When the lovely Estelle (@thatsostelle on Twitter) offered to guest post for me, she mentioned that she didn’t know what to write about. I can understand that, since my blog is kind of about… well, whatever I feel like the morning I sit down to write a post. So I asked her if she’d be willing to write out a reflection about her own wedding experience from the other side. It’s so easy to get caught up in the wedding as this huge event that you’re pointing to – for us, with this long engagement, it’s been a significant date for a long time. So Estelle’s lovely and poignant post was wonderful to read!
It’s funny… everyone keeps telling me that I got married a month or so ago. There are pictures up on Facebook; we received a teaser from our photographers. We had some gifts sitting in our living room; we cleaned up the craft table in our dining room, a permanent staple since January. James and I both have new rings on our left hands. And while all of that evidence makes the answer super obvious, James and I can’t help but say out loud to one another (over and over again) that it must have been a dream. It could only have been a dream! Seriously, does a big day like your wedding REALLY fly by so quickly that you are left to question if it happened at all?
The truth is – it does. It really does.
I knew this going in. Quite early actually, when we were booking the venue and the coordinator said something about six hours – the total time of our event – ceremony + reception. And I was happy that he said that. The time bracket would help us keep the day in perspective. It’s just SIX HOURS of your life. That’s shorter than a work day. And, for the most part, I’m pretty proud of how James and I managed to live our everyday life while planning a wedding and not the other way around. But as the wedding inched closer, I couldn’t believe I had been spending more time working on coffee filter flowers than the total time of the wedding. (That was probably not the most calming thought to have 2 days before the big day.)
One minute I was in our living room, crying at Up and assembling centerpieces, and the next I was packing them into my trunk with an unknown future ahead of them.
Can you tell my lack of control over time is sort of an obsession? No matter how many people tell you “It’s going to be the fastest [enter planning time here] of your life” – you don’t/can’t believe them until you are there yourself.
And as James and I are discovering, the wedding day is no different. But it feels great/magical/amazing, nonetheless. A spacey universe filled with love, cake, and champagne. All your favorite people in one room, and the feeling that you have never looked this pretty in your life. You dance when you never thought you were going to, you do shots when you never thought you would, and you see your husband cry (a lot!) as you walk down the aisle (even after a first-look)! The day becomes a mash-up of moments instead of a steady sequence of anything sensible. It was all totally organic, which was exactly what you both wanted.
There are two things that planning a wedding remind me of. One I have no experience in, and can only imagine – birthing a child, watching it grow, and having to let it go. Your precious baby is out there for all to see (and judge). It’s scary. And I was scared. For so long, I cared about whether people would think we were cheap because the only real flowers were the bouquets and my dad’s boutonniere (and this was a last minute decision, like a month out, last minute). Or if they thought pencils were a shitty favor. My advice: if your guests are obsessing over your centerpieces and not over your happiness, you have bigger problems. Just throw a kick-ass party and focus on what you and your future husband want, need, like/love. It’s not easy. Especially with a million opinions coming from 800 directions. But you can do it.
The second wedding comparsion – the one I have actually experienced – is a getting dumped. It sounds harsh. There is, after all, a happily ever after. The harsh part is all the time, effort, money and brain cells, you put into planning. And them BAM! It’s over before you know it. You are sort of torn between being the super clingy oh-my-god don’t leave me type, and the person who can walk away, completely satisfied with their head held high- ready to move forward. You feel like a psycho because you are seriously these TWO people. You mourn the time you spent on the details. You sort of miss them even after they pissed you off for a few months. Drove you to drink wine with your dinner. Suddenly, you are a wife and real life resumes before you can process anything that just happened. (Even after a honeymoon, this is tough with a capital T.)
But then the bright side is your free time has returned to you, and you can return to the land of the living where you are not constantly counting your pennies and worrying if you picked the right color duct tape for your programs. AND THE BEST OF ALL – you are freaking married to your best friend on the planet, relish in calling him your husband in conversation, and are overjoyed to return home after a day of work to sit on the couch and eat the meal he has prepared. Woo! It feels amazing (even after living with each other for a year and a half, that’s saying something!)
So enjoy it, enjoy everything, no matter how fast it may go. It’s totally worth it.
Even if it only feels like one of the best dreams you’ve ever had.