This week marks six blissful, beautiful months that Husband and I have lived together as husband and wife. Six months of bike rides and shared dinners and bedtime prayers. Not gonna lie, I went through a little wedding withdrawal. After an eighteen month engagement, I had conjured up quite the Pinterest boards, magazine piles, and Excel spreadsheets. I felt a little lost coming home from the honeymoon to boxes of used votives and a filled-in guestbook. Slowly, after all thank-you notes were mailed and my dress was preserved, I realized my wedding checklist was completed and besides scrapbooking into infinity, my wedding tasks were completed.
I loved my wedding: the old theater, the trolley, the candlelight, the warm colors, and the snow. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I relished (most) of the prep work-the front choices, the cake tastings, and the dress fittings. I laugh thinking back to some of my original ideas and how they morphed and changed throughout the planning process, definitely for the better! The wedding industry is a bit hard-core, though, and I continued to vacillate between “Getting married is the easy part, we should have huge celebrations for anniversaries instead” and “I want to execute a vision that exemplifies my impeccable taste and style!” I would get angry at the wedding industry for turning intimate, private moments into personalized displays of wealth and then become grateful for designers who could elevate such beautiful moments and stimulate the economy with creative ideas.
Needless to say, wedding planning can be a confusing time and, in the information age, can also be a bit overwhelming. I definitely took on a bit of overload with wedding blogs, wedding conventions, wedding television, wedding emails-you get the idea! I also picked up a few things that I wish I didn’t know:
1. I wish I didn’t know how much Pinterest, blogs, reality TV, etc. influenced both my and my guest’s perception of my wedding. Weddings are almost “graded” now, with points for individuality, personality, design, and “blog worthiness” and that pressure can be very stressful throughout the planning process. It also gets discouraging to realize your idea is not “original” when you find ten better versions online. My mom reminds me that this is recent phenomenon, localized within my generation, but I think it’s slowly seeping its way through popular culture. I tell myself that I want to go back to celebrating the love story and not the decorations, but then I continue to go about rating the appetizers.
2. I wish I didn’t know that average cost of an American wedding. The number of $26,444 or, whatever it is today, is broadcast through magazines, mailings, and the nightly news, drawing some kind of line between “budget” and “extravagant” weddings. A standard has been set and, above it or below it, I think it would be nice to just plan a dream wedding without an “average” number forcing you to line up around it and separate into categories.
3. I wish I didn’t know to “prepare for the unexpected” because boy, did I prepare! I had a whole team of florists, designers, and caterers working behind the scenes, plus a location coordinator and an event coordinator, paired with months of careful planning and flowcharts. I thought I had covered all my bases, but things still went wrong! The unity candlesticks broke, aisle lanterns didn’t get lit, dinner was late, and there was a snowstorm! I spent so much time trying to prevent the impossible, but things will always go wrong. And no amount of planning can prevent it.
4. I wish I didn’t know that my wedding day is “the best day of my life”. As much as I tried to deter vendors by reminding them that I hoped to have many more “best days” and how sad it would be if my best day was over by age 26, some of that pressure still remained. I tried to soak in every second and I love to recount the whole day with friends, but it scares me that time will distort my memories and adjust my emotions. I frame wedding pictures knowing that I will look at that same frozen face for decades to come and I hope I still like my dress, hair, and make-up choices. Even if my pictures get old, I will still keep them out, but hopefully, surrounded by many more beautiful, wonderful, perfect days with the people I love.
Anything you wish you DIDN’T know about weddings?
And now, time for some shameless wedding pictures to celebrate a wonderful six months! Here’s to many more!