As someone who considers herself relatively levelheaded, organized, tolerant, and not big on drama, I never guessed that planning a wedding would be this taxing. I mean, of course I realized there are lots to do. But armed with nearly 2 years of planning time along with having a super helpful and considerate fiancé, I would never have thought the making of this happy event can bring me to tears at all, let alone often.
I have never dreamed of weddings before getting engaged. I was actually not expecting to ever be married before the mister popped the question. Naturally, I have no expectations for our wedding to be a perfect day or the best day of our lives. With such little room for disappointment, you'd think wedding planning would be cake. But nope! There's no cake, no frosting, not even a cupcake liner. I stress constantly about the to-do list, and I freak out every time someone makes the tiniest request. It's as if the bling on my finger has transformed me into this crybaby that even I don't recognize.
What is my problem?! I am generally pretty understanding and capable of letting things go. Has this ‘Bride’ title filled me with a false sense of importance, resulting in selfishness and resentment? Am I nitpicking at everyone and everything because my expectations have risen with the 'Bride' status? Am I that bride who thinks it's all about me? Why am I not my usual self laughing off the criticism and be thrilled that everyone wants to bring extra guests to celebrate with us? I conferred with the future hubby, and he broke it down for me. The main source of my stress does not stem from a big bride ego. Rather, it comes from our pursuit of other people’s happiness and their strength in numbers.
It isn’t that I can’t jump over hurdles, it is that I have a hard time with 836 of them in a row. Of course I can accommodate Aunt Gayle's request to play a certain song at the reception, and order cousin Larry marshmallows for the chocolate fountain. They are important to us and we want to make them happy. But we have so many uncles, aunts, and cousins, not to mention pretty much every non-family member there is a close friend. The thing is, when we order the marshmallows for Larry, we must also order graham crackers for Lou, and strawberries for Lisa, plus bananas for Lyle. Oh but Logan doesn't like any of those items, or anything else our vendor offers.
Then you add comments (usually with disagreeing tones) like 'Oh you're gonna use THIS?', 'You're skipping THAT?', 'You're having WHO do WHAT?', 'You're setting this up WHERE?', 'You're gonna make it HOW?', 'It's going to cost me HOW MUCH to do this with you? I have no problem letting any of these roll of my back, especially when most of them come from good intentions of people with genuine concerns regarding what they think is in our best interest. But when you multiply these by the number of guests and again by the number of days to worry about it all, the weight sitting on the shoulders becomes tremendous, and the next straw really can break the camel's back.
We realize we cannot make everyone completely happy, and it isn't our goal. But since we're only inviting those closest to us and they are the reasons we're having a wedding at all, their opinion matters! Many of them think of this as an event for them as much as it is for us. When it's their one time to be the mother of the bride or the best man standing by his best bud, they feel entitled to change things and invite people because of their significant roles, and their feelings of entitlement often negate consideration for us ("coz you know, it is just ONE request and I AM the matron of honor"). While we're grateful for these stake holders, we sometimes wonder how much is left in us to fulfill the next orders.
Can we put our foot down and say no he can't do that or no she can't bring him? Sure. Will it be worth it to make our lives easier by hurting their feelings? No. It isn't that we're not getting what we want, because what we want is to do this for our love ones. In a lot of ways, we have accepted that this is about them, and not us. While this is a large load to bear, we always come back to the fact that we have each other to share the weight with, making us not only lucky but also strong enough to take it all on. We believe that this day will become a wonderful memory not only for us, but for most of those we love. This, with time, will be enough to mend the stress scars and relationship scuffs.
'Focus on what's most important - the celebration of your marriage.' I hear this often, and it truly is advice much easier given than followed. I have not forgotten for one minute that it's about he and I, but he and I are not without ties, to people and things outside of us. It is those things and people that make us who we are, from being good children to wanting matching escort cards. We will press on with the planning doing what we can for our guests, and we have faith that they will be just as forgiving when we fall short. We will move forth with our quirky details because they show who we are. We will hope for a good hair day, wish for smooth execution, and pray for good weather. Most importantly, we will definitely, dance the night away.