Remember Christine & Derek's misadventurous rainbow hodgepodge of freaks & geeks wedding? Here's Christine with with her solution to a wedding day that didn't go so well.
I didn't get the wedding I wanted and that's perfectly okay, because I'm going to have a wedding every year for the rest of my life.
We chose our original wedding date a year and a half-ish from the proposal. I kept myself from starting the planning process "too soon." I didn't choose my wedding party or my venue or my caterers until a year out. I gave myself what I thought was a reasonable amount of time to make my wedding everything I'd ever dreamed. What could go wrong when we had plenty of time to work on the minutiae?
A year was apparently far too far in advance to choose our wedding party, and we were making changes from start to finish.
Four-ish months before our wedding, my husband and I became a part of a poly triad with one of our groomsmen (not a "problem," per se, but things definitely changed!). Three months before the wedding, our dream wedding venue that couldn't have been more perfect dropped our reservation, so we settled on a lovely but much-less-than-ideal locale. Two months out, our caterer bailed on us and we ended up making all of the food for the wedding in-house. Less than a month before the wedding, my hair and make-up girls both let me know that they couldn't make it. Not to mention all the things that last-minute wedding day snafus. With so much going wrong, it just felt like one blow after another after another.
In spite of all that went wrong, my husband and I had a really great wedding. It was a fun party with many completely perfect moments. The event just didn't represent the things I had dreamed of for my wedding, and I've got as many disappointing and stressful memories of the day as I do beautiful and happy ones. Bittersweet isn't the way I wanted to feel about my wedding. It still isn't.
But, wait. What is a wedding? It's just a ceremony you share with your partner(s), plus a party you throw to celebrate the start of your marriage, right? So… why can't I just throw another party? Have another ceremony where we… wait for it… renew our vows? So what if this will only be our first anniversary, and who says you have to be together at least a decade (or whatever) before you and your partner can remind each other of the importance of your marriage?
So, that's what we're going to do: we'll throw a party to celebrate the continued awesomeness of our marriage. At this party, we'll say some new ones to reflect how we've grown in our marriage, in front of four to forty of our closest friends, and we're going to do this every year.
I know that I'm an idealist in many respects, including this one, but I sorta' love that about myself. Besides, if I'm allowed to have this crazy notion that my husband and I are going to spend the rest of our freaking lives together, why not vow to celebrate our marriage at least once a year? We'll turn every anniversary into an opportunity to get hitched again.
I want more than one chance to have a beautiful day with my husband. It's not fair that so much can go wrong without Ctrl-Z at the ready, and in a world where we can't go back, all we can do is look forward to create a life with as few regrets as humanly possible.
I still want my perfect wedding cake. I want a better guestbook, a seating chart, and a venue that I love rather than tolerate. It took me seven months to realize that I can still have these things. It's not too late to "fix" the things that were imperfect about the "Big Day," because I've decided that I get more than one "Big Day" with my love. I get to make that call, and I owe that realization to Marietta, featured on Offbeat Families, who inspired me with the following: "I wish I hadn't X, but I did, and that's OK, and that's that."
I wish I'd done a lot of things differently at my wedding, so I'll do things differently in the future, and that's that. I've got hope that, like any great annual event, these weddings (renewals, parties, whatever) will get better and better as the years go on — just like our marriage!
Need additional doses of reality?
- It isn't all sunshine and unicorns: Reconciling my wedding expectations with my likely wedding realities
- Our wedding day was not awesome and it's okay
- Open expectations: stop wanting the perfect wedding
Did your wedding not go as expected? How are you making the best of your wedding day disappointments?