I fancy myself an individual. I mean, I reckon we all do. I fall in the minority with a lot of the things I like, at least when you compare me to the rest of our culture. I have a tattoo of Abraham Lincoln, raccoons are my favorite animal, I love horror movies, I have seven troll characters in World of Warcraft, and there are many, many, many of us who share these qualities.
And while no one has been shaped by the same life events I have, the concept of truly being "unique" is one that we rest a lot of importance on. We seek out ways to express how special we are, whether it's through the clothes we wear, or what hobbies we take up, or any other of the countless ways we say-without-saying, "I'm an individual!"
I always figured I wouldn't have a "typical" wedding. I'm a modest, geeky, tomboy of a girl, and I felt a good guideline for planning a wedding would be incorporating things that make me happy.
My favorite season is autumn, so of course we'd get married in the Fall. I love the colors orange and brown, so why not use those as wedding colors? We found our venue because a friend of ours mentioned a restored barn that was perfect for our needs. I have a stupid affection for drinking out of Mason jars and that seemed to fit with the barn so we're handing them out for our guests. Chris didn't want to rent a tux, so we had a vest and pants custom-made for him. I didn't feel comfortable in a big damn wedding gown and I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a dress that I'd only wear for a night, so I opted for a lovely, simple dress from David's Bridal that was well under half my budget. It swishes around behind me and it makes me smile when my toes peek out from under it.
I didn't know jack about weddings when I started out planning for all this. But if I've learned anything, it's this…
Fall weddings are SUPER popular (I always thought spring and summer were the peak seasons). Orange is "in" this year. Barn weddings are MAJORLY posh these days. And Mason jars/the vintage-rustic feel is actually like a THING as of late. Hmm.
Recently, I was congratulating a Facebook acquaintance on his engagement. When I asked where he was getting married, he told me it was the same barn that Chris and I had booked. Later, upon posting about getting Chris' suit made at a fancy place in St. Paul, the same Facebook fellow revealed to us that he was getting his suit made there, too. And today, as a final kicker, the barn posted photos of their first wedding (which took place last weekend), and the bride… had my dress.
There are an estimated seven billion people in the world, repeats are going to happen. Some of them make for unlikely coincidences, and some of them make for really happy occasions.
Personality to the wind — I am not running this whole shindig as uniquely as I thought I was. And up until this point, I've let it roll off my back, because I like what I like and who the eff cares if what I happen to like is trendy right now? And I know my dress isn't the most individual of dresses — there are 20 pages of reviews for that very dress on the website. It's just not something that ever stuck in my craw because it's what worked for ME and I love having it on. It's a great dress.
But after I saw it, I went back to the drawing I was working on and I just kept, pausing and staring off into space. It was hitting me that the wedding I'm planning isn't as "offbeat" as I was thinking it was going to be. What does that say about me? Are people just going to think I'm doing this because it's the "in" thing to do? Is mine going to be "just another wedding" that people go to?
And then another coincidence hit: the groom in the recent barn wedding photos? His name is also Chris.
And THAT'S when I realized how ridiculous I was being. There are an estimated seven billion people in the world, repeats are going to happen. Some of them make for unlikely or crazy coincidences, and some of them make for really happy occasions — like the circumstances that led Chris and I to start dating in the first place. And those are the important ones.
Chris is an incredibly common name for the western world, but Chris made that name his, by being himself, by defining what "Chris" means in the context of him. We take a common ground — an interest, a hobby, a character, a creation, and no matter how many times it's been done or pursued before, we make them ours.
Chris and I will make this wedding ours. And the people who matter most are the ones who are going to know that the things we're doing are a reflection of us. And it's going to be awesome. And it's going to be another amazing day in the history of many amazing days I've had with Chris. It doesn't matter how many weddings happen in that barn before ours, it doesn't matter if one million weddings occur on September 28th because Fall is someone's favorite season.
This is who we are, this is how we've chosen to host our party, and if any of the elements in our wedding have been replicated in other weddings, then I bet it made for a really flipping beautiful day. Good on them. Good on us. Bring it on.