Image: One Love Photo


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Monday, August 30, 2010

#74: What Happens When You Don't Like Your Wedding...

                                                 Me, stressed.

Four weeks after the big day, I'm finally beginning to have warm and fuzzy feelings toward our wedding. So I guess you could say that I loved that day. But let's be clear - I didn't like it. And there's a big difference.

Perhaps you were hoping that I would say "It was a beautiful day - everything I imagined!" or even "It wasn't perfect but it was perfect for us!". Well. I don't have those feelings, which is probably both startling and uncomfortable to hear.  But this kind of thing happens to brides more often than you'd think.

On our second day at our honeymoon timeshare in San Francisco, I found myself crying. I realized that I hated our wedding - that I spent a year planning it, months blogging about it, and thousands of dollars to execute it only to be sorely disappointed.

What triggered these feelings? On the honeymoon I was on Brian's iPhone looking at all of the wedding photos that my friends had posted on their Facebook walls. Photos that made me feel like a turd. Photos like this:

Why did these photos make me depressed? Because I realized that I was not nearly as happy as my friends were on that day. I don't recall laughing with people, chowing down on second helpings of BBQ, taking silly photos, or dancing by butt off (which was one of the 3 major things I had hoped and expected to happen).

What was I doing during our reception? Wishing I had hired a day-of coordinator. A person who could have:
  • Handled the caterer's Oops-we-ran-out-of-food-1-hour-into-the-BBQ dilemma. 
  • Arranged the carpools for the several guests (non-drivers) who needed to leave early.
  • Made sure that the drinks were mixed properly so that we WOULDN'T run out of alcohol 20 minutes into the reception.
  • Insisted that I not leave the party for 30 minutes to take photos.
  • Went off to find the people and items I needed when I needed them.
  • Made sure no one accidentally got stuck at the iPod all day taking song requests. (Sorry, Joe.)
  • Run around like a crazy person so that I wouldn't have to. 
Because yup...I did ALL of that.
    That day I was also wishing I had hired a bouncer. A big, brawny bald dude in a muscle shirt and dark sunglasses who could come between me and any person who wanted me to run and fetch Brian at the other end of the farm so that they could take a photo of us. A bouncer would have said something like: "Sorry, Kim has to get her groove on. No photos until the end of the reception. Meet in front of the barn at 5pm for further instructions."

    But with no day-of coordinator, no bouncer, and no balls to say "No, I'm not doing that!" or "Sorry, you'll just have to wait," or "Can someone please take care of this for me?" or "Would you mind finding a ride home yourself, or perhaps waiting until your designated carpool driver is ready to leave," I ended up feeling like this for about two-thirds of the party:

    But I'm not just writing this post to moan and complain. I'm writing this to share with all of you what I learned from not liking my wedding so that we can all come away from this a little bit wiser. 

    You see, guidance came to me in the form of a DVD rental during the honeymoon. There is a scene in the film Avatar when a character notices signs from nature instructing her to act in a way that was contrary to how she wanted to act. And this got me thinking:

    What lesson was I supposed to learn from my wedding day? What was God trying to show me? I wanted to be aware of the signs and trust them, much like the Avatar character did.

    What I've come to realize is that I still have so much to learn about setting boundaries with people, saying no, and not feeling responsible for everyone's feelings. I thought I had already learned these things, and I was proud that I had improved in those areas. But...

    The universe has a way of putting a challenge up to your face just to check and see if you really got the lesson. And what better way to shake some sense into me than to teach me a lesson through an event that I would pay such close attention to?

    I've also come to realize that I was my best and worst self on my wedding. I was silly, warm, funny and grateful for the first half of the day, but throughout the second half I was wishing I could say no, worrying too much about what others were feeling, and mentally beating myself up instead of being *present* and aware of the good things that were happening right under my nose.

    We are always our best and our worst selves at any given time. And that's all we can be, really. Because no one can escape from who they are, not even if they throw down 10k and put on a fancy white dress. All we can do is accept who we are and strive to be worthy of the love we receive in our lives.

    But as I said at the start of this post, I loved my wedding. No...actually, I choose to love my wedding. It's not a special day because you get everything you want; it's a special day because it's all yours. And your partner's.  

    The events of that crazy day will never happen again. It is as it always will be. And I choose to love it. Because it's like loving the house you grew up in - it's not where you'd choose to live now, and it's not decorated the way you'd want to have your current home decorated, but you love it because it was once YOUR home. I could also say that loving our wedding is like loving the child that Brian and I will hopefully one day raise - he or she won't be perfect, or be able to poop gold, or have kick-butt mutant powers with bionic senses, a genius mind, and angel wings so that he can fly us across town to get to Target before it closes...but that lovely little thing will be all OURS to care for.

    And that's how I feel about our wedding; I didn't like it through and through, but I love it through and through. And I think I'm cool with that.


    1. This was an excellent, excellent post.

      Brave Bride = Honest Bride

      Thank you.

    2. Damn girl this post takes some guts. Thanks for this :)

    3. Wow, Kim, this is probably the bravest thing I've read in the blogosphere for awhile. *hugs*

    4. Go, you, for choosing to love your wedding in spite of some serious dislikes. (Nobody should have been bothering you about rides, for example!)

      As maybe I said in earlier comments, I enjoyed the reception, but my young man did not. We were not together for a lot of it, which was strange, and everyone was all considerate of me and not so much of him. He's been able to concentrate on the things that he _did_ enjoy, but he still has some anger.

      BTW, the picture of you guys coming through the door is adorable!

      And I think we need a post about crying on the honeymoon! (I did something similar for a slightly different material reason, but the emotional reason might have been the same.)

    5. HUGS! I love the honesty in this post. Though as one of your guests I just wish there was some way more of us could have fulfilled the bouncer/coordinator roles for you so you could have felt more present at your reception.
      And the ceremony was one of the most REAL, PRESENT and AMAZING I've ever attended.
      Love you Kim!

    6. got me thinking... maybe i didn't like mine either. but i sure did love it. and i'm okay with that. i still have fond memories and some photos to look forward to receiving. and i feel you on the day coordinator. a friend of a friend volunteered... and if i didn't have her, i would have totally been a mess. stress and all- you still look very happy in that shot with your hubby. that's the good stuff right thurr.

    7. Kim babe, this post is why I love you and your blog.

      Now I'm regretting already having chosen my fave post for facebook!

    8. Thanks for writing this. My wedding is in 2 1/2 weeks (!?), so I needed to see this ... I had already planned to give my cell phone to someone else at the wedding, but I may also make sure that people know to NOT come to me about stuff ...

    9. @ Erika, Kerry & Sharon - Thanks. :) Although if I were brave *during* the wedding day I wouldn't need to be so brave when it came time to writing about it. Oh well - better late than never, right?

      @ fangsandclause - My guy had a strange experience at the wedding as well. Not nearly as disappointing as mine or your guy's, though. I think it's pretty difficult NOT to have lots of expectations about a wedding.

      And yes, crying on the honeymoon...I might be writing more about that. I don't want it to get too depressing around here but I think it's important to be real about the range of emotions we feel throughout the wedding process.

      @ Steph - Thanks, girl! I know that people would have gladly helped had I voiced my need for it. And I'm grateful for the tons of help that I DID receive. But you live and you learn, ya know? It's not like I've ever planned one of these before, so you know...

      @ Angie - I was inspired by your post on wedding day regrets. I was like "Hallelujah, someone out there knows what I'm talking about!" And there's also this wedding blogger's guilt that I have - you know, not that I'm an expert on weddings or something, but that I talk a lot about being grounded and brave and I couldn't quite be that way at my own wedding! Sheesh. But one thing's for sure: I LOVE being married. Seriously. And that's what matters.

      @ Moz - Thanks for support, lady.

      And that "favorite post title" thing on one is doing it! I've got people who joined the contest but no one posted a title. Oh well! I'll take that as "I love all your posts and can't decide on a favorite."

      irisira - Good luck, girl! I was only on my phone before the ceremony started, but to be honest I could have used a phone throughout the reception so that I didn't spend so much time running around the farm looking for people! But if you don't want to carry a cell phone you'll at least need a day-of coordinator. Just my 2 cents. :)

    10. @ irisira - Oops, I forgot your @ above. You deserve one, too! ;)

    11. Wow. Such an amazing post, Kim, thank you!! It's a hard thing to talk about, but so important to reflect on it. And it's given those of us still waiting (two weeks, yikes) some insight into the whole mess. <3

    12. Well said and very thought-provoking, Kim. Thanks for being willing to share your lessons.

      I would have to argue that you always need a day-of coordinator, but they don't have to be hired. Weddings are a weird thing where you're hosting, but also the guests of honor, and you need logistics to be someone else's job. I haven't actually had the wedding yet, but I have a "stage manager" and several designated deputies for troubleshooting. I also have very capable bridespeople, and plan to let go, but we'll see how I do on the day!

    13. @ Anonymous - Good idea. And you're right, you don't necessarily need to have a paid coordinator or "stage manager". (Although your volunteer should be someone you feel comfortable giving a to-do list to...and is someone tough/ patient/ cool enough to handle your expectations.)

      Good luck! And please keep me updated on how it all goes down. :)


    Babbling about weddings is so much more fun when people babble back. :)

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