Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wednesday Wedding Day: I've been to some weddings

The first wedding I remember attending was that of my youngest aunt. I was about four and was one of four flower girls (my other cousins around my age also had that honor). Each family had a color; my family's color was yellow so my dress was yellow. It was a Catholic ceremony, so there was a lot of standing and sitting and kneeling, and I remember very little of the reception other than lots of balloons and running around with my cousins.

The weirdest wedding I ever attended was that of my cousin who is about six months older than I am. We were both 18 at the time and she and her boyfriend had decided that since their best friends got married, they could do it as well. The church was in a fancy suburb of San Diego; it said JESUS in giant gold letters both on the outside of the big church and also inside above the altar. During the ceremony, much was discussed about Jesus being the center of their relationship, and also people were asked if they accepted Jesus as their personal savior. I didn't raise my hand. My sister and other cousins that weren't of the born-again branch were a little weirded out by the whole thing. We got to eat rubber chicken and they did the dollar dance. Mostly I was just completely blown away that my cousin, my same age, was ready (and willing) to Get Married. Geez. I was having the time of my life in college; why would I possibly want to tie myself down to someone like she did?

I've been to weddings for two of Dan's cousins (one in California at a winery, one in Colorado in the mountains) since we've been together (both were very nice weddings). I've been to church weddings and non-church weddings; weddings with booze and shindigs completely dry. I've been to two other my-cousin weddings (one Jesusy, one where Jesus was not invited) and a few friend weddings. One of them had deer wandering around behind the gazebo during the ceremony, but the reception was just OK (make-your-own sandwiches, no booze, uninspired music). One of the best weddings I've been to (in terms of events and also just overall atmosphere and ambience) was that of my friend Sara, who got married several years ago and I still remember the food, who was there, and how cool the rain sounded outside while we inside were cozy and warm and happy to see Sara and Ron get all marrified. I know it was kind of a bummer for them, since they were expecting to have an outdoor garden wedding, but I can't imagine any day better than the one they had. Plus afterward, they had an after-party at Sara's mom's house, and Sara wore this gorgeous white suit. I kind of drooled a little. I only hope our wedding is as awesome as theirs was.

When approaching wedding planning for our wedding, Dan and I only had the weddings we'd attended to go on when deciding what to do and what not to do. We knew that our biggest priority (other than the actual getting married bit) was to make sure our guests had a good time; that we throw a good party. So no long wait between ceremony and reception. Open bar (wine and beer; we're not made of money!) No long, drawn-out ceremony. I wanted to get married outside, and our venue provides both indoor and outdoor possibilities (can't discount rain; we're getting a tent to shelter the outdoor part in case of inclement weather - our wedding is 2 weeks before Sara's was, calendar-wise). We're not spending a lot of time, effort, or money on froofy stuff that will never be used again - I can't remember many favors I've gotten at weddings that have actually been worthwhile, other than a mix cd and soap, so we're just not doing them. Nothing is being thrown; nobody is being given away, no veils will be lifted, and Jesus can come if he likes but he's not getting an invitation. We've been working for months on a most excellent playlist, as we both have years of experience making mix tapes/cds, setting the mood for a good, fun, danceable party (no DJ to make people stop dancing because he's playing too much ____).

But part of me is worried, I guess. Worried that our plans are less traditional than people expect, worried that people won't enjoy themselves. So much of what I read online about other people's weddings involves what they want or what their families want; is it weird for us to consider our guests? Or are we focusing too much on other people? I had my first wedding anxiety dream in a while last weekend. In the dream, all kinds of little things were going wrong - I hadn't seen my dress since I ordered it, and when my sister pulled it out for me to put it on, the accent color was the wrong color. No big deal, right? Except nobody had made my bouquet, so I had to recruit someone to make it and teach her how to make it while doing my own hair and makeupw. Everyone started arriving, and I was nowhere close to ready - my hair wasn't done; I'd forgotten my wedding shoes so I had to find some other ones that might suffice. The photographer was late and didn't show up until after the ceremony was supposed to start. In the middle of everything, my dad wouldn't leave me alone, giving me a card and insisting I read it while I was trying to get ready and herd cats and whatever else needed doing.

Of course, in real life, stuff will either go wrong or it won't. If my dress is wrong, I'll deal. If the photographer is late, there will be other people with cameras. Someone (me? maybe) will be making bouquets the day before; I don't want much and it won't be complicated. Someone needs to tell my subconscious that whatever happens, it will still be a good day (even if it rains, right Sara?) as long as we're married in the end, and people have a good time. We can't afford a fancy photo booth or a mariachi band that takes requests or a magician or fancy personalized everything. It's not going to be matchy-matchy or Martha-Stewart-y. We hope it will be full of love and joy, with people who love and care about us, and we hope a fun time will be had by all.


Yank In Texas said...

The wedding is one giant party and celebration and the real important thing is the marriage after. Keep that in mind and I think everything will be fine.
You seem to have the right attitude. If you have fun, trust me, most others will have fum. (There are always those who won't and all.)

Sara said...

Aw, you're so sweet!

All of my wedding anxiety dreams were the same: it was the day of the wedding and XYZ wasn't done. Guh.

I wouldn't worry about other people's reactions a bit. You're strong enough in your convictions that doing things your way is the only way you'd feel good about doing it. If that makes sense. We had a lot of people at our wedding who probably thought the exact same things you're worried about - in fact, I know my in-laws were upset that Jesus wasn't invited - and I seriously don't/didn't give a shit. It feels good! :D