There’s a lot of debate out in the Wide Wedding World about the ideal length of engagements (i.e., wedding planning periods). On one side, you’ve got the Longer-Is-Better advocates. They argue that the longer you plan your wedding, the more relaxed the process can be. You’ll have time to search for the best vendors and the best accoutrements. You’ll get better deals, and you’ll avoid much of the anxiety associated with the wedding planning process because you can take your relaxed time.
On the other side, you have the Shorter = More Sane supporters. They argue: The longer you plan your wedding, the more you obsess about details, the more you second-guess your decisions, the more you covet other people’s decisions, the more your wedding has the potential to overshadow your relationship, the more your life becomes consumed by The Big Day, and the more you lose yourself and find Bridezilla. Besides, people can pull together amazing funerals in three days, why should a wedding take more than a year?
When Matt and I got engaged, we didn't do much thinking about either of these camps. We planned a 7-month engagement because it was December and we wanted to get married in the summer (and we didn't want to wait a year and 7 months). It was more about logistics and impatience.
But as the wedding planning progressed, I started to realize that for myself, a shorter engagement did keep me more sane. Wedding planning started to consume my life, primarily because it was fun. I like planning things, especially fun things for my friends. I liked doing all the crafts and choreographing our dance and writing our ceremony.
But after seven months of it, it started to feel like we were devoting too much of our life's energy to wedding planning. Even after we had finished all the major stuff, I started adding new things to the to-do list, just because there was still time: flower pins for the wedding party and a matching bandanna for the dog. And even when the wedding wasn't our primary focus, it was always in the background. It was still The Most Important Thing Happening in Our Life.
When you're swimming in the big ocean of wedding planning and you're getting battered by the waves of the Wedding Industrial Complex and you're getting tugged by the undertow of pressure from family and friends and your own emotions and anxiety are threatening to sink you, it's important to cling to Rafts of Perspective.
Sure it's a cheesy metaphor, but, unfortunately, it's oh-so-true for a lot of us!Here's a Raft of Perspective for you on this fine Monday morning [Editor's Note: The inspiration doesn't start until 51 seconds into it].