Amanda & Jess

*Amanda, Marketing Manager & Jess, Claim Team Manager*

As we finish this week of talking about the in-between space, Amanda’s wedding graduate post seemed like exactly the right fit. It’s about how, for her, nothing changed after the wedding, and that was just fine. She loved her wedding for what it was, and she didn’t require any more from it. Perfect.

I thought I’d feel different. Like a wife. I don’t. I feel like me with an extra sparkly ring on my finger. My dear husband (J) still looks and acts like he did when he was a guy I met through MySpace… like he did when he was my boyfriend… and when he was my fiancé.

Our wedding was beautiful. People noticed the little details: my beautiful brooch bouquet, the programs-as-fans, my amazing dress.

I didn’t cry nearly as much as I thought I would. I didn’t have a “moment.” I leaned over to J during the reception and said, “Is it bad that I don’t feel different?” He said no, that it was probably a good thing. For a while, I thought, “Am I missing something? Shouldn’t I have had a moment at our wedding?”

To be honest, the memory that I keep going back to the most from the whole wedding weekend is when I was sitting alone in our kitchen on the morning before the wedding, listening to my Glee Pandora station and singing at the top of my lungs while I finished little tasks. That moment encompassed all the happiness I was (and am still) feeling.

And then there’s J’s ring. I keep catching a glimpse of it on his finger. Even after two months, it gives me goosebumps and makes me smile. But I feel like I let the WIC deceive me about what the wedding was. Even though I was reading APW during my engagement, I still thought the wedding was something BIG that would change me. Now I realize that it was:

  1. A great reason to throw a party with one hundred of our closest friends and family
  2. A unique opportunity for those people to express how they feel about us by being present
  3. A way to make us legally a team

I’m glad we made the decisions we did. Ribbon wands? So not necessary. Handmade centerpieces? Worth the paint on our hands and garage floors, and worth keeping all that money in our pockets. But the most important decision we made? Getting married to each other. Being a wife rocks, even if it doesn’t feel all that different.

The Info—Photography: Alan Mermelstein /Venue: Starfire at Scottsdale Country Club / Amanda’s Dress: Allure Bridals / Amanda’s Veil: Joyous Illusions

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  • Alicia


  • Remy

    Still about six weeks out from the wedding here, but with none of the stress or anxiety I’d been led to expect. (And I’m not complaining!) I read anti-WIC threads like “Let’s talk about what being engaged is REALLY like”, and I’m baffled. For me, it’s just like going along with life, with an extra fun project that will culminate in October. Although I’m happy to be in this relationship, and I feel stable and secure and in love, my sense of self has not changed by becoming engaged (more than a year ago), or by registering our domestic partnership. I don’t have much reason to think that having our wedding will be an enormous change, either.

    I’m glad to see this post and have some of those feelings recognized. APW reminds me that this marriage process is different for everyone — or at least, there ARE different paths and that it’s okay not to follow along the one(s) you hear about the most.

    • Amanda L.

      Wedding grad author here…

      “For me, it’s just like going along with life, with an extra fun project that will culminate in October.”

      This was how I felt about our engagement, too! Though there was definitely a difference between ‘pre-engaged’ and ‘engaged’ for me. I felt more stable and at peace once we got engaged.

      • carissa

        Yes. I definitely felt a bigger shift in our relationship getting engaged than getting married.

        • Same here. I found that getting engaged for us was actually about making the commitment to spend our lives together and all we needed from our wedding was to formalize and legalize that commitment. We had a very rough 10 month engagement though, with lay offs, a trifecta of deaths, two unfruitful job searches and an unplanned but necessary move to a new city. Going through that and learning how to support each other in the hard stuff was like a trial by fire, so actually getting married was a little like “yeah, I know you have my back. let’s make this legal”.

          • Yes! This, Exactly: “I found that getting engaged for us was actually about making the commitment to spend our lives together and all we needed from our wedding was to formalize and legalize that commitment.”
            Things had really come together for us just a few months before he proposed. Our relationship was … solidified. After the proposal, it was like the next step of our lives began. We really began planning our future.

  • Katharine

    Your dress WAS amazing! I just realized I wore the same one for my wedding (but without the strap)… never thought I’d happen to recognize it in a wedding grad post though!

  • Another Kate

    Great post! Simple and well said.

  • Lisa

    Exactly! When I got married, I feel like the biggest change was not between us but how friends, family and society in general suddenly viewed us. Like somehow we’re more legitimate as a couple now. And although I feel a greater sense of permanence and teamwork, not much has changed.

    I never knew how to answer people when they started asking, “how’s married life?” If I was being polite, generally I’d just say, “Good!” – but every now and then I had to be honest and tell them, “you know, not much different.” I think sometimes they were taken a little aback by that… but I’m glad I’m not alone!

    • Definitely not alone. When people would ask I’d tell them we were saving a lot of money on gas now (we lived 12 miles apart, I can’t imagine driving that as often as we did with today’s gas prices) and we were having sex. But otherwise life was the same.

      If that was my actual experience, why does that not seem like a valid response?

      • Lisa

        Haha, love it.

  • Linny

    I love this post! My wedding was 3 weeks ago & I feel the exact same way.

    It was a hell of a party.
    We looked really pretty.
    We were, are, and continue to be happy, only now I can stop using the awful “fiance” word and get used to “husband”.

  • It took a long time for “wife” to feel different to me. For us the marriage was just such a natural step that the wedding wasn’t a big huge life altering singular moment. It’s only looking back now that I can notice the course change that it had on my life.

    And three years in I still love looking over at his ring.

  • H

    My delightful fiance described the terms “boyfriend/girlfriend”, “fiance/fiancee”, “husband/wife” this way, and I quote, “Well, it’s not as if you’re not my girlfriend anymore. You still are. You just have multiple titles, like level ups.” And I think that’s about right. You’re not losing anything – you’re gaining something in meaning. But those previous descriptors have their own meanings associated with them. And you can’t gain the next one until you have the last one. So neither of us really minds fiance/fiancee, nor did either of us mind boyfriend/girlfriend, nor will we mind husband/wife. And I think that feeling is kinda reflected here with the inbetweenness. You don’t lose that which you had before, you just add other stuff on top, kinda like sediment being deposited, but you can’t see those layers until a river cuts through them and exposes the Grand Canyon.

    • I like the way you put this! We’re definitely in the space between, legally married since June with our wedding in December. We were only engaged for two months before the civil ceremony, but dating for three years before getting engaged. So we both default to boyfriend/girlfriend for each other’s title, then try to correct it, but aren’t sure what the title even should be at the moment. In public we say fiance (we didn’t make the civil ceremony public information, but haven’t made a huge secret of it either – it’s extremely common in the military, so nobody here finds in strange) but in private, he usually refers to me as his girlfriend-wife-fiance. Going on the layer idea, that’s actually completely accurate!

      • Remy

        Oh, we have this, too! We’re RDP in California, with a wedding coming soon… on the day we signed our paperwork, I found myself referring to her as my wife in a casual conversation, and then getting tripped up by our not having had a wedding yet. She LOVES calling me her fiancee and her wife, while I’m 100% okay with partner and sometimes default to calling her my girlfriend when I want to come out and fiancee/fiance won’t make that happen verbally.

        Our wedsite says it like this:

        “We’re already partners, and we will continue to be after we’re married. We may also refer to each other as “wife” (although “sweetie”, “honeybear”, and “my main squeeze” will be just as frequent).”

  • lindsay

    Uh, yes 100 times. To everything. This should have been in the taboo week, because I feel like NOT feeling that magical special feeling of amazingness could be considered a taboo. At least by the people who feel it (or I suppose, don’t feel it). Is it weird to feel totally indifferent when I think back on my wedding two years ago? I’m glad we’re married and life is great, but my wedding was never a huge significant thing for me. My marriage is, but my wedding was not.

    And 200x yes to the “How’s married life?” question. “Regular,” I’d usually say back.

  • Anne

    It’s like you read my mind. Yes, our wedding was awesome and wonderful and sharing it with our entire community was an amazing experience. But married life has, for me and my husband, thus far remained basically the same. I, too, kept expecting that I should somehow feel different, like I’d been through something monumental. However, while I do think marrying my husband will be a monumental thing in my life, the wedding itself wasn’t like that.

  • “But the most important decision we made? Getting married to each other. Being a wife rocks, even if it doesn’t feel all that different.”

    Amen!! And congratulations. :)

  • Adi

    This is actually what I hope for. I like how we are now, but I want the legality and the fun party and the public commitment. But for things to change? Nope.

  • beautiful wedding!! the venue is awesome :X

  • Congratulations!