I'm going to a wedding this weekend and I'm feeling just a little jealous.
It's been over two months since my wedding. It was everything my partner and I could have asked for, in four hours of pure awesome. The professional photos are stunning and capture how very “us” it was. The wedding I'm going to this weekend is also very representative of the bride and groom — a guitar-themed, tequila-shooting wedding.
But a guitar-themed, tequila-shooting wedding is definitely not me… so why am I having wedding envy?
I've been at odds with myself over my wedding because of a disconnect I had a hard time articulating until recently. Planning a wedding is planning two events that happen at the same time:
- Getting married and starting your life together, and
- Planning what might be the biggest, most amazing party you'll ever have the opportunity to throw.
My partner and I kept the “starting your life together” part in sharp focus throughout planning: we wanted to be surrounded only by people who are active parts of our lives that we know love us and support our marriage, our cheese shop reception showcased a location that's been important in our relationship, we kept the reception short so we could have a lot of alone time our first married night together, and so on.
But these decisions were directly at odds with throwing a crazy great party. Most of our friends from high school and college weren't invited. There wasn't adequate space for a dance floor or a DJ. Our venue didn't give me a blank slate to work with for decorations or a theme. We weren't there with our guests long enough to do more than eat and chat a bit. This wedding I'm attending this weekend is an open bar, live band, dancing-all-night extravaganza where two people happen to get married. Part of me wishes we had done that.
But… if I had done the crazy-party wedding, I would still have regrets.
The fact is there are 20 weddings I could have planned, and they would have all been authentic to me somehow. I'm still mourning my “Star Wars bash,” my “colored-dress elopement,” my “big elegant ballroom feast,” my “beach destination wedding,” my “skydiving vows,” the “straight-off-Pinterest, purple, style-shoot-worthy glamour-fest,” my “Lord of the Rings dress-up party“…
Out of all of these, I chose the “intimate, short-and-sweet, white-dress event.” And I chose it because it's authentic to me AND the person I married, whereas the others would have only represented only one of us.
I'm still a little sad that a wedding is a one-time event, and that we won't ever get to get married as Han and Leia. While it didn't phase me at all on my wedding day, I'm disappointed now that our chocolates were blue instead of teal because if I only get one wedding, it should have been perfect. But I'm getting over it.
We might not have the same budget, but we can still find a way to throw a kick-ass party sometime down the road. We only got one shot to start our married life the way we wanted to, and we nailed that.