better or worse

What is the purpose of a wedding anyway?

As a girl, I envisioned the fanciness, the awe-inspiring grandeur as the movies make it out to be.  More so… when I thought of my wedding, it was really about the PEOPLE you love and the HAPPINESS that came along with it.  I saw the wedding as a ridiculously overpriced party with tons of food, smiling, laughing, dancing, a gorgeous dress, a fabulous husband, and a large crowd of supportive friends and family.  At 26 years old, engaged, and about to be married, I still want those things.  Yet, I didn’t see myself struggling so hard to get there.

Now that this “Big Day” is approaching for me, I’m left with several conflicting feelings of dread, stress, disappointment, nostalgia, and during rare moments, excitement.  It feels like a lonely place to be because I don’t seem to find my issues reflected in the glossy wedding magazines, colorful Knot website, or dream wedding shows.  When people ask me “How’s wedding planning?”, I feel like a freak for not being more giddy in my response.  Sometimes I completely fake it.  The only place of solace are through conversations with other real-life brides.  It’s like meeting another wounded soldier who survived the same battle that I’m about to face.  An instant connection is formed – one based on encouragement & empathy.

The biggest shock for me in getting engaged and beginning the wedding planning was how it drastically changed (or perhaps unveiled?) the relationships in my life.  It forced me to evaluate who were the most important people in my life.  Who to include in this whole planning process.  Who will truly be by my side for such a significant occasion in my life?  Who will truly support me in my decisions?  Who will be consistent?  For better or for worse isn’t just for your life partner; it applies just as much to your other loved ones.  It was a test of some sorts for many of my relationships – both friendships and family.

For the sake of some confidentiality, I won’t list names, but I will say with great disappointment that some of those relationships failed me.  There was a great deal of emotional conflict that arose in the first month of my engagement – family loyalty, selfishness, old history, lost friendships, etc.  In hindsight, I believe that a majority of those issues arose because other people had selfishly harbored issues of their own and decided to use the engagement as a catalyst to bring those issues to the surface.  Funny enough, life was just fine prior to when J asked the question.  So, was it REALLY about me?  Or was it about them?  Sadly enough, no one ever warns you that a wedding could potentially be destructive to your relationships… or to your mental health for that matter.

In the past few months, J & I had some major talks and decisions to make.  How much of our own happiness are we willing to sacrifice for the sake of others’ happiness?  And how much of it is ours to claim?  We’ve realized, with much disappointment and sadness, that it will not be given to us easily.  As much as these people say they care and love us, they love themselves – be it their pride, ego, or traditions – more.

Honestly, I’m pretty tired of walking on eggshells around others’ feelings, especially for an event that’s intended to be mine & J’s.  Compromising is one thing, but losing perspective is another.  I know the difference between support and selfishness, and as much as I hate to say this about people whom I love – it’s downright selfish.

If happiness is our goal, then I’m determined to make sure that’s what J & I deserve and demand.  For better or for worse.

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7 Comments

Filed under Bridal blues & bliss, relationships

7 responses to “better or worse

  1. Carol

    *hug* It’s a tough job to plan it, but I know you will be super happy on the day of. 🙂 Let me know if you need a wedding photographer, hun. Cindy, who you met at Ridge, is a wedding photographer, and I shoot with. I also shoot with a few others I can recommend, as well as some recommendations that I just follow but don’t shoot with. 🙂

  2. dieselbird

    P- hang in there. 🙂 I’ve seen & experienced the causalities of wedding planning and weddings first hand… and it was quite a shocker to me too. But on the bright side, you find out who your real friends are and how strong your friendships are. Change is inevitable, and sometimes I find these catalyst events very welcome as it helps shed some unpleasantness in our lives. But in the end, think of the bright side– it will be your day to shine! =D

  3. yeah… your wedding. i wish i could be more help to the both of you during all this. truly an very important and life defining time for the both of you. believe in the bright future Twin and I’m sure you’ll get your fairy tale wedding.

  4. Hiya!
    I know what you mean, both first hand and through watching other brides and their traumatic events. I was worried when I started planning how things would unfold for me, especially when it came time to asking friends to be involved. (I have a few reservations about that and things have the potential to be a little more dramatic, but I keep telling myself, it’s one day… don’t let it bother me if someone isn’t ready or wanting to make it as big of a deal for her as it is for me. It sucks because some of my friends have been so excited, involved, and supportive… and others haven’t even emailed me.) Anywho, as for the wedding planning itself… do what you want to make your day regret-less. If some people are asking you to compromise some things, prioritize what you really don’t want to change… and then let others have their say and input on other things so they don’t feel like their opinion has been completely shut out. But also people will understand if you don’t give in to their every demand… unless you have a really traditional family. Then you might get a scarlet letter branded to your purty lil just-wed face in the eyes of some family… but they should just get over it.
    Honestly, everyone will want to give their input. Don’t let it bother you and don’t feel obliged to listen. But for those who ARE in on the planning process, be straight with them on what you expect and maybe even give them a heads up on potential problem areas so you can tackle them together?
    It’s a big day… but it’s just one (rather expensive) day. Don’t let it have too much of an effect on other things.

    Just my two pence… Hope things are going well. Btw, how’s wedding planning? 🙂

  5. d

    pline, I’m here if you ever need to vent. I know how sucky it is to try and please people that are important to you when they don’t treat you the same way. They love you and I bet they’re just losing perspective on who this wedding is for…

    ❤ I'm free to do a wine (whine) and cheese night! 😀

  6. Thanks everyone for the well wishes, advice, and support! It is all very appreciated 🙂

    After a very good discussion with my fiance, we both decided on our priorities and what we can agree on compromising a bit on with others. It sounds a lot easier than it is in practice (as I’m sure Marge can attest to), and I imagine having this “big picture” conversation once in awhile to remind myself of it.

    While my rebellious spirit at times wants to just break away from the tradition and expectations, I know that it’ll be important for ME to demonstrate perspective… even if others lose it!

    If I survive a year to plan this thing, make it a special day for J & I, and come out of it unscathed by relationship damage – then it’ll be a victory.

    If not… bring on that Scarlet Letter!

  7. hang in there girl! excuse me in advance for being cheesy but you’re a survivor and happiness is yours to claim. when your wedding day comes around, i’ll hope to capture all your happiness in a flicker 😉

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