I was not in to the idea of a wedding. Yes, I’m enjoying the planning process now. Yes, it’s been amazingly fun to try on dresses. But a wedding was not something I was convinced that I wanted.
When I initally told N this (years ago), he was stunned. I seem like a wedding-loving kind of girl. I’ve watched nearly every episode of Say Yes to the Dress, I pin lots of wedding stuff to Pinterest (which worked out in my favor – he sent pins that I had pinned of engagement rings to the jeweler), and I’m generally kind of a girly girl. Plus, I’ve been super excited to attend every wedding we’ve ever attended. So I could see people thinking that I’d want a wedding. But I just didn’t.
Then he stunned me: he absolutely wanted a wedding. He could not imagine not having a wedding. Now he’s a practical guy. If we’re talking practicality, weddings are not a genius financial move. Let’s blow all of our money (and some of our parents money!) on one day! YES! Wedding or no wedding, we aren’t doing that. I didn’t think he’d want to spend the money and I also figured he’d be grateful to take this big, stressful event out of the picture.
I put eloping on the table. He took it off. I suggested a teeny tiny wedding with immediate family and best friends only, essentially a nice dinner at a good restaurant. The more he thought about it, the more he couldn’t imagine having that day without his entire family and large friend group. He wants a wedding.
So we’re having a wedding.
I’m excited. I’m having fun planning. But most of all, I’m nervous. Nervous because the reason I didn’t want a wedding wasn’t because I don’t love dresses and centerpieces and open bars (come on, of course I do). It’s because I haven’t been in the same room as both of my parents in well over a decade. The effects of their divorce linger, which seems to be true of nearly all divorces, so this is not unique. It’s not in a way that effects me every day. But in a way that, each time I think about the wedding day, I realize that I’ll be in the same room as my Mom and Step-Dad, and my Dad and Step-Mom. And that makes me uncomfortable. My stress level rises immediately. This is not their fault. It’s the reaction I have and that is my issue. I worry that I won’t be able to let go and let loose at my own wedding. That I’ll constantly be worried as I’m interacting with one set of parents that the other is getting their feelings hurt. Because most of all, weddings are family affairs. They bring everyone together. But what if that’s not something I’m sure I can do?
My parents loving, wonderful adults who all want the best for me. I’m sure it will be fine. But I consider every tiny interaction between me and my parents. What if I hurt someones feelings? What if someone doesn’t feel loved enough? Included enough? I love them all so much and am so grateful for all they’ve done for me. Each greatly influnced the person I’ve become, bit by bit, piece by piece. I can’t imagine not having them all there as I commit my life to N. My hope is that on the day of, I just feel love and not anxiety.
I feel blessed to be so loved. But it doesn’t mean that it feels easy. These things never are. Because at the end of the day, I do want a wedding. I want a day that is beautifully normal. I want to wear a pretty dress and smile and cry with happiness (I’m certain that part will happen). I want to commit my life to N in front of our families and friends and I want to give him the wedding that he wants.
What I’ve gotten from this is that someone really really needs to write a book about How to Plan a Wedding with Divorced Parents. Or actually, How to Calm Your Anxiety about Being in the Same Room with Your Divorced Parents: A Guide for the Neurotic Bride. I could write it, but I haven’t figured it out yet.