Planning our wedding felt amazing in the beginning. Like a gorgeous little secret. We’d shared the engagement news – everyone is usually thrilled over engagements – and we were starting to knock off lots of the big things on the list.
Deciding what we want our wedding to be, the guest list, the venue, food, entertainment – all fun and exciting and easy. The dress, perhaps the easiest of all: my mum’s dress from her second wedding, a stunning gold silk gown I’d fawned over for more than 10 years. We knew we wanted to do lots of it ourselves, so we were eagerly planning DIY projects and imagining all the ways we can make the process, as well as the day itself, as fun as possible.
Then we started actually inviting people. Sending save-the-dates, actually. And suddenly, people felt part of the process, felt they had voting rights in the process. As it turns out, some of those people who had been over the moon about the idea of our wedding weren’t on board with the reality of it being our wedding, our way.
The word “why?” kept trying to roll around my head, but I know why. Weddings will always be a catalyst for drama, particularly that special brand of family drama that has nothing to do with the couple themselves.
It really blew my mind to realise there are people who believe (or act as if they believe) that being invited to or involved in a wedding is a right instead of a privilege. I’ve been on the other side too – an old friend’s wedding where I wasn’t involved in a way I thought I would be – but the idea of piling that on her during her time of excitement was ridiculous. Even the fact I felt sad at all filled me with shame, the last thing I wanted to do was bring those feelings anywhere near her. My disappointment never for an instant outweighed my happiness for her or my conviction that her wedding should be exactly what she wants (or as close as it could get). When it was my turn, I was overjoyed that she accepted my invitation to be one of my bridesmaids, and it didn’t matter what happened before. In the end, none of it matters except being married to the person you’ve chosen.
Since we got engaged, Jake and I have made a point of talking to our married friends and family about what it’s been like for them – from engagement, to the wedding, and the marriage. Everyone has such wonderful advice and insight, and the beautiful thing about it has been how everyone’s experiences are both unique to the couples and also bound by universal truths:
- there will always be at least one person who isn’t happy with how you’ve chosen to plan and execute your wedding;
- most of those people will never say it to you, but there’s usually one person who thinks it best to be vocal about their opinions;
- those people are almost never the ones who matter the most to you;
- despite the most meticulous planning, something – or many things – will inevitably go awry on the day. Just roll with it as best you can;
- if at the end of the day you can look at the other person and go “yes! This is the person!” then you’ve nailed it.
I went into the wedding planning process with one mantra and it’s held true for me: those that matter won’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter.
With every new twist and turn in the planning process, Jake has proven himself to be a true partner. He’s been involved with as much of the planning as possible in between touring and work. He gets excited about wood-burning our DIY favours, and the dip-dyed cutlery, and choosing our wedding songs. He hears me and comforts me, gives my fears space to breathe and dissipate, and he’s always got a silver lining ready for me when I can’t see one.
Jake conducts himself with such boundless patience and grace I can’t help but be inspired by him every day.
He’s the one I choose to love me and inspire me for as long as he’ll keep me around. And nothing about this crazy planning process could change that.