And Then There Was A Wedding

This weekend ended the 7 month road I’ve been walking with my best friend. We are no longer bride and groom, we are now husband and wife.

The day was gloomy with a slight breeze. I was ok with this because I know that for photography’s sake, an overcast day is actually better for picture taking. Less glare and direct sunlight to contend with.

I woke up, made some coffee and breakfast then sat down to watch Wild Kratts with my son. It was like any other Saturday except that in a matter of a few hours, I’d be a Mrs. Something I’d been wanting for a long time.

Soon the rush began. Hair appointments, collecting the last little tidbits. Writing vows that wouldn’t write themselves. Makeup and 4 pairs of eyelashes to attached. Practicing the vows aloud and packing up the emergency bag for any little missteps that would happen.

Then we were off. My girls, my parents, my brother and my son. We all piled into a car along with tuxes and dresses and my gown. There, in the bubble of that car I realized it would be the last time we were all together with the same last name and I began to cry. The car wept silently as my jittery hands held a tissue up against my eyes to hold back the tears that threatened to ruin my makeup.

Before long we were at the site and realized we forgot the veil and the maid-of-honor speech. Oddly, while I tend to be the perfectionist, it didn’t bother me. I was ok with it because I knew that veil or no veil, I’d still end up married to The Guy.

Into the old house we went, carrying my gown aloft. And there we waited. We waited for the flowers to be delivered and the photographer to make her way into the house. We watched as the reception was set up on the patio behind us and as a flurry of activity bustled below, readying our wedding.

Then time stopped. I realized this was it. This was the day I never thought would come. The day I almost compromised with others because I was willing to settled and get it over with. The day I wanted so badly I was willing to ignore warnings and what my heart truly wanted because I didn’t believe I deserved it.

My heart wanted everything: love, understanding, honesty, passion, acceptance, integrity, encouragement, and a future we dreamed of together. But I hadn’t found someone who fulfilled all these requirements so I sacrificed one or another to make it fit, never thinking someone out there could be all these things for me, could love me and accept me without question and without asking me to sacrifice any of my dreams or his.

As I stood in that 130 year old house, I realized how peaceful I was. And for every moment for that whole day, I was there. I was awake. I was present and living every second of that day. I had found that person who was everything to me because he made me feel like I was his everything.

Things weren’t perfect that day but it didn’t matter. I was marrying my best friend and in the end, all the small details and the big plans melted into nothing as I turned the corner and saw him standing there. Then nothing mattered and everything WAS perfect.

We were married in front of 110 of our closest friends and family. People flew in from out of town and mingled like they were made to be one big family. The food was spectacular, the music was wonderful and everything came together beautifully. The day was amazing and better than I could have ever dreamed of.

And I’d do it over again in a heartbeat. After all the stress and tears and frustrations and worry about planning something so tremendous, I’d do it all over again. As long as when I turn that corner, he’s still there, waiting for me.

The day was better than either of us could have imagined.

It was beautiful.

It was special.

It was quirky.

And it was us.

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How Planning A Wedding Can Make You Question Your Sanity

I consider myself a fairly sane person. I have a few emotional flaws, a few insecurities and a general lack in confidence that drives The Guy nuts. But my the overall scheme of mental health is pretty even-keeled.

I feel happy when I should be happy and I feel sad when I should be sad.

Until I started planning my wedding.

We are into the last stretch of planning now and I deal, on a daily basis, with a plethora of emotions ranging from sheer panic to overwhelming joy to unbridled rage.

It’s like I’m 16 all over again wondering if that boy I like likes me back and if I’ll ever get out of the house and be my own person. There was a reason we all grew out of the teenage years and don’t revisit them. They sucked.

So yes, planning my wedding is like being a moody, hormonal 16 year old all over again including the pimples that are cropping up due to stress and the random bouts of crying.

If we were to put me into a room and have no outside influence, I’d feel this range of emotions, but probably on a moderate level. I’d feel the stress of everything coming together and the excitement of all those firsts: first time we see each other, first time we kiss as husband and wife. But they wouldn’t be too extreme, they’d just be the normal, usual, ups and downs of a bride-to-be.

I think what kicks my responses into full throttle is all the outside influence of other people around me when they hear I’m getting married.

Now I’ve been pregnant and dealt with the flood of emotions from strangers and family members as they came and petted my stomach, asking me if I was excited or nervous and how I felt in general. That was hard to deal with because more often than not people come to you with their own projected feelings on the subject and instead of asking “How are you doing?” without any expectation, they come to you with descriptors in place which they project onto you and expect you to agree with.

And it’s the same with planning a wedding. People don’t ask me “How are you holding up?” and then sit back and allow me to express my true feelings. Instead they say “Aren’t you excited?” or “Are you getting nervous yet?” and even “I bet you can’t WAIT for the big day!”.

Without even trying, they’ve already filled in the blanks for me. My answer is no longer relevant because I’m either going to lie about how I feel to appease them OR I’m going to give them an answer that sounds like I’m being a bitch.

Let me give you an example of a common conversation. Now remember, I’m dealing with a wide variety of emotions all at one time so no single answer really captures how I’m actually feeling at any given moment.

Jane: Wow, the big day is almost here!!! I bet you are sooooo excited!!!!

Me: (stressed/anxious/frustrated/happy) Yeah, kinda.

Jane: Oh really? Why aren’t you super happy? A wedding is a beautiful thing! You should be really excited! There is nothing to stress about. You’ll be a beautiful bride…

Me:……

There is so much wrong with this that I can’t even find a starting point. Like coming to me with an emotion in place: excitement. But what if I’m not really excited? Do I lie and say “Yeah, I’m totally excited!” And then in comes the ‘should’ and the invalidation of what I really feel followed by the glossing over of a rather large event that costs an arm and a leg by claiming that all will be well because I’ll “make a beautiful bride”.

While this conversation is paraphrasing of a few different conversations all rolled into one, this is really what I’ve been told.

In real life…

So I’m bombarded regularly with the expectations that I’m happy, excited, joyful, thrilled, all these fluffy good feelings and it’s not as acceptable to gripe, be tired, frustrated, angry or in general unhappy at planning this wedding.

Sadly, I’m a little of everything. Just like a teenager. Moody.

I’m thrilled to be 26 days away. I’m overjoyed that we write our last big check this week. I’m happy that we are turning in our headcount and no longer have to worry about RSVPs (kinda).

So yes I have positive feelings. But they are underlined (thickly) with a bold stroke of negative because this is a big event. And it’s a big life change. I mean…I have been my maiden name for 32 years! And in one day, one fell swoop, I become someone else with a new name. I’m dealing with not only the stress of throwing a big party but the natural, NORMAL grieving process many brides go through but don’t really talk about because it’s not socially acceptable to feel negative emotions when the outside world considers a wedding to be only a good thing.

Getting married is a big deal. Planning a wedding is not necessary for you to have big emotions because getting married is enough. But if you choose to plan one, expect those feelings to become amplified by 1,000,000,000 times.

No…seriously.

If I wasn’t insane before, this whole planning situation has made me feel like I am. I’m questioning my sanity on a daily basis.

The only things that are keeping me sane when I get frustrated over vendors not responding to us or crying over an RSVP card that returns with a loving note are my two guys.

If it wasn’t for them and our day to day life, the laughs we shared and the long conservations we have each night, I’d probably fall apart right about now. But what we have built together, as a family, is keeping me grounded.

And that is why I keep going. This isn’t about the big emotions of getting married or the stress of planning a wedding that wasn’t necessarily wanted. It’s about my family and my love for them and their love for me.

It’s about us.
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Cold Feet = No Joke

When you are planning a wedding, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the details.

This has happened to me. I’ve been so focused on getting my to-do list broken down and completed that I didn’t take the time to realize this wedding is for me.

That reality hit me this week.

I am planning my wedding. An event in which I will be front and center with over 100 people there to witness. Me… The girl that doesn’t celebrate her own birthday

Cue the cold feet.

When you Google the term “cold feet” you get hits on articles about realizing you’ll be with the same person for a long time and how regrets before the wedding can lead to higher divorce rates.

But you don’t see much relating to cold feet about the event itself.

My reservations have little to do with my relationship because I trust that even when things get tough (because eventually they will, let’s be honest) we’ll work it through. That’s the beauty of who we are. We are fighters. We will get through even the toughest spots because we both feel this relationship, this love between us, is worth fighting for.

Hell if he walked in here today and said “Let’s to go the judge and get married today” I’d jump up without a worry and I’d happily say I Do.

I’m totally ready to be married. I’m just not ready to be a bride.

So here I am, nervous, anxious, tearful and worried about this huge event that I must be present for in a few weeks. Not only that but in just a week I’ll be the focal point of a shower…ugh.

All this attention is making me itchy. And overwhelmed.

I wish I had a previous experience with such a big event so I could kinda know that at one time I made it through. But I haven’t. This is a first.

And hopefully my last.

Mad Rush

Last month I had very little to do for the wedding. So I did things that probably weren’t all that big a deal. I got the invites printed, the thank you cards done. The favors were bought and the little do-hickies to go with the favors were printed and ready for assembly.

I pushed to get a few things done that weren’t necessarily pressing because I had this gut feeling that nothing was happening and everything would come rushing at me some time around 3 months before the Big Day.

So February was mostly my own to-do list and things were completed accordingly. But I still felt like most of the time I was sitting on my hands waiting for March. That damn 90 days till the Big Day month.

Damn, I hate when I’m right.

Well it’s March now and we’re about a few days till the month is done and all hell has broken loose.

In a matter for a few hours, dresses have been decided, accommodations for the night off have been booked. Inserts for the invites have been created and lists for the shower have been shared. Passport paperwork has been filled out and all the necessary documents are being hunted down by our mothers.

It’s like mid-March finally came around and now it’s GET ALL THE THINGS DONE NOW!

Sigh…

It’s exactly as I feared. And even though I planned accordingly and made room for this mad rush of things that need to be done, it’s still chaotic and frustrating.

This bride needs a nap.

 

Are We There Yet?

I feel like the kid at the back of the bus on the way to a field trip that everyone has been looking forward to for some time, just repeatedly saying “Are we there yet? When will we be there? How much longer?”

Planning for this wedding has been pretty smooth. Things have come up but due to my way over planning, I’ve been ahead of the game and available to tackle any issues.

All the while I’m just aching for it to be done. I want it to be Sunday morning after the wedding. I want to roll over and see The Guy and be able to say “Good morning my husband.” And to hear him respond “Good morning my wife.”

That’s it! That’s all I care about! I’m done and ready to be married. I’m ready to be a wife and to have a husband. No more cake tastings and menu picking. No more listening to songs for the DJ to play and no more list making!

I could care less about my flowers and bridesmaid dresses. If I have to cut one more check this month, I may just pass out.

Sigh… I want all the pieces to finally come together and be one big cohesive event that will start and finish in 8 hours. 8 hours and it’ll all be done after 8 months of planning.

Anywho…

We attempted some bridesmaid dress shopping last night. Ha! I thought I was making it easier by picking black dresses with the intention of keeping it cheaper and something the girl could wear long after the wedding. I mean, a little black dress is a necessity!

I guess the fashion world doesn’t agree we found after canvassing a whole mall up till it closed and found only one possibility. Sigh…

Luckily for my sister and friend I’m not mean because I did find this peacock inspired dress, full with a multitude of colors and layers and feathers.

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It was worthy of a picture, I can tell you that much. I totally would wear this, too!

Speaking of pieces coming together, the rest of my invite/card pieces have all made it safely to the condo. I had to return our original RSVP cards and USPS or Zazzle lost them. This delayed my credit on my account which  made me look into what happened. When I was told the package was not received yet and it had been almost 2 weeks, I was upset. That was a good amount of money in paper items lost. But Zazzle came through and refunded me so I could reorder my RSVP cards.

I was super impressed with their customer service and will remember to leave some positive reviews for them once this is done.

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I was able to make our thank notes using a picture from our engagement photo-shoot with Dana Grant from Dana Grant Photography. We had so many great pictures to choose from it was hard to pick one for our cards. But I’m really happy with the outcome and can’t wait to use them.

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Are we there yet?

The Small Things

I’m tired.

Last night we spent over an hour tasting food, talking about linen colors and discussing where tables and chairs would go to accommodate our family and friends at our wedding in three months.

Small things. Insignificant things in the overall scheme of life. And then it hit me. A lot of my exhaustion isn’t from lack of sleep (though that’s a problem, too) but from the fact that I realized I’m making decisions about what kind of chicken to serve for a single day when there are bigger and more important things going on in life.

It’s funny what we humans perceive as important. The perfect outfit, having the best and most up to date car. People will argue over the color blue and whether it’s the right blue and not more teal. Goodness…And yet there is so much more to life.

Running parallel to our wedding day choices we’re wading through right now, a new pope was chosen. A decision was made, a vote cast and a new pontiff was picked. Why is this important? Well to me it’s not. It’s very insignificant. I’m a recovering Catholic as of 14 years this past November so my limited memories and the connection to other still-active Catholics has this bit of news at the forefront. But this choice, this big event is so important to so many members of my family and to friends. This will be the new head of one of the largest organized religions in the world.

And to me it’s just another news story on my home page.

Choices. We make them everyday. Some are big, some are small. But to the one making that choice, it is important whether others agree or not.

Choosing which chicken to serve at my wedding is only important because I have to do it. It’s on my list of to-do for this moment in time. Overall, it’s of very little significance and people probably won’t remember whether they had the basil tomato chicken or the chicken marsala. Same with the new pope. It’s a big decision to all those following this faith now but years along the road, another will be chosen and the cycle starts over. That moment will pass.

For us, there are bigger things to consider. Like will we be able to have a baby, something we both want very much. Or how to handle the phase my son is in now so that he grows out of it in a positive way rather than creating a lasting emotional scar. These are important things to us, not flowers or a new pope. Chicken or beef? Blue or teal? Not so much.

My family, my life, those are the things that matter the most to me. Those are the things where my choices matter the most, the little things that make my world brighter and bigger.

And The Ticker Keeps On Ticking

I have a little counter on my homepage that tells me I have 110 days until I’m married.

Huh?

How is that possible?

It seems like only yesterday we took a trip to the mountains where he placed the ring on my finger and asked me to be his partner in life in which I enthusiastically responded positively.

Yes, once again I’ve fallen for that old trick that Time plays on you. That when you look away and get caught up in life, Time slips through the backdoor and is out of town before you even realize it’s gone.

Time is one mean mother fucker.