Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Big Fat Wedding Reality Check

Suffice it to say, I think about weddings a lot.  Riding the bus, sitting in class, at work... weddings, weddings, weddings.  I can't even begin to estimate the number of hours I've spent perusing any even remotely wedding-related website, looking for invitation designs, centerpiece ideas, bridesmaid dresses, bouquet photos, escort cards, just to name a few.  Not that I'm complaining, of course.  It's my decision to pour all of those minutes and hours into scoping out good bargains, new twists, and creative touches to add to the upcoming nuptials. I would wager big money on the fact that if you ask a bride what she wants to experience on her wedding day, she'll say: "I want a fantastically memorable affair where I'm surrounded by all the people I love, celebrating the commitment I just made to the man of my dreams."  And I would wager even bigger money on the fact that what she really means is: "I want to have an amazing celebration that beats the beejezus out of any other wedding any of our guests will attend... EVER."  It's just one of those oft-unspoken realities of wedding planning!

So, in my attempts to fulfill the goals of having an awesome wedding day AND creating an impressive event that will leave our guests speechless at its awesomeness, I scour every source I can find for inspiration and ideas.  I try my best to stay on top of the details of the day... my goal is to take care of as much as possible far in advance of when it needs to be done so that I can keep spending an inordinate amount of time on prepping for the next phase.  These weddings don't plan themselves, folks.  Despite all my best intentions with planning and my lofty goals for the event on a whole, I still stumble in the planning process.

For example, earlier this week, I was completely knocked back when two of the members of our bridal party, completely independently of each other, said they expected to cry at our wedding.  Not because they are moaning Myrtles in general or because weddings always make them cry... because it's us and it's our wedding.  Obviously, as members of our bridal party, they know both GG and I pretty well and are big fans of us as individuals and as a couple.  But I was struck by how frank both of these people were (1 GM and 1 BM, mind you... not just two eagerly emotive lady-friends) about the sheer emotional impact of the actual wedding.  It definitely made me take a step back and think about the real significance of what's going on here.  Realistically speaking, who cares if we decide on short versus long bridesmaid dresses?  Who is going to even notice if we dress the groomsmen in tuxedos or suits?  Sure, people may leave our reception next August raving about how good the food was or how the dance floor was absolutely packed all night long.  But, truth be told, I'd much rather have people leave the reception with the memory of how much love and joy were present throughout the day.  Most people don't come to weddings to notice all the little details that the couple have lovingly spent hours stressing over, selecting, and preparing.  Instead, they come to weddings to notice none of the details except the most important one: the feeling in the room as the couple begin this new journey together.

I know this sounds so cliche and obvious, kind of like this:

but I can't get over exactly how much of a "light bulb" moment it was for me! Um, hello, I'm getting MARRIED.  And that's AWESOME.

... with that being said, of course, I still plan on being a quasi-perfectionist about all the details of the big day.  Now, at least, I'll hopefully have my head on straight enough to be able to balance the details and the reason for the season.

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