I was never one of those girls who had her wedding planned out by the age of ten and since I was never in a wedding until I was an adult in my cousin's wedding, my experience was very limited. I always knew that I wanted something nice, but wanted to focus more on the reason why a wedding was being held in the first place and that is why I didn't collect bridal magazines and peak into wedding shops until it was time. So after the proposal, Mr. Awesome left most of the details up to me and my optimistic and naive self went to work on planning this wedding that I was determined was going to be "simple" and nice. Everyone was going to be happy to celebrate with us and support us without imposing any confusion. Yep. After we came up with the budget , everything else was going to fall into place. It was just going to be that simple.
Between finding out the hefty price tags of the various venues and hearing of the different requests that we "needed" to meet in order for someone else to be comfortable at our wedding, I was becoming overwhelmed fast. I know that weddings are not only a special time for the bride and groom, but also for each of the families. However when all of the requests started rolling in, it was starting to look like we were just going to be the bride and groom at someone else's major film production. I never understood why we were being asked to order the most expensive meal on the menu when the wedding was being solely funded by Mr. Awesome and I. To this day, I still don't understand why someone told me that we would regret it if we did not register for gifts when between Mr. Awesome and I, we had enough kitchen utensils and blankets. I am still baffled as to why the wedding was deemed to be unconventional because we decided not to have ring bearers that probably couldn't care less about dragging a floppy pillow down the aisle. Somehow, someone made it seem as if our marriage would not start off right unless we ordered a china pattern. A china pattern?! How does our use of candles instead of flowers for table centerpieces affect your personal well-being? Why should there be an argument about one particular song not showing up on the play list because it is one of your personal favorites? How is it inconsiderate that the wedding was scheduled at a time of day that you would not have picked for the wedding that you did NOT plan? How did our wedding date selection become something that we needed to consult your personal calendar for? My focus was quickly shifting from the reason that we were having the wedding in the first place and was moving toward trying to accommodate everyone else's desires. I was trying my best to enjoy the process, but was having a hard time with that. Most people were probably well meaning, but did not know how much stress their two cents was causing and I was getting more and more stressed as I realized that I could not meet all of the expectations. On top of the planning, I had just made a major move, changed jobs, changed churches, left some familiar friends and territory and was trying to adjust to it all at one time, while planning the wedding from out of state. Whew. Don't get me wrong, there were some absolutely fun times with planning the wedding, but the process was nothing I was prepared for, even after receiving advice from other brides who had recently conquered the planning. I must say that one of the most peaceful and fun parts was the dress shopping. Ironically enough, I found THE DRESS on a chance visit to a bridal shop that I was just browsing through on my way to another shop. To share that moment with others was a true delight, and one of the most joyous parts of the wedding planning.
The last few weeks before the wedding were so stressful that I begged Mr. Awesome to elope at our honeymoon spot. Our honeymoon spot was a secret kept from me, but all I knew was that I just wanted to get there and unite with the love of my life in a peaceful and lovely way. Forget the deposits, the flower arrangements, the wretched guest list, the grueling menu. That was my attitude about it, but deep down I knew that there would be regrets it if we did not have the ceremony that we really wanted. We did press through the trenches that lasted up through the rehearsal the night before the wedding, and sadly a 14 year friendship with my Matron of Honor finally unraveled the night before our wedding. I needed to get refocused and I prayed before I went to bed. After much prayer, it happened. I woke up very early on the morning of September 3rd and I had a peace that could have only come from above. My heart was full of joy knowing that I was marrying the love of my life. I got up to get ready to unite with Mr. Awesome and I knew that no matter what happened that day, everything was going to be OK. If the cake did not arrive on time, or if my hair did not turn out right, or if some of our guests complained about the food that we worked hard to pay for, it was going to be OK. I didn't spend years praying for the perfect wedding, I prayed for a wonderful mate and that is what God gave me. In the end the wedding turned out to be wonderful and worth the pain that it took to plan it, but the best part was when we said 'I do'.