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Wedding Undergraduate: It’s About Your Person (That’s Really It)


I got a wedding undergraduate post in my inbox last week that was so ‘Exactly’ (if I had an exactly button on my email) that I had to run it as is. Miranda hits on two things in this email that I think really, really need saying. The first is the bridal bullsh*t part. She talks about the moments in wedding planning where people close to you do sh*tty hurtful things (that they seem to not see as sh*tty and hurtful, which only makes it worse), and you go to sleep crying your eyes out. Sometimes when we (me and all the wedding grads and commenters) try to hammer home the message that it will be ok in the end (and it will) we loose track of the message that it’s totally normal when these horrible parts of planning happen, and that you’re not alone. As I said in my own wedding graduate post, “It’s ok to cry.” And it really really is.

But Miranda really hits on more than that here. She gives us such an important reminder of why we do this: because life is short, and when you find a person, you want to celebrate that. And with that, I give you Miranda (who will obviously be coming back as a wedding graduate, cough, cough, cough):

Wedding Undergraduate: Its About Your Person (Thats Really It) | A Practical Wedding

This morning I got into a car accident on my way to work – not only on time, but early for once! – and my entire day got warped.  Yesterday two close friends, both in our bridal brigade, declared, loudly and angrily, that they would not be participating in our wedding in the ways we had hoped they would.  One felt we were asking too much, and, for her mental health, has opted out of just about everything.  The other felt that we were asking too much by having not only an engagement party but also a bridal shower and a bachelorette party as well.  These are truly, honestly conversations that I never thought I would have around what I have been thinking of as my quiet, sane, community-based wedding celebration with my woman.

I woke up this morning with my head reeling from the heaviness of these conversations, and my eyes still puffy from all the crying I’d done the night before.  I got up and functioned and got out the door on time and promptly (exactly 89 feet later, according to Google Maps) smashed my car with another car.

I know you say all the time on your website, in your words and in other people’s words, that it’s your person that matters, that you’ll feel the love and support on your wedding day, and lots of bridal bullshit happens before or even during and that is not the part that matters.  But what occurred to me even bigger than that, is that sometimes the wedding doesn’t matter either.

That is, a lot of the time the wedding does matter, and it matters a lot.  Last night, the biggest things on my list were my fiancee’s two best friends and how they weren’t coming through for me and how even worse, I feel like they’re not coming through for her, and how could they do this for our wedding?  Last night I went to bed puffy and ugly-faced because of all of that, sort of nodding as my future-spouse told me we would work it out.

And as I sat there next to pieces of my car this morning waiting for the three police cars to show up (what can I say, we live in a quiet town), Dulcea came running out of the house with a camera, a notepad, and her phone.  She called in sick to work for me, she took pictures of all the broken stuff, she helped take down the necessary information, and she sat with me until I stopped shaking.  After that, she scrapped the rest of her day’s plans and came with me to the garage to get the car looked at, and to the insurance agency to find out how this whole thing works, and even offered to go with me to borrow my parents’ car a few towns over.

The point of all this is to say that the wedding is only the biggest thing for so long; for us, it will only be the biggest thing for another 28 days.  It’s all these other things that remind me why I want to be with her, marriage or no – and legal or no, depending on the state – and, as you have said so many times, that is the important part.

I wanted to write to you about this because this is the first time that I got it in all this wedding madness.  Practical, sane wedding-planner me has been saying all along, “It’s not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage,” but for a little bit there, even if it was just for one night, I got sucked into the wedding.  And luckily, my wonderful Dulcea was there to be ready for the marriage part of it.

Picture: Just so you know who we are – I’m the one in blue

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  • Moz

    Freaking fantastic post. And I’m sorry about your accident xx

  • http://www.runrgurl10.blogspot.com Runrgurl10

    Thank goodness for supportive fiances! I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this, Miranda, it’s total BS about your unsupportive bridal party!

  • Eliza

    You guys are amazing. And ahhhhh, thankyou for this. For sharing this insanely, incredibly important story. It reminded me right now that, after all, that’s why we do this marrying caper, right – on some level, it’s not just because we want to change things (or the name we give to our relationship) – it’s hopefully because we want the essence of that relationship to stay EXACTLY THE SAME, because it’s AWESOME. Because the person we are choosing every day is just so damn spectacular, when it really matters. Going to go and hug my person now.
    (PS Your person sounds like she is pretty damn fantastic! And I hope you are feeling better today, and things get sorted out with your friends soon.)

  • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

    Yes, yes, yes!
    I don’t have anything to add. :)

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

    Miranda,

    It sounds like your person is fantastic, and you both have your heads in the right place about what is important and why. What a perfect story about a snippet of your life that explains exactly why we decide to marry that one person.

    Beautiful.

  • Erin

    “The point of all this is to say that the wedding is only the biggest thing for so long; for us, it will only be the biggest thing for another 28 days.”

    This should go in the APW canon. I got engaged almost exactly one year ago, and have been married now for nearly 6 months (yay fast engagement!). Right now I couldn’t even imagine a whole year of wedding planning being the biggest thing in my life. When it’s over, it’s over in a sweet, marvelous, fantastic way, and all the hurt feelings and awfulness, and stress and even the delightful small surprises give way to a more intense awesomeness. Good luck in this last month of planning, Miranda!

    • http://girlliveslife.blogspot.com/ Anna Hope

      I am 19 days out. Thank GAWD I am 19 days out!

      I have been in paramedic school while wedding planning and am graduating/taking my national registry exam 8 days before the wedding. I don’t know what I was thinking. In addition, my Mr and I just had to move and we have been litteral ships in the night working opposite schedules for the last 4 months. When I say I miss him I truly mean I miss him. We have not spent a day together that didn’t involve one of us being utterly sleep deprived (we work nights) in order to see the other one, for MONTHS.

      When people say after the wedding will lead to “even more awesomeness” I personally hope it is a quite rather dull awesomeness. I am ready to have nothing “big” to fuss over. I am ready to live a life that others don’t feel free to place such harsh demands upon as those demands levied by some of our extended family and friends durring this wedding nonsense. I am ready for a quiet year full of dull mornings with a cup of coffee in the backyard. I am ready to fall back in love with my best friend. Maybe that sounds like a red flag but right now, I haven’t seen him with my well rested rational eyes in so long! I have been “sucked in” to the wedding bullshit and I am so ready to be released in 19 days. I honestly feel like the simple, fuss free days that I hope will come after the wedding are the “awesomeness” I crave right now. I read this post and felt a twinge of envy. I wish I could call in sick and spend the day running errands and doing nothing in particular with him. I am ready to not just remember why I am marrying him but also to live it as you so beautifuly describe.

      Best of luck in the final weeks and THANK YOU so much for writing such a simple, honest account of the sad and the wonderful side of all of this.

      • Erin

        Anna Hope, it’s mostly that kind of awesomeness you’re looking for :)

    • Sara

      I also agree that this should go in the APW canon. My issue was as long as there was still time to change something, I would obsess about it. It was only until the wedding was over that I finally accepted that things happened the way they did (and it was beautiful!). This is also why I am completely not excited by weddings anymore – I had 18 months of Obsessing. If people can afford it (ie they have the money already saved up), I always recommend a short engagement.

      • meg

        As do I. Not that anyone ever listens ;)

      • http://ecoyogini.blogspot.com EcoYogini

        two years….. yep i am regretting that engagement time now… .if we would have had a shorter engagement then we also could have rationalized having a smaller, less “to do” wedding. which would have been nice.
        and i thought 50 people would equal a laid back wedding. just goes to show it really doesn’t matter about the numbers, it’s all about how you approach the wedding. (ahem- do over please?)

        • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com sera

          Sometimes I think that if I had had more time that I would have done more, it would have been more, been better. Ha! No do overs. As much as I did love my wedding, if I could have a do over, I’d elope. Then maybe there would have been much less of the crazy unexpected friend drama that hasn’t entirely healed over yet.
          But there is always that silver lining of knowing that that person that you’ve chosen to marry is ready to do the marriage part. Funny how other peoples stupid and even cruel drama can bring you closer together. No matter what we knew we wanted to be together. And now we are. and it’s really awesome.
          Thanks!

  • http://onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

    It’s okay to get sucked in sometimes. Being practical does not always mean being calm, cool and collected. Being practical is being mindful of how we get sucked in and then reminding ourselves of what is truly important- our persons.

    Miranda and Dulcea totally rule.

    • Mallory

      Agreed. Even the most level headed practical people get sucked in at times.

      • meg

        Especially when people are mean and make you cry. Especially then.

  • Kristi

    All I have to say is THANK YOU!
    We have 26 days til our wedding, and it has been hard to not get sucked into the wedding side of things. Thanks for your simple words of wisdom…this is why I read APW everyday!

  • Jessie

    What a moving post. I got into a car accident a week before my wedding because my head wasn’t where it belonged and when my car came to a crashing stop, my first thought was, “wow, glad the airbag didn’t go off; that would have required a lot of make-up.” It was at that point that I realized that my priorities weren’t in line. I was the girl who didn’t even want a wedding! But, when my finance showed up instead of going to work and held me while I sobbed, the wedding seemed like the last thing in the world that was important. All that mattered was him and the fact that no one was hurt and we were together.

    Great post. Thank you for sharing and best of luck with your marriage (although I very much doubt you’ll need it).

    • Jessie

      And, by the way, those friends who aren’t there for you: just move on. Focus on your fiancee and forget the drama. :)

      • http://www.kelliraepowell.com Krae

        Yeah! For all the jerks there are at least as many cheerleaders and helpers. Focus on the cheerleaders and the helpers.

    • Chelsea

      Two days before my wedding, I forgot to put my car into park at the top of my parents driveway and it rolled down the hill and destroyed a huge bush! That’s when I told myself I needed to take a second to just breathe. Wish I could say that was the last crazy thing I did (or even the last thing I broke) in those last couple of days, but at least it’s a good story now! And, the bush is starting to grow back…

    • Lauren

      I had the SAME thought today! I was coming to work and had to swerve to avoid someone, and I wear glasses, so my first instinct was “Man, if I had gotten in an accident, my glasses would really F up my face for the wedding”. So not normal. 12 more days, then I’m free to have a black eye whenever I want ;)

  • Chelsea

    Really, what is it about cars that makes us appreciate our persons? I had a flat tire on the way to work Thursday (on the big highway, with trucks going by at 80 mph!), and called my husband. Even though he knows that I know how to change a flat, he walked from work back to his car, drove down to me, changed my flat, and drove behind me all the way to the tire place, all without complaint. Then we went to lunch. So grateful!

    And I know how much it hurts to have people tell you they’re not as committed to being part the wedding as you had hoped, but believe me, it’s so much better to find out now than to find out the week or the day before the wedding. And, for every person that disappointed me at the wedding, there were several others that surprised us with their kindness, excitement, and happy-for-us-ness. The stress just comes in figuring out which people are going to be which, because you can never tell until you’re in it. But keep your eyes open, and you’ll find your community!

    • anon

      *sigh* At least they told you. My best friend, who had been the maid of honor in two other of her friends’ weddings and “basically planned the whole thing” for one of them, just didn’t bother getting involved (or even returning phone calls/emails sometimes) for the majority of the planning process, even though I told her at the beginning that I would need a lot of help. Then she came to be in the wedding, arriving the day before and leaving the day after, and didn’t help very much once there. It was very disappointing.
      I didn’t let it get me down while it was going on (instead relied on the many others who surprised me with their generosity and willingness to help! yay!), but when I think about it now, it makes me rather sad that I depended on someone important to me and she let me down.

      ps- sorry for the anonymity, but this one’s too personal & too new (I haven’t really processed it–much less talked to her about it–yet).

      • anon

        ha! oops. I forgot that Gravatar would not let me be totally anonymous. But that’s ok, for those of you who know me well enough to recognize my pic, it’s ok to share this with you. :)

        • meg

          Yeah, you have to leave OFF your email, or give another one or a fake one to be anon ;)

  • http://www.hellerandhellerfurniture.com Jenn

    I am always so floored by how APW and the community of APW help keep things in perspective for me.

    This email is beautiful, and real. Miranda, I am so glad you’re ok! Wishing you all the best for your wedding and your marriage – good luck!

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

    Simply the perfect thought today.

  • http://christytylerphotography.blogspot.com Christy

    What a nice post to start off this week. Happy, fuzzy feelings (car wreck & friends upsetting you aside)… yay for you two and your soon-to-be marriage! :)

  • Jennifer

    Yeeeesss. I’ve been having some similar thoughts, though not nearly so well articulated. (And thankfully, without the car accident and friend issues. At least not right now.) The whole “how could they do this for our wedding?” piece came to mind more with declined invitations, and I have to keep reminding myself that just because they’re not going to be physically with us on our wedding day doesn’t mean they won’t be part of our married lives in some way.

    (Also, I might have “squee”ed when I saw this post with the picture before I left the house this morning, because she is one of the few wedding-planning bloggers I make a point of following because she is cool and thoughtful and hilarious. I hope it’s okay to mention that. And then I was sad when I got to work and got to actually read it and the post all started with sucky stuff. But yay for an awesome fiancee!)

    • meg

      She didn’t give me her LINK or I would have linked to her (siiigggghhh ;) Wanna leave it in the comments?

      • http://roughit.wordpress.com Miranda

        oops, sorry! i’m at work and not supposed to be checking this, but here i am anyway! it’s roughit.wordpress.com – enjoy!

        • http://katydid972.wordpress.com Kathryn

          She’s also a little beacon of sanity at Weddingbee.com.

  • K

    Yay! I often remind myself that our wedding is just one day, one event, and the things that really matter are those little daily interactions and events and experiences that add up to what really matters, a relationship. It calms me immensely.

    • K

      Oh, but sorry about the accident. The “yay” was so not for that part of your story.

  • Amber F.

    Yay, so happy to see you pop up over here too! You have some of the most thoughtful posts over on that other site, and this is no exception! ;) I hope you’re recovering (physically, emotionally, financially…) from the accident.

  • Benny

    Thanks so much for this! It’s a really great reminder for me, especially today. My partner and I got engaged at Christmas 2009, and we haven’t planned anything yet. Why, you might ask? Because everyone in my family (with the exception of my siblings) has had only negative things to say about our desire to be married. And my father (who owns two vacation homes, and recently got engaged himself) has refused to contribute anything at all to the wedding on principle. Even though he claims he supports our relationship and welcomes my partner into our family.

    And honestly, it’s not about the money. It’s the emotional sting of a lack of support for the wedding day itself, whenever that will be. So that’s my longwinded way of thanking you for reminding me to be grateful for my person. She’s always the most important thing anyway:)

    • Sarah

      ::hugs::

      • Benny

        Meg, you and your elves should figure out a way that we can facebook ‘like’ all of the people who exactly-ed our posts! Or wonderful electronic hugs. Ok, I should probably get to bed now.

  • Katie

    This is an amazing post. I had some very serious medical issues when I was 23/24 years old – serious enough to really bring my life into perspective and realize what actually matters in this world. 6 years later, I’m engaged and getting married in October to my person… but what upsets me so much is how easy it is, in our fast paced worlds filled with life’s mundane details (work, eating, paying bills, etc), to forget what’s important. I had vowed I’d never forget, but there are days when I do. It’s so sad that it often takes the threat of physical harm to remind our bodies and mind what life is really all about. But I really like that I was reminded this morning through a beautiful post, instead of a life-altering event! :) Sending well wishes of happiness, health and appreciating our people to all the readers.

    • Christina

      I think what you just said is what’s so great about APW.

      We’re all smart and centered enough to know what’s really important going into wedding planning (your person, your love). But at the same time, we are human and we forget (and all of us have moments of getting sucked into what’s not important). APW embraces all of that with posts like this one. Reading this site is what makes me feel sane :)

  • KristieB

    Firstly, hooray on having a great partner who knows exactly what to do to make everything better.

    Secondly, I am really sorry about your accident. What an awful thing to deal with this close to your wedding.

    Thirdly, even those of us who are thoughtful, practical brides have a hard time remembering this – no one cares about your wedding as much as you do. There are people that are really close to us that SHOULD care about our shower/ flowers/ dress/ engagement party/ etc because they love us – but they don’t care. Maybe it is because they are anti-wedding, but most likely it is because they have never been through it themselves. 6 years ago, my two best friends got married – not to each other – but one month apart. I wanted to be supportive and awesome, but the truth is, I failed. I didn’t stuff invitation envelopes or help with picking flowers. At the time, I was a student and really poor. I saw every single wedding event as $ ($ I didn’t have). In hindsight, I was probably a total unsupportive jerk. My friends, being the angels that they are – didn’t say a thing. 6 years later when I got married, they flew to Hawaii with me and were crazy supportive. *heart*

    • Chelsea

      I think it’s also important to remember that different people are supportive in different ways, depending on their strengths and situations. I have one super-organized friend who hates crafty, girly stuff, but took it upon herself to be the scoutmaster of all of our flaky friends (who otherwise would have been calling me 2 days before the wedding asking about rides). I had another recently-married friend who lived far away, but listened to me vent whenever I needed to blow off steam and reassured me that it was normal. And another who made it clear that she actually LIKED talking about wedding stuff, so I never felt like I was boring her with wedding talk. None of these people stuffed a single envelope, but they were SO helpful!

    • Class of 1980

      Kristie said – “Thirdly, even those of us who are thoughtful, practical brides have a hard time remembering this – no one cares about your wedding as much as you do.” I think there’s a lot of truth in that. A lot of people are genuinely thrilled for you, but are not invested in the details.

      The worst thing about Miranda’s story is that her fiancee’s friend was really saying they didn’t have a right to plan multiple events. That is straight up MEAN.

      If someone is really that mean, they’re not a friend at all. That’s when it’s time to break out one of our favorite sayings in this house — “F*ck em! Feed em fish heads.”

      Well, it makes us feel better. ;)

      • meg

        THANK you. I’m glad someone wiser with more life experience chimed in on this one.

        Yes, no one is as invested in your wedding as you are (though oddly, but the end of our ceremony it was like all those months of non-invested hit at once and everyone was crying and saying they got it, and crying some more, and I was like, whatever dudes, I want to party now.) But. I digress. While no one is as invested as you are, there will always people that will be flat out mean. We had someone VERY close to us who told us, basically, they couldn’t be bothered to come. Now, them not coming would have been hard enough (they lived in town), but how they did it was cruel and unnecessary. In that case it was the end of a friendship (not our choice, really) but sometimes the meanness doesn’t end friendships, it just hurts.

        I donno. Weddings bring out the best and worst in people sometimes, inexplicably.

        • Natalia

          I think a great idea for a future post is asking for help from friends. As well as commitments and expectations that go along with that with saying yes.

          Lets face it weddings are a huge committment to those involved in terms of time and money. Not everyone is in a place in their lives where they can make the commitment exactly the way brides would always like. I think sometimes brides get sucked down this black-hole of wedding planning where it can consume your life it can be easier to be accidentally more self involved.
          For someone who is asked to participated perspective I think sometimes that it is OKAY to say NO. No the third bridal shower, No to the weekend crafting sessions and even NO to the girls weekend away, if time (work or family), budget, and sometimes even lack of interest allow. You can still be over the moon with happiness for your friend even if you are there “only is spirit”
          I feel that this perspective is occasionally missing from the Do-It-Together mentality that is rampant on this board. I mean this is the best way i am a year out from my wedding and it is the only wedding blog i still read. I am forever grateful for the friends and family that stepped up for our wedding, which we planned in around 3 months.

    • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

      mmhm mmhm, kristieb.

      i had a bridesmaid flat out tell me that she wasn’t buying me any gifts because being my “bridesmaid was enough of a gift.” which was… kind of offensive. whether i wanted a gift or not (read: couldn’t care less).

      not only do people not care about your wedding as much as you do. but they feel perfectly fine voicing their universal Wedding Opinions without realizing this isn’t A wedding. it’s YOUR wedding. and little you still has feelings and junk.

    • http://bunniesnbeagles.blogspot.com Ms. Bunny

      It is really hard to remember that no one cares about your wedding as much as you do. Since many of us seem to get sucked down a black hole of planning, it’s hard to imagine that everyone else isn’t invested as much as you are. I really try to limit talking about my wedding in real life, because I don’t want to bog everyone down. That’s what the blog is for.

      But it’s another thing for a friend to be mean about it. Not being invested is different than being mean. If a friend didn’t have time or money to help or attend, I’d totally understand. But tell me that an engagement party, shower, and bachelorette party were too much or say that they couldn’t be bothered to come (as Meg said below) — that’s just mean.

      Miranda (Bird), I’m glad you have such a great and supportive partner to help you get through the downs in life.

  • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

    I think the points that Meg and Miranda make (“sometimes the wedding matters, too” and “but only for a certain time period”) are really important for anyone planning a wedding. Just because we APWers are supposed to be more sane, etc., than other people planning weddings does not mean that we are all always perfectly calm. And of course it is absolutely ok to be upset if people are mean to you!
    Good on you for recognising the great parts of your relationship with your future spouse even while less-than-ideal things are occurring in your “normal” life. May it be that way forever! <3

  • Alyssa

    Oh Miranda, (one of my favorite names, EVER…) I’m glad you were able to see some good out of all this crap you got handed to you.

    I had a bridesmaid drop out really early, mostly because weddings just weren’t her thing. I didn’t ask my bridesmaids to do anything but get a dress and show up, I had been her bridesmaid and I really wanted her to be in the wedding, so I was understandably upset.
    BUT, once I got past it, I was able to think about it and really realize that she wouldn’t be in my wedding, but she was there for me in other situations before and would be in the future. I wanted her in my wedding, but I had NEEDED her when I was sick and needed to go to the emergency room, I needed her when I got dumped and needed to cry until I passed out on her couch and I still need her when OMG, you’ll never guess what happened today!
    It’s a very Mary Sunshine way of looking at it, but it helped me stop crying. I don’t know the details of your relationship with your friends, but hopefully they’re just frustrated with other things in life and this won’t affect your future with them.
    So I guess what I’m saying it MAJOR HUGS!

    And also? You two are so adorable, I can’t stand it. Piggyback pictures are the best!!!

  • http://bourbonlove.wordpress.com kat at bourbonlove

    Love this post! Miranda – not only are you awesome in your wedding sane-ness, but your writing is beautiful! Thanks for sharing this, it helps so much to keep stuff in perspective. And like the anon post above (the one with the gravatar), some people may dissappoint but some will overwhelm you with their generosity and hope for you!

  • http://www.alosangeleslove.com Becca

    Exactly. Every time the wedding seems to go off the rails, something real brings me back to why we’re getting married in the first place. So happy you have this marriage to ground you throughout the wedding downs. Hope you keep finding ways to savor these last few days and the wedding itself, despite the drama and setbacks.

  • http://roughit.wordpress.com Miranda

    Oh, you guys… it absolutely made my day to, first, be posted on APW, and second, to get all of these awesome comments. Thanks for all your good thoughts, and for being here to make this community. I’m a terrible commenter or you would all know I’m here all the time :) Thanks for your practicality!

  • http://www.socodivkadesigns.com Shanna

    So sorry it took an accident to get at the heart of the wedding! I hope you are pain-free and it blows over as quickly as it can (having survived 7 wrecks, I know it’s a pain!).

    I think weddings, as wonderful and terrible and trying as they can be are a microcosm for life and the myriad of things it throws at you (families, friends, budgets, time management… what doesn’t the wedding tap into?). In the end, though, the person there next to you, who will be there next to you for life, is all that really matters.

    35 days for me!

  • Rose

    I’ve been engaged for two months and reading APW almost that entire time (thank God I discovered this site so early on!), but haven’t commented until now – it’s funny how this feels like finally speaking up in class after going the whole semester without contributing.

    Anyway – I’m writing now to thank you, Miranda, for your brave and articulate perspective. My hubz-to-be and I have encountered what feels like an avalanche of opposition, primarily from his immediate family, regarding our engagement and yet-unplanned wedding (unplanned due to the enormous amount of emotional attention that this unexpected family drama has required).

    What I’ve been learning more and more every day is just what you wrote – wedding or not, drama or not, family or not, I just want to “be with” him. Another thing I never realized before, which has been reiterated time and again on APW, is the importance of support. I literally tear up sometimes when someone congratulates me on my engagement, even in a shallow or passing way; being supported and celebrated is so, so sweet, particularly in the midst of surprisingly disappointing loved ones. I can only imagine that you and Dulcea know that feeling yourselves.

    So! Thanks for the post, Miranda; thanks for posting her post, Meg; and thanks for the wisdom, support, and sassiness, APW :)

  • http://hyperboleandacupoftea.blogspot.com/ Sarah Beth

    First, let me just say that it’s just plain uncanny how these posts show up at the *exact* right time.
    The last week or so has been totally sh*tty. It was only the second week in the semester, and yet I managed to contract the mother of all viruses.(why do the freshman always bring the plague with them?) Missed an entire week of classes. When I finally felt halfway decent, I joyfully drove to see my fiancé, only to feel ignored and disrespected. I was in a low place. And I was shocked, really. Because my fiancé has NEVER acted this way in the four years we’ve been together. I felt like I was in the room with a stranger. Maybe it was the shock, my weakened physical state, or the anti-viral meds doing a number on my brain, but something in me snapped. I left my engagement ring and a note on his dresser and drove home before he woke up.
    All day Saturday and Sunday, I was miserable. I was angry, I was scared, I was sorry, and I was panicked. It was possibly the worst 48 hours of my life. But, as is usually the case, we were both blowing things way out of proportion. And after much soul searching and tears, we are both much more aware of the truth we’ve been ignoring: Life can be shitty and unforgiving. The future can be scary. Our burdens are heavy…and playing superman (or woman) is a bad long-term strategy.
    So we reaffirmed our commitment to each other, the promise to be each other’s safe haven and home, the promise to struggle and grow together, to be each other’s family. Because the wedding doesn’t matter; our commitment is what matters.
    And that’s a good thing, since wedding planning has come to a grinding halt while we wait for this whole Medical school/student loans/income/financial future mess to sort itself out. Good thing we have each other.

    • meg

      Hugs. Possible advice (funny coming from a woman who’s put up plenty of posts about how it’s brave to call off a wedding when you know you need to) BUT! Our rule is rings NEVER come off in a fight ever ever ever. Not even as a joke.

      It’s nice. It gives you a baseline of it’s ok-ness. Even when he’s being a total douchbag. Achem.

      • http://hyperboleandacupoftea.blogspot.com/ Sarah Beth

        It was possibly the dumbest, most childish thing I’ve ever done. And I regretted it *instantly*. It really seems like a dream, except that the emotional agony was VERY real. I can’t imagine why I did it, now that I’m actually lucid.
        So, I think your rule is a sound one.

        • http://www.kelliraepowell.com Krae

          I did it once, too, Sara Beth – took the ring off during a fight. I felt awful for doing it. I’m glad that it happened, though…it struck me, despite my anger, what I was doing…the weight of it…and I immediately put it back on. He doesn’t even know that that happened, but it made me come to a better understanding of what it means to wear that ring. And that ring stays on. We will survive our fights. We can and will work it out. Since I had that realization, even when I’m really pissed off…I feel less afraid about it. I actually stopped us in the middle of a pretty nasty fight the other night and said, “You know what…I think this fight is more about how tired we are right now than anything else. What do you think?” He agreed. We kissed and made up immediately.
          Up and down.
          Down and up.
          Rings stay on.
          (Hm. That might make a good country song.)

  • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

    people suck. when you’re planning a wedding or not. and it always hurts, whether you’re planning or not.

    i’m glad the car accident ended up being a good thing and not an entirely bad. we’ve had a few of those kinds of “bad events” this week, too. it’s nice when they add perspective. you’re awesome, lady.

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

    I got rear-ended two weeks before our wedding and had to have the bumper and starter (unrelated) replaced at that time. And then two days before the wedding my tires wore out because of bad alignment and struts and I had to get new tires, the alignment fixed, and the struts reworked so they’d work. Not things that should be on any wedding list. I’m sorry car trouble has been added to your list.

    It really is about the person. What a wonderful insight to have. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Emily

    Miranda, I know exactly what you mean, and I can from the other side, our wedding two weeks was SO amazing, despite all of the craziness that seems to be associated with weddings. For instance, our sweet beagle was lost on the morning of the wedding, and wasn’t found until the next night – talk about a something to completely throw plans for a relaxing wedding day out the window! After searching for hours, and accepting that our dog was probably out having a grand old time chasing rabbits and happier there than among 200 people, I really, really loved our wedding day. Our friends and family were so happy for us, and the ceremony was beautiful, and fun, and I couldn’t stop grinning the whole time.
    And now, with that wonderful day (and finding our dog!) behind us, it’s been amazing to get back into regular life, and enjoy our marriage. I am so grateful for all of the love and support we felt from friends and family on the wedding day, and even those who were saying or doing (unintentionally) hurtful things before the wedding were entirely there for us on the day itself.
    So, this is a round-about way of saying good luck with all of the craziness leading up to the wedding, you’ll get through it, and I hope you and Dulcea have an amazing, fun-filled and joyous wedding – and an even better marriage!

  • http://beckybopwrites.blogspot.com/ Becky

    Miranda (wow, it’s weird to know your real name after reading your blog for awhile!), thanks so much for sharing this. We’re at just over two months out, and it seems that the parent drama in particular just keeps coming fast and furious. Sometimes when my partner and I are both in the midst of “seriously, Mom, we talked about this months ago!” it helps a lot to step back, regroup, and spend some cuddle time on the couch. We’ve both had a lot of work and other craziness in our lives lately, and my partner’s support on those awful days makes me so grateful and excited for this adventure we’re embarking on together.

  • Mary

    Exactly, indeed!

    2 months before our wedding, my grandfather had a stroke, my brother-in-law was injured in Afghanistan in a “We may be able to save his legs” sort of way, a VERY close family member was hospitalized for mental health reasons, various aunts and uncles were hospitalized with various ailments (infections, alzheimer’s, heart disease, etc.), and of course my several chronic stress aggravated health problems started acting up. That definitely quickly decreased the importance of the ~wedding~. While most of the remaining tasks still happened, it no longer would’ve been the end of the world if I never got around to ordering dessert, or pulling together a photo booth, or setting up a play list, or 90 million other trivial wedding things compared to my surrounding familial disasters.

  • http://ecoyogini.blogspot.com EcoYogini

    Miranda, thank you for this post.

    I say this because last night I was so pissed off at my close friend who has been flaking out and making planning and the bachelorette party more difficult for myself and other BTA members (Bridal Team of Awesomeness). I resisted the urge to pull the “I’m the bride, do EXACTLY what I want” urge and emailed her a diplomatic email trying to stear her away from penises, balloons and other ridiculousness in the bachelorette. All the while spouting off things like “doesn’t she even LISTEN to anything I say? I don’t need her bullsh*t right now” blah blah.

    And then….

    I read this post. and the comments.

    Miranda, it is crappy that your friends are punking out. It’s crappy that my best friend is being a complete bonkers-case. But you’re right, it’s only the BIGGEST thing for the next little bit. And I am taking a step back. My best friend might be really terrible at planning stuff (whether or not I want her too), but she’s been excellent with being supportive and excited about our wedding. She’s great at so many other things.

    I just wish she’d stop trying to plan my bachelorette LOL.

    Much Light Miranda :)

    • http://roughit.wordpress.com Miranda

      Ahh good luck! i’m glad I’m not the only person dealing with this… also, I wanted to say that “Bridal Team of Awesomeness” is amazing.

  • http://epicurative.blogspot.com wey

    Miranda, I’m sorry about your car accident and very happy for you that it showed up what a wonderful person you are with. I got married 6 months ago and learnt first-hand that a wedding is like any other project or venture, inveriebly you get unexpected support from pp that you didn’t even know cared or weren’t even invited and get disappointed by friendships that may have already been waning from awhile back or prove to be what I realize were more “specific interest” friendships. All you can do is try not to take it personally, like you said, the wedding is a celebration of what the two of you have in each other and shouldn’t be a forum by which friends are expected to justify themselves.

    Re your friends though, if they think it affects their “mental health” and just going by that pp don’t use that phrase every day, is it possible that the number of events really is overwhelming them? Maybe they feel that a bachlorette is already a kind of engagement party and while what the two of you have together may indeed be special, they may not want to celebrate it again and again and again. Organization isn’t fun for everyone- it’s not wrong of you to wish they would step up but it’s not wrong of them to want to feel like guests, either. Just objectively yeah, don’t get mad..

  • http://lovingmoreadventurously.wordpress.com/ InfamousQBert

    thank you for sharing this. we had a REALLY horrible falling out with a girl who was like a sister to me and, 3 months before the wedding, she and her fiancee stopped speaking to us and took themselves out of our lives. i spent weeks being torn up about it, on top of the wedding planning, but, when the day came (just 2 weeks ago!), we had a fabulous time with the people who still supported us. horrible things happen, and people you love turn on you. but, in the end, it is TOTALLY about you and your person, and the people who came to share that day with us all got that so well. :)