I did not expect to learn so much about self-confidence when I started this whole wedding thing. (Even though I needed SOME self-confidence to even make the proposal in the first place.) While other people have written about how wedding planning helped them learn to say "no" to people who kept making demands. Me? I've learned to say "yes" to myself.
This is Offbeat Bride's archive of Philosophizing posts.
Sometimes it's just about the big picture stuff. How do you FEEL about your wedding? What does it all MEAN!?
I feel happy in the Tribe and reading Offbeat Bride, because we're all on our best behavior. We're supportive, even when someone does something we wouldn't do. But sometimes, I go and do the Bad Thing where I read Other Websites that Make Me Feel Bad. Why do I do this? Why can't I stop? I think I do it because it feeds the Insecurity Monster inside of me.
I love all the wedding advice about how to look good in wedding pictures. I really do. Aside from senior pictures, when else are you going to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of you in all your glamorous glory? BUT… I am also totally looking forward to at least one picture of me with a massive double chin.
When Eric and I started dating I told him I didn't think much of marriage and I didn't know if I wanted to have kids. I felt like marriage ends in divorce about half the time, and kids infringe on your freedom. Why willingly subject yourself to that stuff? But seeing how much he was there for me during one of the harder times of my life made me trust him so completely. I began to think if he has this much patience and concern for a cat that isn't even his responsibility to take care of, imagine how dedicated and loving he will be to our family.
After three years of engagement, we finally started to figure out what we wanted to do for our wedding. Throw a big party? Throw a small party? Run away? Ugh, they all sounded hard and not right. I wanted our wedding to be special for us, and not be bogged down with anxiety, and feeling like no one was as happy as I wanted them to be. The one thing that kept sticking was pseudo eloping, and it was perfect.
I feel that each of the choices we make for our wedding need to be conscious choices. We need to weigh the comfort of tradition against the statement (overt or otherwise) that it may make. Not every feminist wedding is going to look the same — and certainly one can be a feminist and have a more "traditional" wedding. I don't decide who is a feminist and who is not — I only get to determine how my feminism manifests itself.
As soon as my fiancé and I announced our engagement, there were a number of questions and comments we heard over and over and over again. But I was very surprised to hear this comment repeatedly: "Uh-oh, if you're having a wedding that means I really have to start changing my body so I can be there!" I've done a lot of thinking about why people just attending a wedding feel the need to change their bodies. Understanding their reasons has helped me figure out how to best communicate to my friends and family that I love them just the way they are, and that they shouldn't feel the need to change for me…
I recently watched the Gilmore Girls episodes where Lorelai is proposed to by Max, twice. Once is half-jokingly, to which she responds that a proposal should be romantic with horses and daisies. It made me realize that, over the years, I've had quite a jaded understanding of proposals.
We were at the two-months-till-the-wedding mark, and I was losing it. I've never handled stress terribly well, and I have this nasty habit of taking that out on whoever's closest. I didn't realize the wedding stress and our constant arguments were related. In fact, it didn't even click until I sat in tears on my best friend's bed after yet another stupid argument. She asked me, gently, "Are you sure you want to go through with the wedding?" I realized that I couldn't say yes.
When I got married two years ago, budget budget budget was the focus of the day. This meant forgoing a big expensive dress, keeping costs low on the honeymoon, having a lunch instead of a dinner wedding. Looking back on my wedding, I have no regrets and didn't miss wedding planning afterwards. But then I got invited to be a bridesmaid for my little sister. Upon hearing that I could choose my own dress and shoes, something deep deep within me that had been suffocated since my own wedding has reared its head.
With every questionable-twist of the lip, my matrimony-related-decision-making process, comes slightly un-done and I'm left asking myself; if the decisions I'm making about our wedding, which will ultimately be the bunting-draped rocket that launches us into married life, are the right ones for us? I'm talking about the decisions that dictate how much, and what kind of tradition we'll be incorporating into our marriage. This I know, is the female fiasco that plagues every slightly-inclined-to-call-herself-feminist-thinking bride to ever question the merits of "something blue."