Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Breaks in the Action

Although I'm ready to end this engagement and move on to married life (and new kidney life!), there are perks to having an engagement that lasts 15 months. I haven't always felt that way though. There are a few young women at my church and my job, and also my best friend Zarina, that are recently married. I was really jealous of those women because most of them had engagements that lasted six or seven months!  I was jealous because A) they made it to the big day and were now living out there lives as wives with their new husband; B) they obviously had access to more money that I do, so they didn't have to spend months and months saving for the wedding; and/or C) they didn't feel compelled to invite 200 people to dinner, dancing, drinks and merriment.  I think nearly all of these women had less than 100 people in attendance at their weddings. 

You know one thing I really wished I'd done?  I wish I'd had the sense to save a little bit every month, since the first year of college, maybe high school even, for my wedding. I know some people think it's a bit presumptious to begin saving for a wedding that hasn't even been planned yet, whilst not even engaged.  But the part of me that's staring down reception menus showing up to $100 per plate is now kicking myself for not planning well enough ahead. It's not like I was indifferent to marriage. I've ALWAYS wanted to get married. And I've always wanted to have a wedding. These sentiments have not changed or wavered since I was about five years old.  And I've been dating Ben for almost eight years!! So what was my problem?  People save for college, trips to Europe, houses. Why not start early on saving for a big party like a wedding if you know you're going to have one someday, be it at 24 or 44. 

Anyways, in my perfect world, I would have loved to have a short engagement. In the United States, the average length of an engagment is 15 months. I've heard that when you have a shorter engagement, you don't have time to pull your hair out over or be as picky about things.  But one of my favorite things about taking over a year to plan a wedding is that I haven't been planning things nonstop.  I've had whole months go by since last March where I really didn't do anything wedding related. After making our first big decisions (DJ, photographer and date/venue), Ben and I went to Florida. And I didn't do anything else for a month and a half.  And we've had other lulls, I guess you can call them.  Now that the wedding is inching closer, I can't afford to take entire months off anymore (unless I want to kill myself come May). But last week for instance, we had a bit of a lighter load for wedding planning. We set a limit for how many people we'll invite to the rehearsal dinner, finalized a dinner napkin color, and confirmed that I was going shopping for a flower girl dress for Ben's niece to wear to the wedding. 

Then we set up a long list of things we want to accomplish in February.  And it is long!! Ben and I agreed that this month is going to be devoted to ceremony planning, which we're pretty excited about.  My best friend from college is planning to do a reading that we'll be editing together this month, and we're planning to meet with our officiant, my second cousin!  And next week, we'll be spending a very special Wedding Wednesday at premarital counseling.  I think it's a half-day workshop. 

Our ceremony isn't going to be especially long, but I'm really looking forward to it. I know there's a lot of people who, despite their affections for the couple getting married, just go to weddings for the open bar. And as past and future guest, I hear ya!  Open bar is AWESOME. But I also love being able to witness the union of a couple, both people digesting the meaning of each line of the vow they say as they say them,  learning through their readings  and the officiant's speech what it means to them to promise to look after each other forever. I love seeing the unique fingerprint each couple leaves on the ceremony, from the song selection to the participation of their loved ones.  Ben and I are having a Christian ceremony. But even if you have a civil ceremony, it's the moment of making those promises and vows to one person before a group of people that makes this part of the wedding so special. 

Until next Wedding Wednesday, here's a pretty, pretty picture of the pretty, pretty princess who will be covering the aisle with flowers on our wedding day :)