Last winter, I thought it would be a fine idea to be in school, have a job, write a masters thesis, and get married all in the same six months. Oh, and maintain my life as a mother to a pre-teen, no big deal. When I look at my calendar from that time, my eyes ache from all the color-coding and multi-tiered organizing. But I did it. My degree is posted, my thesis is published, I am a master, my career is slowly building in that direction, and I got married in a big ceremony with a reception for 150 people! Still, why on Earth did I feel like we needed to get married sooner than later? And how? I know I’m not alone; lots of people plan weddings at the same time that they are in school or moving across the country or building an empire from scratch. APW frequently celebrates weddings planned in three weeks, six weeks, four months; I feel a mixture of jealousy and admiration for these affairs. But when I hear about engagements that are a year or longer, I roll my eyes. (Clearly, I need to work on some issues.) Sincerely, I didn’t think my life was going to be any less busy at any given time, so might as well get married too. Getting married in the winter seemed romantic. And, even though we knew technical changes would be minimal, we were ready to be married.
I did it, but I don’t understand exactly where I found the time to manage it all and get a reasonable amount of sleep—which I did do, for my sanity. So I’d recommend that you get enough sleep… but I can’t exactly explain where to find it. My husband and I shared a Google calendar. I hired a wedding planner. Perhaps most importantly, I did my best to abandon perfection. This applied to school and the wedding. Once a decision was made, we didn’t second guess it or look at any more options in that department, whether it was flowers or food or location. My wedding planner helped by keeping a lot of our options narrowed down to two or three vendors from the get-go. As for school, I had to trust the fact that many many many people graduate school with less than perfect GPAs (I’m pretty sure there’s some George W. Bush jokes in here). I did what I could, and it turned out to be good enough. I even missed some classes, and that turned out to be okay too.
When I think about that time, I appreciate that our actual wedding planning was not as difficult as it can be, and it was certainly less difficult for me than it was for some friends who were planning at the same time. However, I still wish I could remember the planning as an enjoyable period instead of a tiresome one, more or less. Is that even possible anymore? Was it ever possible for anyone, I wonder. I think I expected one more thing to do on top of everything else would not be a struggle, but I think it’s time I start admitting to myself that that way of thinking doesn’t work for me anymore.
Step-by-step logistics notwithstanding, how did you plan your wedding with the rest of your life happening? what went into deciding the length of your engagement? how do you feel about it in retrospect? Would you do it differently if you could do it again, or is your life always going to be full, so “go big or go home!”? Is this all a part of the larger picture that represents a problematic society addicted to being busy, or am I thinking too much?