Wedding Dropout: Joy From Pain


I know this is a site about weddings and marriage. But I don’t always think about it exactly that way anymore. I think about it as this place that all these amazing women gather to share stories. Because we tell a lot of stories related to weddings and marraige and life relationships, the stories tend to be emotional (and pretty…) but that’s not the whole point. After I published Sara’s mind-blowingly brave story of calling off her wedding, I heard from lots of you. Turns out lots of you have called off previous weddings, or never thought you would call off your wedding ever… until suddenly you needed to. But most recently I heard from a blogger who goes by Ms. Loaf. Loaf was a pretty serious commenter on APW a year or so ago, and I assumed she’d gotten married and gotten quiet. So when I saw and email from her with the subject “Wedding Dropout,” the bottom sort of fell out of my stomach.

But by the time I’d finished reading her post, I felt my heart again. Really felt it. Because her story is such a sweet story of redemption. It, for me, is a reminder of how all those really sh*tty painful things we’ve all been through get us… closer, I think. Closer to where we need to be, or what we need to figure out. Or that’s what her post did for me. (and you can read lots more of Loaf over at More of This & Less of That.)

Wedding Dropout: Joy From Pain | A Practical Wedding

I am a wedding drop out. June 20 was supposed to be my one-year wedding anniversary.

For two years, I kept a blog documenting my relationship and road to the altar called Tales of a Female Husband. We were planning a legal wedding in Ontario, with many wedding elves helping us out, including Emily, a good friend of mine from college who would be our photographer. I loved wedding blogging, finding a community of offbeat bride bloggers and, especially, lesbian bride bloggers, since there was not a lot of support from my family, and my friends were all far away, scattered around the country. Not only was I excited for my wedding to make a public commitment and affirmation of my love for my partner, but I couldn’t wait to see all my friends.

Unfortunately, the relationship ended about as badly as I could imagine four months before the big day. Emily had just gotten engaged, and I couldn’t bear to trash my lovingly collected wedding paraphernalia, so I tearfully packed up a box full of wedding books and magazines and the Paloma’s Nest ring bowl we intended to use for the ring warming. My heart was utterly broken, and I didn’t think I would ever be able to think about a wedding, much less attend one without crying.

Wedding Dropout: Joy From Pain | A Practical Wedding

In a way, I was right.

A few months after my would-be wedding day, I got a letter from Emily asking me to officiate her wedding. The date? June 19.

I said yes immediately, knowing what an honor my friend had bestowed on me, and eager to be a part of such a special day. So many friends shied away from me, refusing to hear my opinion or ask my advice on wedding planning, seeming to think I was cursed. Emily never made me feel that way, something which went a long way toward helping me heal. The hardest thing for me about not getting married (aside, of course, from the broken heart) was that I felt embarrassed. Here I had put all my hopes and dreams, all my planning, all my dress fittings and accessories and wedding invites and engagement pictures on the internet for all to see, and then I never followed through. It was so unlike me, the perpetual planner, the girl who never gives up! I was so embarrassed that I quit blogging. Being part of a community and then, suddenly, no longer belonging there felt like a one-two punch of breakup and abandonment. My initial solution was to withdraw completely from anything and everything wedding. It just hurt too much. But now I know that just because my relationship ended and I never made it to the altar doesn’t mean I’m not still capable of contributing to weddinghood and marriage.

The day of the wedding came, and I got ready alone in my hotel room. I practiced the ceremony I’d written with Dan and Emily’s help, mostly based on a letter I asked them to write me about why they wanted to get married and the ceremony I’d written for my own wedding. Emily and Dan chose pink, brown and green as their wedding colors, and green was our primary color as well, so the majority of my wedding day attire came from my own wedding stash. I clasped the green and white pearls around my neck that I bought for my own wedding, and slipped my feet into the green shoes, sliding my phone and wallet in my own wedding day purse, along with the sixpence I was supposed to put in my own shoe I now passed on to Emily. When I arrived at Emily’s room to help her get into her dress, I discovered that they had even ordered the exact same tree bark wedding rings from Beth Cyr that my ex and I bought.

Watching Dan and Emily together as we took wedding pictures in the park (taken by the great Katie Malone), I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for myself at first. Had things gone according to plan, I would be a wife and my wife would be carrying our first child by now. Of course I felt jealous. But also? I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.

As easy as it is to want the whole world to end when your relationship ends—since it feels like world is over for you—the most helpful thing I’ve found is going directly in the direction of my fears. Not denying what happened to me, but not letting it stop me. I met Emily and her maid of honor Rachel when we were all undergraduates together. I was their Peer Mentor, and I loved being able to pass along some hopefully helpful knowledge and advice once again.

A year ago, I spent my would-be wedding day crying my eyes out and hiding in my grandma’s house, dead to the world. This year, I was eating a post-wedding brunch with my newly-married friends, completely forgetting the day’s former significance. It does take time, but the healing happens.

Emily and Dan’s wedding was amazing, and they seemed to do exactly everything right, knowing that the thing everyone wants most of all is to get to experience their joy. By being totally themselves and totally in love right there in front of us, I know we all felt that joy rub off on us. As I stood in front of the couple, tears rolling down my face as I said “I declare that you are husband and wife,” as I watched them kiss and process down the aisle, as I kicked off my shoes and danced to songs we used to play in college, I didn’t think once about my own wedding. I thought about (cheesy as it is) the meaning of true love. True love has nothing to do with romance, necessarily. You can find true love with your family, your friends, your partner(s). And your knowledge of love doesn’t disappear when your relationships do.

Wedding Dropout: Joy From Pain | A Practical Wedding

As friends and relatives of Dan and Emily came up to me and complimented me on a beautiful ceremony—many of them believing I’m really a minister—they spoke of how personal the ceremony was, how touching it was when I said to Emily, “If you cry, I’ll cry!” and how meaningful it was to see all three of us up there with tears in our eyes, I felt glad knowing that I’d been able to redirect my wedding energy elsewhere, and create joy from pain. From now on I can say, “this is the necklace I wore to Emily’s wedding!” or “this is Emily’s wedding anniversary weekend!” instead of the day and the objects always carrying the tinge of sorrow.

Photos: Ms. Loaf herself, and two wedding shots of Emily and Dan by Katie Malone

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  • Carbon Girl

    Beautifully written and inspiring. I wish you love, Ms. Loaf, wherever you may find it!

  • http://onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

    Oh, Ms. Loaf, these are beautiful words. Words of wisdom, hope, pain, love, but most of all learning.

    I think that regardless of what happens to our weddings, our relationships, our families and ourselves- we must always be learning and growing. This truly is an inspiration and a beautiful story.

  • Megan

    This has been one of my favorite posts ever. Thank you so much for sharing your story

  • veronica

    amazing! stay strong!

  • Audrey

    Beautiful words of wisdom. I was also engaged, and the relationship sent downhill fast after that point. Luckily I didn’t do much more than meet with a few reception places, and dress shop (although I did refuse to buy a dress until I had a date, which worked out in the long run). So I don’t have things to look at and remind me, although there are still plenty of other things: a song, places we liked to go, activities we enjoyed.

    I’ve tried putting him out of my mind, but it’s been several years, and these things still make me think of him. I’ve been avoiding doing some of the things we loved, but the pain can still be fresh. Everyone tells me (including psychologists) that it just takes time. But, as you have done, maybe I should take a new approach. I should try and make new memories that are just as wonderful with the friends in my life.

    Thank you again, moving on is a long road, but maybe you’ve helped me a little. Good luck and live out each day with joy!

    • Morgan

      That same thing happened to me – after 6 year, getting engaged was the beginning of the end. We had a venue booked, but thankfully that was it. It’s been years now, and a wonderful new relationship with my now husband, but there are still things that take me back, that catch me off guard. I’ve learned that it’s okay, that after that long together, of course there will still be traces of feelings, of memories that haunt. I can also vouch for time as a healer, and that distance helps. But yeah, better memories and new experiences and such? Help a *lot*. Best of luck on your journey.

  • Katrina

    Sending you lots of blogger love ms loaf!

  • Sarah M

    What a wonderful post. Your strength radiates through these words!! I loved this line….”True love has nothing to do with romance, necessarily. You can find true love with your family, your friends, your partner(s).”

    This was the first post on APW that brought tears to my eyes in a while…

  • http://www.iwillmakedoandmend.blogspot.com Ray B

    Amazing post – Perfect way to reclaim that day and wow so generous!

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com A.

    Oh wow, thanks for sharing this with us, it is such a brave post.

  • A-L

    “The most helpful thing I’ve found is going directly in the direction of my fears.” This sentence is so true, and is quite motivating as well, about all aspects of life. Thanks so much for sharing you story.

  • http://amidlifeofprivilege.blogspot.com LPC

    “And your knowledge of love doesn’t disappear when your relationships do.”

    I have such a lump in my throat. Thank you.

  • Jennifer

    Starting off a busy workday with tears running down my face as I drink my coffee is probably not the best idea. But so, so glad I read this – one of the bravest and most beautiful stories I’ve read in a while. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Ms. Loaf.

    On the me-me-me front, I was also grateful for the thoughts about changing the meaning of that date, and your intended wedding objects, to be connected with your friend’s wedding and not just your loss. Our wedding date, mostly for logistical reasons, is the anniversary of a communal sorrow (rather than a personal one, let alone a wedding related one, so it is of course quite a different dynamic) but you confirm my hope that we can give our guests joy to associate with the day nonetheless.

  • http://www.fancynotion.blogspot.com/ Kerry

    Ms. Loaf -

    Thank you so, so much for your bravery to “go there.” I hope that seeing this up on APW today and all of the grateful comments that are sure to come will give your heart a lift. I loved reading this post.

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com JoLynn

    Thank you for coming back! What a wonderful and brave thing to do, and to share. To remind us that the risk is worth it no matter what happens, because love is all around and we are stronger than we ever know. I want to celebrate with you!

  • Jess

    Ms. Loaf:

    You are the epitome of a beautiful, strong woman who knows the spectrum of life’s emotions. I wish more people realized that true love can come from a variety of places, not just from one’s Perfect Life Partner.

    I wish you all the happiness you can handle! You deserve it because you’re a member of the human race, but even more so because of this lovely post and your life’s history.

  • http://laorencha.blogspot.com channamasala

    *hugs* to you – what a gorgeous, wise post and what a sad situation. All the best to you. I can’t imagine how broken I’d feel if my fiance and I called off the wedding…I’d live, but it’d be mighty hard.

  • http://bride-sans-tulle.blogspot.com Sharon

    Oh, Ms. Loaf! *hugs* I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing your reality, your wisdom, and your story with us. I hope you’ll stick around, because this: “You can find true love with your family, your friends, your partner(s). And your knowledge of love doesn’t disappear when your relationships do” is the wisest thing I’ve read in awhile.

  • Rachel

    Beautiful, brave, and inspiring. Thank you for sharing, Ms. Loaf.

  • http://www.loveatthelodge.blogspot.com Erica

    I’m so glad you shared your story. My sister and her ex called off their wedding and broke up a few months ago. (Side Note: I wrote Meg about how APW was helping me help her way back when – http://apracticalwedding.com/2009/06/love-choice-power/) It was the right decision, but that doesn’t make it any easier. It has been particularly hard because I am getting married in 3 months, and she is my Maid of Honor, and she is living with my fiancé and I. She maintains a stiff upper lip and most of the wedding stuff doesn’t seem to bother her, but I know it must and she is just being brave so I don’t get hurt. So, thank you for sharing your story. It helps me understand what my sister is going through right now.

  • J

    This is what is so fascinating (and frightening, but in a good way) about life – you are set on a path & the ground can be pulled out from under you… but once you pick yourself up & run bravely into what’s ahead, astonishing, beautiful things start happening. Getting through a breakup is hard, hard, hard work. But the end result can be incredibly rewarding – it’s like getting to know yourself again. Ms. Loaf, hang in there. Have an open heart, take care of YOU and the right girl will come…

  • http://ridiculouslyeverafter.blogspot.com Nikki

    wow. just WOW. this was amazing.

  • http://www.msawesome.com ms. awesome

    Thank you for your honest (and beautiful) words. I love and admire your strength and willingness to redefine that day for yourself- what an amazing act of selflessness for your friend AND what a favor you’ve done yourself in that, like you said, all those little (amazing and well thought out I’m sure) details now bring happy memories of Emily’s wedding. Yay! Ms. Loaf. So glad to read your words this morning! :)

  • http://aweddingofourown.blogspot.com Lindsey M

    Ms. Loaf,

    You are an incredibly strong, beautiful person. And from the sound of it, you are an amazing friend. Thank you for sharing your story, it was deeply moving because of the way that you speak about love, and the healing process that losing love takes you through.

  • kelly

    I’m moved to tears. So many wonderful, sage pieces of wisdom…but none so powerful as the way you speak of the true meaning of love. It’s not even close to cheesy; it’s the reality and such a wonderful breath of fresh air to think that we can be nourished through ALL types of love.

    Sometimes I think loss is, in some way, the provider of profound lessons. And opportunity for growth, which is always the hopeful part of loss (even if that’s so hard to understand at the start of that sort of journey).

    Best wishes to you, Ms. Loaf. Thank you for sharing such a personal slice of your life!

  • http://happysighs.blogspot.com liz

    what an amazing post.

    this is the part that hurt my heart the most: “So many friends shied away from me, refusing to hear my opinion or ask my advice on wedding planning, seeming to think I was cursed. ”

    i wonder and hope that maybe your friends had just hoped to spare you the pain of discussing weddings. i think if i were in their shoes, i’d be terrified of thoughtlessly bringing up something painful.

    others have already said it- but moving in the direction of your fears. such a wise thought. i wonder if we can really begin healing if we haven’t replaced the bad memories with good.

  • Jovi

    This was Amazing. Thank you for sharing.

    In addition this post shows why I love APW so much. It’s not just about weddings or marriages, but about relationships — those we have, hope for and create — with others, ourselves, the world, tradition and life.

    • Sarah Beth

      “In addition this post shows why I love APW so much. It’s not just about weddings or marriages, but about relationships — those we have, hope for and create — with others, ourselves, the world, tradition and life.”

      Um…YES! YES! And a thousand times YES! (“Exactly” just wouldn’t cut it.)

      And thank you, Ms. Loaf, for sharing your beautiful story.
      I’ve seen first hand how making joyful memories out of tragedy can do heal us. When my fiance and I had only been dating for three months, his grandfather died. My fiance was the first one to find out, and had the burden of calling everyone else in his family with the news. He was 18 years old. Watching him so broken and sad nearly killed me. Then he asked me to come to the funeral. All I wanted to do was hold him, but I felt so out of place, surrounded by his family for the first time.
      As it turns out, the day he proposed was the anniversary of his grandpa’s death. It hadn’t been the day he planned to propose, but now he can look back on that date and have something to smile about.

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    This sentence, “And your knowledge of love doesn’t disappear when your relationships do,” is one of the most true things I’ve ever seen.

    What a wonderful thing to learn and know.

  • http://moreofthisandlessofthat.blogspot.com Ms. Loaf

    Wow. I am overwhelmed by this response.

    Thank you all so much.

  • http://bravebride.blogspot.com/ Kim NYC

    Ms. Loaf…

    I actually want to comment on your name (and then you’ll see how it relates to your story).

    My fiance and I say “loaf you” instead of “love you” because 5 years ago I, too, was left at the altar, so to speak, by the first great love of my life. And for years after that (an incident that I consider my first grown-up loss), I could not quite get myself to love and trust fully. Thus, my love became watered down “loaf”. I just couldn’t get myself to say the darn word! To this day my fiance, Brian, and I STILL say “loaf you”. BUT…

    The funny thing is that for us, “loaf” is now a term that goes much deeper than “love”. Because loaf is what I have for Brian despite having had my heart ripped from my chest, and losing faith in people, in marriage, and in love. Loaf is what Brian has for me despite the walls that I sometimes put around myself when I recall memories of my past heartache. Loaf is love that has weathered a storm.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you much courage and “loaf” throughout the rest of your journey! :)

    • http://moreofthisandlessofthat.blogspot.com Ms. Loaf

      Kim, that is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

      • http://bravebride.blogspot.com/ Kim NYC

        No, thank YOU, Ms. Loaf! It really brings me great hope to see how tears of pain can transform into tears of joy.

        By the way, Brian got a kick out of your name! Actually, in the beginning “loaf you” is a derivative of an even more watered down phrase. We used to say Meatloaf Hugh Jackman. (Because in the middle you see “loaf Hugh”, which is “love you”.) I know – weird. And that’s pretty much us in a nutshell. ;) Hehe.

    • Moz

      Kim, that is so beautiful. Did you write a graduate post? I would love to read your story.

      • Moz

        I just found your blog :)

        • Moz

          OK, sorry for being a numbskull and posting several times. But Kim, your story is amazing. When you *do* get married, I want to read about it. Hopefully here as well as on your blog.

          • http://bravebride.blogspot.com/ Kim NYC

            Aww, thanks MOZ! I do plan to write about my wedding on the blog, and perhaps send highlights of it to Meg as a wedding grad post. How about you?

            And thanks for checking out my blog! :) Umm…it’s very Meg-ified. Because you know, I heart APW and all. It inspired me to want to interview brides and build my own little home in the blogosphere. Do you have a blog?

  • april

    Oh, I am sobbing at my desk at work today reading this, but ’tis sooo worth it! Thank you so much for sharing Ms. Loaf; your strength is amazing and the entire post is just so honest and beautifully written. This bit just bowled me over: “your knowledge of love doesn’t disappear when your relationships do.”

    Best wishes to you, dearest!

  • http://thebluestmuse.blogspot.com/ Shawna

    Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for this brave and beautiful post.

  • http://chicistawedding.wordpress.com/ Jaz

    This is a fantastic anecdote. Often times, people who didn’t go through with their weddings feel as if they are a failure; your story really helps those people realize that they can indeed go on with their lives afterward and it is perfectly fine to do so. Good luck to you, Ms. Loaf!

  • http://www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com Sarah

    Thank you for sharing. This was absolutely beautiful. I loved this: “From now on I can say, ‘this is the necklace I wore to Emily’s wedding!’ or ‘this is Emily’s wedding anniversary weekend!’ instead of the day and the objects always carrying the tinge of sorrow.”

  • caroline

    Thank you so much, Ms Loaf. In particular, for this: “just because my relationship ended and I never made it to the altar doesn’t mean I’m not still capable of contributing to weddinghood and marriage.” Married folks definitely don’t have a monopoly on relationship wisdom – and I say this as a married woman. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Stephanie F.

    Yes, yes, yes! I feel like I had to ‘exactly’ every comment here. I thank you, most deeply, Ms. Loaf for your eloquence: “You can find true love with your family, your friends, your partner(s). And your knowledge of love doesn’t disappear when your relationships do.”

  • Cassandra

    Thank you.

    My partner and I are in a place right now where our future plans are no longer certain and we are leaning more and more toward ending our relationship. It’s impossible to imagine moving forward and getting on with things if they aren’t the way they were supposed to be, not only because I can’t imagine my life if it isn’t shared with him, but also because of the embarassment. Everyone has been waiting for us to get married and take those next steps, and the thought of admitting that I couldn’t do it is mortifying and so hurtful. Thank you for showing that it is okay to feel that way, and that it is possible to get some of your love for the realm of love and weddings and relationships back even in the face of that loss.

    • Casey

      Cassandra – even though it’s painful, you gotta do what’s right for you, not what’s right for the rest of the world … be brave! Good luck!

    • Anna

      Cassandra, I just wanted to say I have been there and come out on the other side. My now-husband and I nearly split up about two years ago. We wound up ceasing to live together (as we had been for 3 years) and living apart for a year, but staying together. (Follow that!) I was worried what people would think, worried that they would think we were weird or just prolonging a breakup. I was amazed at how much support I got, and how many stories of loves that had great strength despite (because!) the couple had been through this sort of trial. It makes you strong, it makes you tough, it makes you honest. And whichever side you come out on, it is so worth it. Take care of yourself.

  • http://foxflat.wordpress.com Katie

    Meg, thanks for posting this.

    And Ms. Loaf – thank you for WRITING so honestly and eloquently about a difficult subject.

  • http://www.meanestlook.wordpress.com Sara

    I can’t even tell you the sort of healing that happens every time I hear that I’m not the only girl who is a Wedding Dropout!

    Thank you for telling your story. Big happy hugs.

    • http://moreofthisandlessofthat.blogspot.com Ms. Loaf

      Thanks to you too! I never would’ve been able to write this post if I hadn’t read yours first.

      Though I must admit, I don’t like the term “wedding dropout.” I prefer to think I just changed my major. :)

      • meg

        Why did you USE it then? Sara and I think it’s hilarious. Which says more about us than about you ;)

        • http://moreofthisandlessofthat.blogspot.com Ms. Loaf

          Honestly, I didn’t think about it, just going with the established vocabulary. It doesn’t really bother me. I’ve just spent 23 years in school, so the temptation to drop out of *that* is oh-so-tempting…

          :)

          • http://www.meanestlook.wordpress.com Sara

            Ha ha! I do think it’s super funny.

            I went to a strip club for my 30th and got a lap dance. I was asked if I was married by the DJ and I yelled back “Hell No!” Then I explained to the delightful young man flopping his junk in front of me that I was a “Wedding Dropout.”

            I think my new major is strippers. We all heal in different ways. :)

          • meg

            Sara, lets hang out. My new major might be strippers too. I mean I graduated, right? I can pick a new major, right?

        • http://www.meanestlook.wordpress.com Sara

          I’m going to take you up on the hanging out, Meg. Denver or SF, we’ll make it happen.

  • bailey

    you are a star. thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.koruwedding.com Koru Kate

    Ms. Loaf, this is an amazing, brave & real post. Thank you for sharing! Best wishes to you~

  • Emily

    This post is so beautiful. I think friends as officiants are amazing. What an incredible gift you gave them. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • http://knitsmcgee.blogspot.com Shayna

    That made me cry just a little bit, but in a good way, I think. Ms. Loaf, you are goddamned brave, the temptation to wallow is so overwhelming, I’m not sure I could have persevered in such a beautiful way.

  • http://mrsbasement.wordpress.com Mrs. Basement

    this is just totally great.

  • Amber

    “And your knowledge of love doesn’t disappear when your relationships do.”

    YES.

    I’m a longtime APW lurker who has never commented before, but this is so meaningful to me. Although I’ve never been as close to marriage as you were, the feeling that others think you are cursed or “wrong” in some way when a relationship ends, is something I think we’ve all felt. Thank you for being such a strong, brave person and sharing your story.

  • http://funnysmartandimportant.blogspot.com lindsay

    I’m totally with you on reclaiming the objects from your wedding in the name of someone else’s love. My parents got divorced last year after 26 years of marriage and after their final court appearance, my mom and I went for a bike ride and got caught in the rain. My mom turned to me and said, “I’m not remembering this as the day I got divorced, but the day we got poured on during a bike ride!”

    In reality, it was just one day during the course of their relationship, a relationship that hasn’t ended but changed. Likewise, your necklace and the day can be the day it poured during the bike ride.

  • http://sparklefishmarriespistolfish.blogspot.com Mandy

    “True love has nothing to do with romance, necessarily. You can find true love with your family, your friends, your partner(s). And your knowledge of love doesn’t disappear when your relationships do.”

    These are the wisest words I’ve read all day. Our best man to-be is fond of saying “It’s SOUL mate, not SOLE mate. You can have more than one.” There is no one true love; true love can happen many times over, and sometimes…even a love that was once true has to come to an end. That doesn’t make it any less true or any less meaningful. When a relationship comes to an end, that doesn’t mean it’s negated.

    This is a beautiful, beautiful post, and one I can relate to; my two-year anniversary would have been June 21st, supposedly (we had talked seriously about marriage and decided on that date, but we hadn’t gotten around to buying a ring and making things official before the relationship ended). Looking back, I am SO, SO grateful I didn’t make that mistake. The man I was going to marry is a wonderful man (and still a dear friend), but we were horribly unhappy together…and the man I am going to marry now is exactly who I am supposed to be with. Best of luck to you and your heart on the way home, Ms. Loaf.

  • Heather

    Thank you for this brave and honest post. Your story made me think about the astonishing power of friendship to help, and to heal. I hope that if I am ever in a situation that calls for it, I can be as great a friend to someone in pain as Emily has been to you. I think I will remember your story for the rest of my life.

  • Moz

    Ms Loaf, this is utterly fantastic. One of my new favourite posts of the site. Also a really nice ode to friendship, to two people who didn’t run in the other direction when things got bad for you. Cheers to them.

    I hope that you keep finding love xx

  • Carreg

    Belated comment but I could hardly read this post without thanking you and saying I think you’re incredibly brave and generous. It’s so good there are posts like this, which share wisdom from all sorts of perspectives, not just the obvious one. (are there wedding honorary degrees, for when people don’t get married in the end but can teach us all so much about it? Like when people drop out of uni but build such successful lives that the uni awards them a degree anyway? yes, I do know it’s a metaphor and Meg isn’t actually an awarding body…)

    • http://moreofthisandlessofthat.blogspot.com Ms. Loaf

      I like this idea a lot. But I have enough degrees. (I am working on my PhD right now), so it’s okay, I guess, to be a wedding dropout. I’ll re-enroll someday, I am sure.

      Everyone’s comments on this post totally rocked my world.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • emily

    Well now that Ms Loaf went and wrote about us and made my heart go even warmer and fuzzier, I’m throwing in a little of our side of the story. We’d been talking about having Loaf officiate our wedding since before we we actually engaged. And then her relationship imploded right after we really did get engaged. And not for one second did I doubt that I still wanted one of my oldest and dearest friends to marry us, regardless of her relationship status. We waited to ask Loaf because I wasn’t sure how she was going to feel about it and it was more important to be there for my friend while she was grieving (and graduating from her mfa and moving and starting over) than to ask her to be all wrapped up in a wedding again. Thank goodness she said yes. Getting married by one of my best friends was an experience i’d never want to trade and everyone we talk says the same thing about how personal and meaningful it was. Okay now I’m all teary again.

    • http://moreofthisandlessofthat.blogspot.com Ms. Loaf

      Yeah, this lady is pretty amazing. And so is her husband.

      xoxo

      • emily

        Also if it wasn’t for Loaf, it might have taken me much longer and a few more wic-inspired fits of frustration to find sites like apw. Thanks to her we had resources that weren’t the knot from the words “hey, let’s get married for real.”

  • Jen

    This is my first visit to A Practical Wedding. I wanted to thank you for sharing your inspiring story. I do wish you love, Loaf, in whatever form it should present itself.

  • http://love-vs.blogspot.com Vilija

    Ms. Loaf – I read your blog while you were planning and then when all of the breaking happened. It was so fulfilling to read this post and to read your passage to healing. I am glad to read the continuation of your tale and to have links to your blog.

  • http://thisisjacksonriley.blogspot.com Jackson Riley

    totally belated comment, but i had to write to say a big THANK YOU for writing such inspiring words. i understand why you, in your grief, quit blogging, but i am so glad you returning today (or 2 days ago…) to share your wisdom and experience. all we get out of life is our experiences and to hear others share their experience, strength, and hope is just so awesome. really. big internet love to you.

  • Analise

    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus and say DANG! Ms. Loaf, you are a fierce, courageous inspiration. Seriously well done, and thank you for sharing your story!

  • Erica

    This is a wonderful post and I truly admire the strength and courage it takes to write calling off an engagement. I became a Wedding Dropout when I was just 21 and still working on my BA and didn’t have any idea what I wanted from my life. But I think when I say it that way, it makes me incredibly happy to think that I was at least smart enough to make the right call and end up where I am today, which is 5 years smarter and loving life. I actually ended up standing up in my brother’s wedding on my “would be” day…which was not something he was aware of, but added a whole layer to the mess. But that is a long story. Right now I just wanted to thank all you wonderful, strong women for speaking up and sharing your feelings.

  • Michelle

    That’s it! That’s it!
    Your comment: “knowing that the thing everyone wants most of all is to get to experience their joy.”
    That’s what I have been looking for! Those are the words that have escaped my mind until this moment – that is how I wish for my wedding to be and to be remembered. Thank you for not letting life stop you from sharing your heart. You are a dear person, Ms. Loaf, with an amazing soul. Thank you!