So How's Wedding Planning Going?
With 37 days left until I marry the stoic-yet-whimsical unicorn of a man who is to be my husband, I’ve been getting asked how the planning process is going CONSTANTLY.
Frankly, the process is going just as it should be: it’s reaching a fever pitch.
All of the little details are coming/being forced together and there’s a box labeled “WEDDING STUFF” sitting on our dining room table. It’s full of ring boxes, wedding rings, picture frames, thank you gifts, vinyl decals, OUR MARRIAGE LICENSE, crayons, and tissue paper.
We’re awaiting the final RSVPs (PLEASE PEOPLE, CLICK THE BUTTONS IN THE EMAIL! WE NEED TO KNOW IF YOU’RE COMING.) and I’m making lists on lists on lists while updating information in my ELEVEN PAGE master spreadsheet schedule. See? Fever. Pitch.
In theory, I know that none of these details really matter: what matters is that Joel and I end up married.
In practice, my anxious brain is obsessing over signage and checklists as a way to exert control during a time of immense change.
One of my favorite wedding planning books is called “Emotionally Engaged: A Bride’s Guide to Surviving the “Happiest” Time of Her Life”. The author has tons of examples of how the anxiety people have about wedding details is NEVER really about those details. After some self examination, I’m pretty confident that my obsession with programs, wedding day signage, and the seating chart is ALLLLL about my need to try to control things. I want to ensure that every guest has the information they need so that they don’t feel uncomfortable on our wedding day. I’m anxious about the discomfort some people might feel about our unusual choices (he’s taking my name…there’s an HOURS long break between the ceremony and the evening party) and so I’m trying to take control over that through signs and programs.
Looking deeper, it’s probably not even actually about other people’s comfort. It’s about my own discomfort because a wedding day is ALL ABOUT CHANGE.
People often want to downplay or minimize the legal and emotional importance of the marriage ceremony…but I can’t do that. The reality is that I HAVE been married before and I understand better than most the disastrous hellscape that life can become when a wedding day doesn’t lead to a Happily Ever After. Even without all of that emotional baggage around marriage, ANY big life change is scary and unsettling. For some of us, even small life changes are scary.
When I was a kid (and my parents were in the midst of their divorce), I came home to find that my mom had rearranged the living room furniture and I LOST it. What felt like a refreshing change to my mom felt like pulling out the last piece in a game of Jenga for me. (I was nine. Things were weird.) I couldn’t control where the couch was then, and I can’t control how our wedding day will go now…but that’s not stopping me from trying, apparently.
There’s a difference between wedding anxiety and getting cold feet about a marriage.
For me, I know that difference when I pause to consider where I’m feeling my feelings physically (time for a hippy dippy moment- go grab your essential oils) in my body. When I think about wedding details (What if my dress is wrinkled? How will the photographs turn out? What if I forget to wear my veil? What if I mess up my makeup? What if people are late for things?) i feel it in my throat and I have to remind myself to breathe.
When I think about actually being married to Joel… sure, there’s a tinge of anxiety (WHAT DOES IT EVEN MEAN TO BE A WIFE IN 2019?!?!) but not about him. I feel my certainty about him deep in my gut. My brain can also list TONS of reasons that he’s a good choice and why marrying him is a logical and smart move…but above and beyond that, I just know in my gut that it obviously has to be the two of us together. There’s no anxiety about it…which is a huge relief, let me tell you.
So how’s wedding planning going? Honestly, this part is uncomfortable because I’m a Type A control freak.
But I am also SO FREAKING EXCITED to be married to Joel Rice….er, Joel Rice-Bright. (WOAH SO WEIRD)
I know that somewhere around May 29-31, a zenlike calm will descend because I’ll have done everything that I can do, and I’ll be able to let things go and live in the moment. I’ll be able to enjoy the experience and process of getting married because of all of the work (emotionally and practically) that I’m putting in now.
Then on June 2, 2019 we’ll start our first day together as Mr. and Mrs. Bright and, as my favorite 14th century mystic once wrote, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
So you know what? I think it’s going well.