Last week I went a bit MIA because I needed a break from wedding planning. Not because I've been stressed or freaking out about something - actually just the opposite! I've been feeling great lately! Just really enjoying where we are at and getting really excited for the day to hurry up and get here already! I'm looking forward to putting the wedding behind us and moving on to being MARRIED!
It feels like I've found the elusive wedding zen! Lets hope it can hold...
This new zen has come from a major shift in our planning and the fact that my mister is now on board with the wedding.
So that may sound odd. Wasn't he on board before? Kinda. And I haven't talked about this for a lot of reasons. 1) It made me feel dumb. All you blog ladies have seemingly super involved, opinionated, and engaged FHs. Mine wasn't. and I felt like something was wrong with us. 2) I didn't know what to say about it because I was busy trying to deal with it. I hadn't been able to process it and probably didn't fully know what was going on. Its hard to be objective when you are in it.
But now we have mostly resolved that issue and I have processed it and better understand it, so I feel like I should talk about it. This is a place for all parts of the wedding planning process: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the just plain crazy crap that goes on. So here is a story I was avoiding telling. Be warned: this is not gonna be short!
The mister and I dated for 5 and a 1/2 years before getting engaged. We'd talked a LOT about getting married and were just kinda slow to get to that decision. For whatever reasons, it took me five years to be sure that he was the one I wanted. It took me five years to give him the green light and say, "Ok. I'm ready. If you proposed, I would now say yes." (As opposed to the previous status of "take a rain check".) Then we worked out the details of the engagement ring (huge ordeal! not ready to post on this still! lol).
So the proposal wasn't a surprise exactly. I was surprised when it happened but not that it happened. If that makes sense...
Before officially getting engaged, I had already found A Practical Wedding and was already gearing up to start wedding planning. I thought I was so ahead of the game - and maybe in some aspects I was. I was so confident that I could breeze through wedding planning and come out with a simple, relaxed, beautiful wedding that cost around 5,000 bucks with 100 or so of our nearest and dearest. Oh, self, how naive you were!
When we were finally engaged, I hit the ground running with wedding planning. We immediately talked about what was important to us (not going into debt, local food, not being introduced to anyone at our wedding, supporting local vendors, etc.) and what we wanted our wedding to look like (dinner with our first ring relatives and close friends + fun party time!). Then we went into making it happen.
Turns out that, for what we wanted (dinner, 100 people, rented out space), 5,000 was not a feasible budget. So the budget ballooned to 10,000. I freaked out. Lots of tears. We contemplated eloping. But we had already gone through the process of deciding what was important to us and what we wanted. The only thing standing in the way was a few extra thousand. Luckily I had a bunch of savings and my parents were going to cover half that cost. So we moved forward with our original plan, learning to accept the realities of how frickin expensive weddings are.
Within this process, the mister and I made all the major decisions together. Venue, catering, guest list, officiant, choosing to iPod DJ the wedding, etc. There was no decision that we were not both a part of. But we were at totally different places when we thought about the wedding.
I had dove into the planning and become invested in the process. I had read all about beautiful, meaningful, community based weddings on A Practical Wedding and I wanted. I saw that we could have a wedding on our own terms and that it could be somewhere between indie and traditional - that it could be us. And I was determined to get there.
The mister, on the other hand, had not put much thought into it and was very unengaged in the process and was not invested in the wedding. And it drove me crazy! I could not put all the thought, money, time and effort into planning a wedding for US if he was not present in the process. I could not give the care needed if it was apparent he did not care. So what was the deal?
Money. (boo money) The mister hadn't been working much (construction sector was not happening) and was watching his savings dwindle. I was paying for our portion of the wedding and because of this, he did not feel as if he could/should have a say in the wedding. I told him otherwise and tried to let him know that that didn't matter, but to him it did. And understandably so.
So because he was not financially invest in the wedding he did not feel his opinions should be given as much weight. His lack of financial investment dissolved his emotional investment. And without him engaged in the process, I was unable to engage in 'our' day either.
Insert more crying and freaking out and debates about eloping. Insert honest discussions. Insert the mister starting a new job where he actually works 40 hours a week and has the ability to save money. And our planning is back on track.
After many discussions, he now gets that - regardless of his financial input - I need his input in the wedding. It needs to be a day built by us otherwise I just don't have the energy to put into it. And that being emotionally invested in the planning will help him feel more emotionally invested in the day - making it what it is supposed to be - a meaningful day for us.
We are now in it together and planning as a team. We are both (slowly) progressing along our to do list. We have both been crafting for the wedding (check out his awesome work!) and are both going to be able to see the fruits of our labor on August 28th.
I know that the stereotypical model of wedding planning is a demanding bride who obsessively plans the wedding while a spacey groom just shows up on the day without doing anything. But that stereotypical model just does not work for us. I could not function in that stereotype. I might kill someone in that stereotype and that would really mess up the details of a wedding!
So thats my long story. About how at first, I dove into the wedding planning, dragging him along and did not give him time to catch his breath. But now we've found our wedding planning zen together - which will hopefully make for a wedding day also full of zen!
Lessons learned: 1) Communications, as always, is key! I can never say that enough, but just talking it out can solve so many problems. 2) Be sure you are ready to talk it out. We talked about this a lot throughout the last few months, but as I said, I couldn't quite see what was going on clearly enough to be able to communicate it effectively. So we talked and yelled and cried. But once we were each able to communicate our feelings effectively, then we actually made progress. So GOOD communication is key. 3) I'm super lucky. I've got an awesome guy who loves me and wants to marry me. Even if sometimes I'm a nut job. :) I must have been an excellent person in my last life because he is just too good!
PS Hope everyone had an awesome long weekend! Mine was a perfect, relaxing time that nourished my little soul! Canoeing on the St. Croix river on Saturday, celebrating my dad's birthday on Sunday, and chillin on the boat with our besties on Monday. Nothing productive was done and thats just fine by me!