It’s been a year of writing this blog, and a good friend of mine points out a lack of characters and drama in my narrative. I agree. It’s difficult to know how much to share, how to share it and when is it too much vs just enough? How do we process what we’re living and also track the sign-posts? Do I wait weeks in between experiences or share everything in the here and now?
I don’t know – I assume I’m learning some secret that other bloggers have already absorbed. Or maybe not.
But in an effort to be more transparent, open, sharing things when I’m “in it” here is a huge junk of drama that I hardly mention on my blog.
I am getting married.
Well, I’m engaged, and have been since September 2010. Being engaged, that new level of commitment, is amazing. He proposed on our 8 year anniversary, so it was a long time coming, but it came perfectly on time.
The idea of marriage isn’t one I have deep issues with either. Maybe it’s my Venus in Aquarius, but I see it as this – I love you, you love me. We love being together. So why wouldn’t we continue along that arc?
But planning an actual wedding – no, wait, I’m sorry, thinking about planning and even mentioning ideas to my parents?? Here in lies the chaos.
In simple terms, here is where we’re at:
- We’re paying for our wedding
- We want something informal / fun / romantic – y’know, something that is a reflection of US
- We have no money
- I have a very complicated relationship with my parents (who said they would not be contributing to the wedding for reasons still unexplained to me).
Already sounds like bliss, eh?
Also, we live in Los Angeles and our families are on the East Coast. Add in the fact that I balk at the idea of a typical wedding venue and my parents would want nothing more than a sit-down dinner for 250 people and I start to panic. When I panic, I shut down. What I shut down, I can’t function.
For the past 5 months I’ve gone through a ridiculous cycle – excitement about a wedding moves me to researching options. All options feel outrageously expensive and make me start to hate my life. I try to explain my frustrations to my parents, who in turn don’t calm my anxiety but feed it. I eat a lot of frozen yogurt, get into bed and cry – a lot. I vow to not plan anymore until it feels “fun”. Wedding-talk falls completely off my radar for a week or so, and the whole cycle starts again.
The difference is, this time, I’ve found an option that I WANT. And what do you know, it’s the original idea I had even before I was engaged.
I hung out with a close friend this weekend, one who wants to be a wedding planner. “So what’s the problem?” she asked. I explained the chaos above. “If money wasn’t an option what would you want to do?”
“I’d want to get married in my neighbor’s backyard and have great music, alcohol and good food. I’d want it to be a fun and romantic party that felt relaxing and good for everyone involved.”
“Well, then why don’t we try and get you that wedding and go from there?” she said.
And it clicked. In the past 4 days I’ve made more progress in my head, with our budget and with the plans overall than I’ve made in 5 months. Because THIS IS WHAT I TRULY WANT TO DO. It’s not anyone elses idea of what my wedding should be, it’s not an option that makes me want to throw up because it’s so expensive, and it’s something that my fiance and I want, together.
For the first time, when I relayed my thoughts to my mom and her attitude seeped out, I didn’t feel anything but annoyed. All I wanted to say was, “This is what I want to do. What is your problem with it?”
Cause that is the problem. I’m caught up in pleasing them that I can’t even begin to decipher what I really wanted. And even then, it’s a battle to explain it. Even after my ah-ha moment, I still found myself inhaling for-yo and getting into bed early.
I know that planning a wedding is insanity for most people and that it gets more and more complicated depending on the personalities involved. I’ve spent 4+ hours on the phone with my mom in the past 2 days. I’m exhausted. I feel like my life is spinning out of control and I haven’t even called for a wedding band quote yet…
But I’m sharing this b/c that advice that everyone throws around about weddings is really true – “Figure out what you want to do and do it. It’s your day.” And I’m not writing this b/c I’m now all zen about my experience… hell, I’m not even that zen about my day… but I can feel where the ease is when I commit to the things I want, and the tension when I ignore my inner voice.
It’s so hard to do what you want to do. Everyone has their opinions of what you should be doing. I joke that my wedding will be “the vehicle in which I learn to be an adult with my parents”. But it’s not a joke. They have ideas about me (and my fiance, ugh) that aren’t even close to being correct. To work around that, be respectful and still plan my dream wedding feels like an impossible task.
But I have friends and siblings who are willing to help, and we have families that love us. It’s just a matter of knowing what we want and moving forward from there.
Wish us luck, we need it.