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Here's why I feel weird journaling about The Wedding.

First, I've been single for 27 years, and for a long time have felt irritated by the fact that our culture sends this "you shouldn't be single" message out all the time. Getting married makes me feel like part of that, and I want to wave a flag to all my single friends out there that says, "GO YOU."

Second, I don't like princess dresses, roses, Canon in D, script fonts, forcing bridesmaids to shell out cash to prove friendship, the electric slide, diamonds, matching shoes, etc. So many things about weddings are just nauseating. I need to avoid buying into that as much as possible. I'm a member of one wedding-related community: antibride.

Third... it's like Christmas.

Stick with me here, I've thought about this a lot.

Christmas is a giant corporate over-commercialized consumption holiday that I struggle every year to keep in perspective and remind people what it's all about. Even some "deeper meanings" of Christmas miss the point entirely... it's not about families getting together, or being thankful for turkey, or the spirit of giving.

Christmas is about God sending us a human through which we establish a divine connection to the kingdom of heaven. This phenomenon is something so mysterious and amazing that the idea of us capturing the whole thing with presents, snowmen, and pagan-inspired decorations isn't just silly, it's sort of insulting.

Now, I still do all that... I still give presents and put up a tree because they represent something special and memorable, and in a way they help me think about Christmas by just keeping it in my head for a whole month. I love getting together with my family and celebrating each other and what we have, along with the true meaning of Christmas. But I always wonder if we're getting it right... I always feel sad that some of the meaning gets overshadowed by 20-packs of adhesive bows. I've always struggled to find the balance... material things work great when you want to keep something on your mind all the time, but they also dilute something deeper that doesn't exist in that same space of your soul at all.

Marrying Marc is a lot like that. I worry that people don't understand us. I worry that people see this as a natural, society-endorsed thing to do. I worry that they're all coming to the wedding to see what everyone is wearing. And I mean really, there's a lot to see, we want it to be big, we want it to be obvious that this is an incredibly important day, and we want visual reminders of that, everywhere. But there's also something that I won't be able to convey through whatever colors I pick for the buffet napkins, and that's the fact that I truly believe that God has put Marc and I together for a reason, and that by us being together there is a divine connection between us and the kingdom of heaven. Like Christmas.

I mean, the man made me fall in love when I thought the only thing for me was distance and cynicism. He didn't see my neurosis as damaging like everyone else did, he appreciated me for being individual and embraced all the personality quirks I've got as contributing to that. When we'd be sitting alone bonding and I suddenly got an idea for a website feature and HAD to work on that, he felt proud instead of neglected. When I was stressed out from class and my room was a disaster, he came and cleaned it to surprise me. When other guys told me I had control issues, he said he was sick of men who were intimidated by women who knew what they wanted. Other guys accused me of overthinking movies when I point out how subservient all the minority characters were. Marc would point it out before I did. And those are just the logical things I can point out... there are millions of other ideas I can't explain. Connections, feelings, passion, destiny... all that makes me think this was somehow preordained. And there's always that feeling that we're so happy that the world must be imbalanced somewhere and we're going to set off world war III.

I worry that if I talk about the wedding plans, something might get lost, either now or when I look back at this time. It'll be like looking at Christmas through a store window... so much glass and price tags, not enough thanking God.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 23rd, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
I love you and I love Marc. I love the way the two of you interact with each other. I love that you are both super smart and we have good conversations. I'm so glad I know you. I'm glad that we're both at the points in our lives where we are now. It seems like appreciate you so much more now.

I completely get what you're saying about the marriage and connection. I sort of feel the same way about my Mark, as completely illogical as it is that we are smitten about each other. I'd like to talk to you about it sometime.

I'm so glad that you're getting married. I think you've found a really good person for you.
May. 23rd, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
That is a beautiful sentiment, but I don't think that anyone outside of your relationship can truly understand how special and mysterious it is. For some, Christmas really is all about the presents. And no amount of saying, "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" *shudder* is going to change that. Not that you would ever, ever be so obnoxious.

But it is nice to read this post because it reminds us of what is truly awesome and celebratory worthy. Maybe you could include some of this in the readings or have the officiant make note of your desire to thank God?
May. 23rd, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
Well put lass

A couple of points

First off, while you may not have been married for the last 27 years you have not been single, you have been part of a family, getting married is saying "I want this man to be the most important part of my family"

If you never have kids he will be your whole family, if you hve childre he will be he foundation of your new family.

Also, you can never hope for anyone to see him the way you do, don't try and incorporate that into the day, when we got married we were lucky enough to realise early on that the day is as much about a show for our families as anything meaningful to us.
May. 23rd, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
hmm.. this was the next thing on my list, and it seemed fitting to copy it here:

What's important about the fuss around the marriage... :)
May. 23rd, 2007 06:49 am (UTC)
Nice post.

What does Marc think about it? the marrying thing I mean.
May. 23rd, 2007 10:22 am (UTC)
yo uwant it to be as beautiful as possible. thats part of being able to have your wedding. i understand what you are saying, but to bring it back to perspective... you want it to be as beautiful as possible and remind people of how you feel for one another.

i have been to a number of weddings and they have been stunning. i didnt go to see what everyone was wearing. i went to see the 2 people get married and make that committment.

myself, i worry that people will gloss it over. but you know what? its natural that you want your wedding to be just as beautiful as you want your relationship to be. i dont much think that that is societal. society comes into play when you think about the pricetags and the way that the industry jacks you. you just have to strike a balance.

in judaism, we sign a marriage contract called a ketubah (i am not trying to be insulting by explaining it, but there may be some on your flist who dont know what it is). the ketubah is a religiously binding contract. what i give to my husband and what he gives to me. you are supposed to display it in your home to remind yourselves that you make that committment each and every day. traditionally, they are supposed to be the most ornate and decorated articles that you have ever seen. they are incredible. the prices however, are not.

the thought is that if you have your ketubah be as beautiful as possible, you will be reminded of the beauty of your relationship and of the faith.

i say, make it reflect yourselves, make your ceremony and reception beautiful, and the rest is just icing. i know if you read my lj you will see a lot of stressing. if i had it to do over again.... i would have just picked the date and had my mom run with it.... with >20 days... i have no more energy to devote to being wrapped up in one day. we work on the rest of our lives and our marriage, not our upcoming wedding.

hope that was sensical for 6am.
May. 23rd, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
First of all, it sounds as though you and Marc are a good match. Congratulations on that.

Second, I think I know exactly where you're coming from in your thoughts about marriage. My wife and I, when we were planning our wedding, realized at some point it was becoming more about other people than it was about just the two of us. For this reason, we let everyone know that our wedding was going to consist of five people: us, the minister, and two witnesses (it ended up being six when the minister's wife showed up, but then someone was there to take pictures). We've been married for over ten years now and I've never regretted our decision to do that. Some people, like my mother and some close friends nearby, were put out that we did it, but for me the reason for it was that there was never any question about for whom we were doing it. I don't know that this is the way for everyone, but I do know that I've spoken to several people who wished they had the foresight to have made their wedding more like ours.

Go with your heart. Good luck!
May. 23rd, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this - it hits a nail on the head that I didn't know was there but is definitely worth having in the back of the mind.
May. 23rd, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC)
Bah, forget Canon in D. In the middle of Holst's "Jupiter" (if I remember correctly), there's a fantastic theme in there. That's what we used as our bridal processional, and it rocked.

Alternately, the throne room music from Star Wars...
May. 23rd, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
Second, I don't like princess dresses, roses, Canon in D, script fonts, forcing bridesmaids to shell out cash to prove friendship, the electric slide, diamonds, matching shoes, etc. So many things about weddings are just nauseating.

I got married in a dress accented in black because it was what I wanted. I made my own flowers, selected non-traditional music (screw Pachabel, I played Tori Amos) and just did a lot of things that were considered unconventional because I don't like the commercialized feel of weddings. So many weddings feel fake and plastic, and well, really just the same.

I think what's interesting is you consider yourself anti-bride, and yet you're worrying about many of the same things that many non-anti-brides (wow, is that even a word?) worry about. You're worried people will misinterpret your commitment to Marc, that people will scrutinize anything and everything, and above everything else, what you really want will get lost in the shuffle of everything. This is what every bride, regardless of how big or little, how expensive or how poor, worries about when planning a wedding that goes beyond a union at the justice of the peace.

Having been married before with a HUGE wedding, I'll tell you one thing. The wedding itself doesn't mean anything. Even if everything you worry about is proven true, things go horribly wrong and your guests are bitchy and critical, in 15 years, it won't matter. You'll still be married to Marc, and even if nobody walked away from the ceremony understanding what you two are all about, you both will know. Remember that the wedding is just one day--it's the marriage that lasts a a lifetime.

I want you to consider picking up a book by Laura Wolf called Diary of a Mad Bride. If I had read it sooner (like the week I got engaged instead of the week before I walked down the aisle) it really could have saved me a lot of heartache and headache. It's chick lit (lame) but it does a great job of caricaturizing the wedding-planning process and wrapping up with what is TRULY important. I'm going to be a maid of honor for my friend D in August, and right now she is so stressed out with allowing the wedding-planning to run her life, I finally gave her the book and ordered her not to do one more iota of planning until she finishes it. Amazingly, she has complied.

Bottom line, screw what other people think. My mother-in-law, my own mother and numerous other people tried to talk me out of getting married in a dress with black, for example. But it's what I wanted, and anybody who knows me well understood that it typified me. It was, in the words of one of my bridesmaids, "The most honest wedding dress I've ever seen." That isn't to say I don't have regrets (because yeah, I have a few, although maybe regrets isn't the right word, maybe 'things I won't do again') but rather that I put them into perspective. In a world where my marriage didn't last, it's really kind of a moot point except in the event I decide to have another wedding in this lifetime. Had it lasted, they still would have been irrelevent, because a wedding is just one day out of 365.
May. 24th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
Okay I checked out that book and read half of it while watching marc at roller derby ref practice, and are you sure it's going to be good? The girl in this book is so crazy she's channeling anxiety unto me. She goes from strong sweet anti-wedding career girl to making her assistant call 30 reception sites in, like 50 pages. c r a z y! tell me it'll get more relaxing or I'm not finishing it, it'll give me a breakdown.
May. 24th, 2007 03:50 am (UTC)
Yes, it does. But that's the point of why I'm having you read it. She spends the entire eight months (or however long) before the wedding freaking out, and it isn't until it's almost too late that she realizes what matters and what's important.

The point of the book wasn't to stress you out. I wanted you to read it because it's really funny (I actually laughed out loud at some of the stuff that happened in there) and because wrapped up in everything is a really good message. Namely that the wedding itself doesn't matter and yet every day brides kill themselves trying to put on this huge affair for their friends, families and acquaintances.
May. 23rd, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
In short, what everybody else said.

The long version--
Just because our culture sends out the message that it's bad to be single, doesn't mean that you have to jeopardize your great relationship to take a stand. There is nothing wrong with saying "it's okay to be single" while also saying 'it's okay to be with someone" at the very same time. It shouldn't have to be an "either-or" scenario.

Second, I've been to many weddings that didn't have princess dresses, roses, Canon in D, script font, or bridesmaid dresses. The bride wore a black dress (another wore a red one!!), at another wedding there were no flowers (bride had allergies) and she carried glass flowers instead. I know a wedding that had Star Wars for their exit movie, and another that had Superman theme song! I know someone that walked down the aisle to "Leila" by Eric Clapton (yes, that was her name). I know someone who finished their ceremony with the theme to Rocky!

As for marrying Marc, only you and him will truly understand what it means to get married. Everything else is really just a celebration of what you share. I think those that love you and those that will be at this wedding will see it for MORE than just a society-endorsed thing to do, and they will see the beautiful relationship you vow to uphold.
May. 24th, 2007 02:44 am (UTC)
Here's to WEDDINGS!
On the other hand...weddings are an occassion where people go out of their way to join together in a community spirit to celebrate the joy that you two have found together. And the thing about that community is that it is bigger than the group of people that you hang out with on Friday night. We touch so many people on our life journey. And so many people touch us -as people grow into adulthood they may not even know all of the people who have reached out and contributed something positive toward their lives. Considering all of the tragedy in the world, the opportunity to share joy and happiness at a wedding is a blessing.
This wedding cannot become the commercial fiasco that some people imagine it could be. First of all there is a budget and it is mostly given to provide delicious and safe food to serve to the wedding party. Secondly, there isn't enough time to spend on too many details. Thirdly, we have various opinions about many things, but there are shared core family values that guide our thoughts and planning. We just want to celebrate how much fun it has been to share this life journey with the incredible Ms spacefem. Finding the one to share your life with is darn special and worth a little effort to take notice and get all excited about!!!
So here's to the wedding! Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple. Love, sfm
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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