You would think that I would have more to write about the wedding planning process. And this is all I really have to say, “Is it here, already, damn it?” For example, I cannot adequately describe the amount of time I have discussed the centerpieces, the centerpieces that people will look at for about five seconds before they raid the open bar and cut into their filet mignon. I try to imagine myself appreciating the centerpieces from the vast amount of weddings I have attended. I don’t recall myself saying, “You know, the dancing was great, the bride was beautiful, and the bartender was a hottie, but did you see those centerpieces??? That made my whole weekend!” No. This does not happen. Unless you work for Martha Stewart. Or if you are Martha Stewart.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited to get married. I’m all about a great celebration and marrying the love of my life. But I’m also a bit over the planning portion of the experience. Pinterest, I have discovered, is the root of all evil. And so is TLC and Bravo. They purposefully produce shows that makes the 8-18 month planning period of a woman’s life a complete wash. You forget all about your identity as a person. You become a bride. You react emotionally over the littlest things. Your brain does not shut off. It picks up where you left it, as you drift off into an anxiety-filled sleep, your DJ’s voice ringing your head, “the deposit is due in two weeks…” and thinking about what to put in guests’ hotel room bags (Cheezits or Skittles?). I have also started to have “wedding dreams”. In my latest dream, my mother wore this flimsy sundress that maybe Janet from Three’s Company wore and cut her hair super short for the wedding day. In another dream, my oldest brother brought a 75-old date to the wedding (who may have been Wiccan) declaring that they were going to get married that day, too, her in all of her long, gray-haired glory and full hippie dress. I also dreamt that someone knocked the unity candle over in church and set the altar on fire. All of this, of course, says to me that the day will go swimmingly and be beautiful. These dreams are only a reflection of my own representation of anxiety.
People ask me…”Overwhelmed, yet? Stressed?”, where I respond, “No, but now I am!”, convinced that I should be walking around in a daze, wringing my hands over things like the groomsmen’s ties and where to get my dress steamed. Here is why the devil is in the details. Because this whole wedding racket our society has going on causes you to forget the reason you are putting on this shindig in the first place. Because you found someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Ohh….right. I forgot about that. The other day, I was talking on the phone to my mother for a good half hour about the reception, the centerpieces, and the day of details for hair and make-up. After I was able to take a breath, she responded sarcastically, “Now, will Jeff (my fiance, you know him as Good Will Green Eyes) be coming to the wedding?” Where I then retorted, “Who’s Jeff?”
But, see that’s my point. When you are so busy worrying about fingertip or cathedral length for your veil, or the color scheme for the tablecloths, or if you should serve the filet or the prime rib (always go with the filet, prime tends to be more fatty), you forget about the person that’s going to be at the end of that aisle. Whom, may I add, has been a terrific sport during my emotional times of throwing myself dramatically on couches, floors, or anything that I can fling my arms about on because something did not go my way, or because my hair trial didn’t go well, or that I didn’t order enough invitations. Which only solidified the fact of why Jeff is such a perfect match for me. He dishes it right back to me, bringing me out of what I like to refer to as “my special place” of over-exaggerated dramatics and unsavory language.
Yesterday, I got thinking about the celebration of that moment where people declare their love and commitment to one other. And what a completely intimate moment that is for about 150 people or so watch you do. No one was there to hear Jeff ask me to marry him. No one was there for our first kiss. No one was there when I told Jeff I loved him for the first time. No one was there to watch me cry about past heartaches on his shoulder. No one was there to watch him cry at Love Actually. (that probably was one where he would rather have kept intimate. Sorry, hon). But this moment of a wedding celebration is what brings all those intimate moments crashing together into one day, one hour, one moment. And that’s what gets me a little nervous. It’s challenging for us to be intimate in front of one person, let alone a hundred other people. You get intimacy stage fright. You think to yourself, wait, are people looking at us? Why, yes they are. And they should be. You invited them to do so.
So I thought some more about it. I thought about all the times I had wished that my past boyfriends could be more like Jeff. The funny thing was, I hadn’t met Jeff yet. So in the past, my sentences to friends had ended at “I wish that he could have been more…more…well….you know!!” And now, I know. Because when I met Jeff, it all made sense. It all came together into so many million little moments that added up to him being good for me. For us being good for each other. So, naturally, when that happens to any of us, we want to share it with others. It was well worth the wait for me to complete that sentence…and Jeff came along just when he should have. And when I think about that, I’m not nervous anymore. Because at the end of the day, it’s just about two people loving each other, throwing a party and having fabulous centerpieces.
There is no doubt that over the next few weeks, I will have to calm my nerves, probably throw another mini-tantrum or two, acting like my head is going to spin around like Linda Blair in the Exorcist because the flowers weren’t the color I envisioned or I forgot that one little detail I had overlooked and need to fix immediately or the world spins off it’s axis. But then I will remind myself that beyond the details, there lies that intimate moment in time where I say “I do” to someone I have waited all my life to say it to. No matter if it rains, snows, or the cake falls over, I’m still marrying Jeff. Because after the guests go home and we stumble back tanned and happy from the honeymoon, it’s only the beginning. There will be no “Now what?” but instead a, “I can’t wait until what’s next!”.
And that’s a wedding toast I can live with. Cheers!
Copyright Leah A. Flynn, 2o13