my wedding (my grandpa made her come) and then she spent the next weeks sending nasty e-mails to any one involved to inform them of what an utter failure it was. This including telling my mother how bad a mom she was for letting me have a wedding “like that.”… what ever that’s supposed to mean!

    Don’t worry about what people say or do right now. A year after the wedding when you and your husband fondly remember everything that went on, every one else will only have faded memories of the best bits.

    • Anni February 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

      Haha, you know what? You probably saw Jenna refer to R as my husband. She does that once in awhile, which is funny since we talk about the wedding!

      That’s absolutely terrible that your grandmother would boycott your wedding. I can’t imagine how awful that must of felt to hear that she was bashing it, too.

  4. Jessica February 23, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    I was just like that in the beginning of my relationship, a hinter. I would assume Kev could read my mind and know what I wanted and get frustrated when things didn’t go as I planned. We’ve/I’ve grown from that.

    Your post said it all and I completely agree. Getting caught up in wedding hubbub IS SO EASY and I admit, I had to stop and think “what is this really all about?” at times. In the end, I was spending the rest of my life with my husband. That is really what I needed to focus on. 🙂

  5. Mrs. JYW February 23, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Can you please just be my mind-reader? 🙂 Your words are so real and so important. A wedding is a day, a marriage is forever.

    I was definitely a “hinter” throughout our dating and it took a while to realize that my old habits were counter-productive.

    I’m so glad that the planning part of our engagement was short lived because I did not want to waste time fretting over the small things that didn’t matter. In fact, I can’t even half of the things that people had opinions about or gave unwarranted advice for…

    Good luck with the rest of planning and I can’t wait for summer time cafe dates with the hubby too! 🙂

  6. Christine February 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    I really love this post! It’s so true about the things you learn about one another and the ways you solidify your relationship. I think money struggles and ironing out communication make you stronger as a couple. I know that’s been the case for my fiancee and me. I think it’s great to not get caught up in too much of the wedding hype and keep the day about the things that really matter as much as possible. The best example to me of how crazy the wedding world gets is chivari chairs. I can’t imagine spending 8-10 just on a special chair. Sure, a chair should be fairly comfy but I’m not paying 70% more just to have the *it* chair.

    Oh, and how AWESOME is a Paris honeymoon?? I think you made most of your readers VERY jealous.

  7. estelle February 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Your post was exactly what I needed to read today. We have hit the 10-day mark with the wedding, and things are a bit chaotic. (Partly because I am in a wedding in TX this weekend and we don’t have this last weekend to get much done.) As we are planning, James and I are constantly reminding one another what this day is about. And it’s hard to keep that focus, esp. when certain family members would rather obsess over “not blending families” when it comes to tables. Sigh. While James and I realize this is about OUR marriage and the next million years together, I wish that other people would realize that it’s more than just a party. It’s more than a table setting, and more than not using real flowers. I know, in the end, we put a lot of effort to make this party great for our guests and memorable for one another… but still saving enough time to cuddle on the couch, watch a movie, and have a beer together. Those are best parts of wedding planning.

    Good luck to you guys! And Paris sounds so magical. Thank you for writing this. You lend such a fresh voice to my Google Reader.

  8. Married in Chicago February 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    This post rocked for two reasons. Firstly, the title is amazing and secondly, everything you said was so honest and genuine. So that makes it pretty much all around awesome. Good luck keeping the wedding crazies at bay!

  9. Cole February 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Great post, Anni! When we were planning I hated how many weird looks we got for doing non traditional things that I stopped telling random people what we were doing. One of the reasons I wasn’t antsy to get engaged or married because we knew nothing was going to change with our relationship. The way we felt about each other & our commitment wasn’t going to change once we were officially married so we just wanted to have an awesome party.
    And, I haven’t found anywhere with cute, cheap reclaimed wood furniture so I’m planning to make some.

  10. Kira@hernewleaf February 24, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    Can I just say that what you’re experiencing right now is EXACTLY what I’m dreading about planning our wedding (we’re not engaged yet). So many people and so many opinions that it’s no longer about your relationship and marriage, it’s about what everyone wants on ONE DAY.

    That said, it sounds like you guys have a great relationship and you’re clearly overcoming your issues with communication – I mean, here you are laying out your emotions and keen self-reflections to strangers on the internet. I definitely don’t worry that you’ll lose your priorities while planning your wedding – you have a great head on your shoulders, girl!

  11. Hollie @ Thrifty in White February 24, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Anni, I LOVE THIS and every single thing you wrote about. Alone time is absolutely essential to a relationship in the same way honesty and faithfulness are…it’s foolish for people to think that once people are married (or committed), they’re attached at the hip and they lose all sense of self. You can be independent and married at the same time, just like you can be more excited about the marriage than the wedding hubbub that surrounds it 🙂

    You’re such a kick-ass writer, thanks for being honest and totally real. It is a definite fact that I may flip out if we don’t meet up sometime for drinks, so consider yourself warned.

  12. Cait February 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    just came across your blog! it’s fabulous! you have some great insight on your posts! I agree with this post although I’m not planning my own wedding at this time, I agree that the wedding should be about the PEOPLE! xo

  13. shelikesruffles February 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Love this post!

    It is really easy to get sucked into the wedding craziness that abounds on the internet and such. Details galore! You can literally lose yourself in all of the stuff out there, and I know that in some cases people are all too concerned with the party and the details that they forget about the commitment that they are about to make to their partner! Single tear.

  14. Laura March 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    What a great post! 🙂

  15. jacin March 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    amen, sister.

  16. Becka Robinson April 21, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    My husband and I said a big F you to the wedding world (even though we’re in it-ha!) and decided to forgo a traditional wedding and did what we called a “weddingmoon” in europe where we had a ceremony just the two of us and our photographer and then spent the rest of our 3 weeks adventuring. Do what feels right for you and don’t think about the others, it seems like you’ve got a great mentality about it all. 🙂

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