Thursday, July 7, 2011

Using my shower to rub the distracting dirt out of my eyes

At the end of my bridal shower posts, I alluded to how the bridal shower really changed my thinking on my upcoming nuptials.  I, like many other brides-to-be, am guilty of losing the forest for the trees in the world of wedding planning.  I spaz out over transportation miscommunications instead of recognizing that if I didn't have loved ones traveling from near and far to join me in my celebration, there simply wouldn't be any car logistics to be figured out.  I have fits of hand-wringing over the difficulties of having a sizable bunch of bridesmaids who live all over the country instead of taking the time to be grateful that I have such a large group of young women who I can lean on in times of happiness and difficulty.  I groan and moan over guest lists and room capacity instead of taking the time to appreciate the dozens of people who are just as excited as we are to mark this new chapter in our adult lives.  I grunt in frustration when people pepper me with questions about details and plans, labeling them as nosy or overbearing, rather than titling them as helpful and cooperative, eager to participate in this memorable journey.

It's just too easy to let all of the little stuff in wedding planning get you down.  The costs associated with DIY projects, the headaches regarding who needs to be where when and how they are getting there, the tug-of-war over guest lists and responsibilities.  All of it adds up to one gigantic blindspot that lays directly in front of our very own eyes.  My bridal shower helped to, at least partially, alleviate that visionary problem.  I finally had the opportunity to stop worrying about color palettes, logistics, and decisions, and recognize that weddings are about so much more than all of that.  It's about friends, family, love, togetherness, and joy.  It's about walking into a room and realizing that every single person in that venue is there to celebrate you.  It's about wanting to be everywhere at once and at one place all the time.  It's about looking around a room and seeing every face smiling back at you.  They may or may not have been privy to the stresses that led up to this event.  But it doesn't matter.  The event is here.  They are here.  You are here.  That's what matters.

Sure, I didn't get to spend as much time with a lot of my lovely guests as I would have liked.  The event passed by in the blink of an eye, and before I knew it, the clean-up crew was doing their thing while guests filed past me, saying their good-byes.  I was pretty rocked by the sheer rapidity of the entire ordeal, and I'm sure the wedding will be like this but times a hundred million kajillion.  But, more importantly, I was pretty rocked by the sheer warmth and happiness that went into each and every second of the event.  My bridesmaids completely outdid themselves, executing a formal but familiar shower that exceeded every one of my hopes for the day.  My mom was a huge help in keeping the peace for me, whether it be giving etiquette advice or helping me pick a dress.  My mother-in-law-to-be just oozed affection and excitement before, during, and after the shower.  All of the most important ladies in my life took time out of their holiday weekends to shower me with advice, congratulations, well wishes, and a never-ending supply of whatever it was that I needed, at that very moment.

I still have to write all of my thank-you notes for the gifts and their attendance, but there are simply not enough words to accurately communicate my thanks for the real gift I was given - the realization that weddings aren't really about details and fonts and alteration appointments and unreturned calls.  They're about beautiful contradictions - simultaneously living in the moment and preparing for the future, honoring your roots while embracing the new branches you've accrued in your life, loving all the people around you and letting them love you.

with Mom Snow Cone

The Future Mr. & Mrs. Snow Cone with our moms

Myself and the Snow Cone bridesmaids, sans one

When have you experienced a moment of wedding clarity?

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