Much to the dismay of the multi-billion dollar wedding industry, I’m one of those women who has never dreamt of her wedding. I have conjured many (often unspeakable) fantasies about the man I will marry, a money-is-no-object honeymoon, a home of my own, and children I will conceive—but a wedding day? With a dress that costs as much as a human kidney in the black market?
But when I got engaged, I have to admit that I got excited about the idea of a wedding celebration—something in the fall, outdoors. It’d be small, but we’d serve brunch food, because who doesn’t like brunch food? I had created, in my mind, an obnoxiously Pinterest-worthy wedding.
The problem was that we had to have the wedding where my in-laws live—a teeny tiny small town literally on the opposite side of the country from where my then-fiancé and I were living. We tried though. My fiancé found a gorgeous old house that was converted to a community center, but it wasn’t for rent. We tried proposing renting the grounds—but it was quickly shot down by his parents because of the “weather.” No doubt about it—being across the country while planning a wedding was a headache. But the fact that I didn’t see eye-to-eye with any of his family members on what the wedding should be made it a lot worse.
While looking at venues, we were sent to a poorly lit, tacky banquet hall where the carpets hadn’t been updated since the 1980s. Unfortunately, because of convenience, my in-laws had their heart set on that venue.
Truth is, I did show enthusiasm in the beginning when we were looking at venues, but any glimmer of excitement fizzled out pretty quickly at my in-laws’ insistence of the venue. With the venue came the food—which, since my wedding reception is now over, was easily, the worst food I’ve had this year. I mean, I could have catered a fast food buffet at the reception and it would’ve tasted better than the mess that was dished out.
It’s not just the venue though—almost all decisions were taken away from me. The only things I had a say on were my dress and my vows. All the decisions I made were veto-ed. My man, since he hadn’t planned a wedding before this, listened to his parents, because he figured they’d know better. Everything, from flowers to photographer, was decided by my parents-in-law.
I am, in no way, a passive person but for some reason… I lost the reins on this one. Maybe I didn’t bother to put up a fight because I didn’t have to fork out much money for the wedding. Maybe it’s because we already had a smaller celebration with my family before the reception.
Out of the two hundred guests we had at the wedding, only twenty of them were mine. I kept making disclaimers to my guests—as though to let them know that my taste is not that bad. Of course, my friends weren’t fooled. One came up to me and said, “I loved the vows, but there is no way that you planned this wedding.”
It’s funny though, because I didn’t have a hand in planning most of the day, I also wasn’t affected when things didn’t go smoothly. I shrugged it off and said, “It wasn’t me.”
Did I have fun on the day? So much. Would I remember it for life? Definitely. Should I, on hindsight, have fought harder to make the day more “me”? Not at all. Not all fights are worth picking, and in many ways, this was my in-laws’ son’s wedding day.
Some people fight for their dream wedding. Considering the fact that I have a very bold personality, the passiveness that I had whilst planning the wedding was uncharacteristic of me. I’m not like that at work, or in my marriage, but I didn’t feel the need to fight and make an otherwise positive relationship that I have with my in-laws a negative one. I was contented that I had people I love around me, and that was it.
My wedding day wasn’t magical; it wasn’t everything I’ve dreamed about; it wasn’t mine. I wanted a marriage, and I got it, but here’s hoping I get the honeymoon I want.
THIS POST ORIGINALLY RAN ON APW IN October 2015.