So last week was adventure week on APW, and holy moly, what an adventure we got (whoopsy!). A pregnancy announcement, two posts on weight, and the announcement of our new P&G partnership, and that was just the tip of the iceberg. So for this week, which is a holiday week here in The States, we’re lightening things up. It’s vignettes week. Short stories about planning, weddings that were planned quickly and easily. Good reads, but stuff you can read on your iPad by the pool (as I hope many of you will get to do, since that’s the staff’s plan). So after our discussion of why we get hitched (or don’t) this morning, we have a post from Erin about temporary wedding planning insanity, and how maybe, just maybe, that’s a perfectly ok thing.
It was as I was frantically rubbing WD40 onto the sixty-seventh dusty mason jar—with two-hundred-some-odd left to scrub—that I said aloud to myself in the empty garage, “What am I doing? What is this all for?”
The easy answer was, I was removing labels from the “antique” canning jars (read: awesome and old, but also covered in dust, rust, and mouse detritus from being in an elderly woman’s basement. $100 for 350 of them had seemed like an incredible deal at the time) with WD40, which Google said was the best way to do it. These were the jars from which our wedding guests would drink their microbrew beer, and would also be filled with wildflowers and scattered around the tables at our reception. Obviously. But they couldn’t be used in their current state, as much as I insisted to my guy that a “wash your own jar” station at our reception would be fun for all ages.
This easy answer was a checkmark on my list of “Stuff To Do For The Wedding,” which I realized in the car that morning was three months away (or 96 days, according to my daily email reminder). THREE MONTHS. SO MANY THINGS TO DO AND PERSONALIZE AND CRAFT AND PLAN. With that thought as motivation, I pulled into the Michael’s parking lot to pick up some stationery for signage and ribbons for escort cards. THREE MONTHS. After the stationery, I stopped by several local stores to find boxes to transport aforementioned mason jars to and fro—something I hadn’t thought of until now—and was met by several disgruntled store managers. Apparently, I’m not the only one in need of lots of free boxes these days. Fifteen minutes later, unscathed and with an armful of boxes, I got back in my car—THREE MONTHS—and promptly had a panic attack.
What is it all for?
When my guy and I got engaged last September (and as a longtime APW reader), I thought I was versed in the dangers of the WIC. I knew that it would be so easy to fall down the rabbit hole and be lured into a world of sparkles and money and wedding fluff. We pledged that we would stay true to ourselves and our relationship as we planned this wedding. In the end it was all about the commitment we were making to each other.
Fast-forward nine months, and here we are, three months away from our big day. Every night, as half-finished projects race through my mind and keep me from sleeping, I have to remind myself that a perfect wedding does not lay the groundwork for a perfect marriage. Every day, as just-one-more-thing-to-plan is uncovered, I have to make a conscious effort to keep my (once) level head. My sanity is threatened by the long-lost relative that just has to be invited, and addressing the envelopes for my own surprise bridal shower, and choosing the perfect first dance song, and making just one more decision that—really, when it comes down to it—will not have an effect on our life together after September 29, 2012.
My wedding manifesto could have all sorts of titles, like “How to Plan an Ecumenical Wedding with Opinionated Catholics,” or “Defending Your Nontraditional Wedding Choices,” or “The Challenges of Living with Your Future In-Laws as You Plan Your Wedding,” or “How to Have a Say When You Don’t Have the Funds,” or “Motherless Brides: The Heartache of a Parent’s Absence.” I could write a tome on each title, paper my walls with rants and frustrations and tears and fights, talk until I’m blue in the face about societal expectations and the corrupt capitalism of the modern wedding and how we—all of us—are socialized to believe that this is the Biggest Day Of Our Lives.
But, seriously, what is it all for?
It was that thought that gave me pause, grimy and slightly high from cleaning fumes, in my future in-laws’ garage, surrounded by antique jars. (I know, the scene would be pretty hilarious if I didn’t feel so desperate.) It’s for us. It’s because I love that nerdy, bearded man so much that 350 dusty jars are a drop in the bucket. It’s because he holds my hand when we sleep and makes me giggle and reads to me in Latin. It’s because we’re committing our lives to each other, to hold in the palm of our hands and shape our futures together. And we want those closest to us to witness our extraordinary commitment, the small miracle of fusing two lives together. It’s that simple, and that complex.
Bunting and burlap and pies be damned, he will be my husband on September 30, and all the days after.
The moral here is, getting swept up weddingness is not always a bad thing, and goodness knows it’s easy to do. Maybe we should be swept up—planning a wedding is such a whirlwind emotions and expectations and anticipation, of course my level head has taken her leave. This moral doesn’t do much to relieve my anxiety, and doesn’t really free me from my never-ending list. But it does justify the thought and emotion put into this day. And maybe that’s what it’s all for.
Or maybe the moral is to always use WD40 in a well-ventilated area, or nervous breakdowns and temporary enlightenment may ensue.
Photo by: Cassandra Allen Photography