Planning a marriage instead of a wedding

Guest post by Jana
Once she announced us Husband and Wife the Zelda Item sound played and Eric's Bestman held up a "You obtained Wife" Sign.

Unconciously, I have two conflicted self-images: Jana the Bride — prim and proper, lovely and dignified — and Jana the Wife, or as I want to be, “the Wifey” (I believe there is a difference). After years of reading Glamour, The Knot, and Brides.com, Jana the Bride kidnapped Jana the Wifey, tied her up, put duct tape on her, and threw her far into my subconcious. Jana the Bride tried to convince me that Bride and Wife are the same thing. That wedding and marriage are the same thing. Bull shit.

Jana the Wife wanted to wear a great dress, to look into her husband's eyes, claim her love, loyalty, and life to him, then dance the night away with the best food ever, care- free, with the best pictures a girl could dream of.

Jana the Bride, for some reason, wanted embroidered napkins, perfect plates, champagne colored champagne glasses (lol), exquisite decor, a fabulous venue in a far far away, impossible location — one that none of her family could afford. WTF, JANA THE BRIDE!? Are you insane!? YOU can't even really afford that.

My priorities got majorly fuckered up. I have decided now to not throw a wedding. I have decided to throw a marriage. I am no longer going to be a bride in all of its “impossible standards” glory. I am going to be his WIFE. I will throw my wedding HERE. I will have a dress I love, even if it's not pearlized, beaded, strapless, blindingly white, and oh-so-perfect. I will wear a dress that I think I look stunning in, have my auntie make my wedding cheesecake, dance the night away in my husband's arms while the world fades away. If things aren't perfect… well, I'm an artist, imperfections ARE perfect. If the speakers go out, I'll get one of my fifty cowboy cousins to blast music from their pickups. I will have my perfect marriage. And I will set my damn priorities back in order.

I am a changed woman — a wife-to-be instead of a bride-to-be. So ladies, I propose to you to join me, and throw a marriage, and not a wedding.

Comments on Planning a marriage instead of a wedding

  1. This.

    Ha, I had about a good two months last summer/fall where I was like “Argh! It’s not pretty enough!” And then I facepalmed myself and chided vain me on being vain. Then I revisited my colorful/goofiness and was thus re-satisfied.

  2. Glad to see this on here! Our wedding vows reflect that a wedding and marriage are not the same thing, nor can a wedding make a marriage work (because that’s what I thought the first time around).

  3. HELL YEAH!
    Let’s start as we mean to go on shall we. Once married I’m not about to freak about the tiniest things like each one will mean the end of the world, why be like that about our weddings?

    Thanks, I’ve needed this pointed out to me lately between worrying whether my favours will get used, if my food will satisfy my picky family and whether the headpiece I picked will “go” enough with my dress.

  4. Aaaand this is why I visited this website daily when I was planning our wedding- it helped me remember that I was getting MARRIED not just having a wedding. Hooray for perspective!

  5. Why is there a difference? Why is there a Jana the Wife and Jana the Bride? Shouldn’t it just be Jana??

    I am planning my wedding by what I think represents me as a person, what represents my fiance as a person, and what represents us as a couple. Why is bride vs wife vs self even different?

    When you get married, just because you are a wife doesn’t mean you are going to be a different person. And just because you are walking down the isle doesn’t mean you are going to be a different person either. You are still you and you and your significant other are still the same couple.

    You are just you and decisions should be made on that… not what metaphorical hat you choose to wear.

    • Soooo you haven’t had a crazy bride moment yet? Or felt the pressure of what people expect? Or wanted far more than you really need? The point of this is finding the sanity and strength to realise that to set ourselves straight.

      • I’ve been planning this wedding for over a year and have 3 months left… and I can honestly say I have never had a crazy bride moment. I have just been me and done things based on who I am and who my fiance is. I am not different people in different situations… I am only me.

        I think I see the point of this article but I don’t like the solution to the problem. You still shouldn’t make decisions based on wife you… that’s still just another hat. You should make decisions on just plain, ol’ you.

        • I think it’s just terminology. I’m pretty sure you could replace Jana-the-Wife with Jana-being-herself-how-she-wants-to-be and Jana-the-Bride with Jana-under-the-influence-of-WIC.
          Resisting fashions, expectations, and keeping-up-with-the-joneses don’t come easily to everyone.

          • That’s kinda exactly my point, thank you! Jana-the-bride is like playing dress up, I WILL however be his wifey, it IS who I am, and who I will be and I’m revamping the wedding accordingly 😀

        • You still have 3 months to go. Give it a little more time. The crazy holy-crap-how-will-i-get-everything-done-in-time and the overwhelmed this-isn’t-how-i-planned-it part of you will show up soon enough. I didn’t even know I had that kind of person in me. We didn’t even really plan; just let things kind of fall into place. But with a month to go, that crazy organizer inside me peeked her little head out and reminded me that not everything is in place yet.

          Fortunately, I’m marrying the most wonderful man in the world and have the absolutely most amazing mom who both reminded me that it’s not my job to make everyone happy at our marriage ceremony. And in the end we will be married and that’s the whole point.

          Now if I can just remind him that getting engraved Klingon phoenix knives for groomsmen’s gifts is not required either, we’d be good to go 🙂

          • Considering that 90% of my wedding is planned and ready… I am pretty sure that bridezilla moment will never happen.

            Sure there is always stress when there is something big but I have never lost sight of who I am or the big picture. I am me no matter if I am single, engaged, or married.

            I just get tired of women on wedding blogs across the internetz identifying themselves by who they are with or their status in life.

            Like I said before, I see the point but I don’t agree with her solution. Concentrating on being a wife is just shifting the focus of the obsession instead of rising above it.

  6. I’ve heard this exact advice before – from my grandmother. It was probably the best wedding/marriage advice I’ve ever gotten.

    • Grandmas/Nanas/Mawmaws in general are AWESOME. I knew my honey was the one when my Nana started calling him my hubby on the first day lol

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