Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Year in Review

When you're swimming in the sea of bridal shoes, centerpieces, favors, white dresses, bridesmaid dresses, up-dos, and cake toppers, it can be easy to lose sight of the shore. In fact, you sometimes lose all control and get swept away in the current.

I feel for you. Wedding planning can be a very stressful and taxing time. There's a big party to plan, family complexities to cope with, friendships to maintain, pressure from the Wedding Industrial Complex to dodge, a relationship with your partner to build, and real life to keep up with (just to name a few stressors).

It can help to step back and remember that the wedding is the start of our marriage, not the grand finale.

While Matt and I were planning our wedding, we were also looking for new jobs, buying our first house (over a thousand miles away), coordinating a move, considering a new dog, and balancing our Montessori certification courses with full-time teaching.

After our wedding, things didn't get any less stressful. Soon after we moved into our new home in Houston, Hurricane Ike hit, damaged our home, and left us without power for 14 days. Then our dog got out of his collar, ran across a busy street, got hit by a car, and went missing for nine hours. A few months later, both of our cars were stolen.

In light of these life events (which were mild compared to more tragic things that could have occurred), our wedding didn't seem like such a big deal after all. Sure it's a meaningful and memorable shining star in our memories, but it's now a memory. What's left is our commitment to each other to be the best partners we can be, day in and day out, regardless of the challenges we face.

The wedding is like the icing on the cake*. It gets licked off. Therefore, we have to focus on the cake of our relationships--the substance--because that's what will be left when the icing is gone.

(*Please excuse the imperfect metaphor. The cake gets eaten, too. I was trying to think of something surface that comes off and then leaves something substantial behind, but I'm drawing a blank!)

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megan said...

ike was such a stressful time for us all. i can't believe it's already been almost a year. are you going to any of the remembrance events in Galveston? there's 5k run on Saturday i figured matt would be into.

i'm sorry so much happened to you in such a short time period. if you can get through all of that stress, you can get through a lot in life. like i was telling my friend last night, you have to reslolve to be a team and to work with each other, not against each other. sadly, so manly relationships don't work that way...and when it's stressful, there's no foundation to weather the storm.

Jessica said...

I think the cake is a good metaphor. While licking the frosting is a momentary, I'll be it joyful occasion, The cake takes much longer to savor. And if you put as much hard work into the cake as you do the frosting, you will want to savor every bite!

CRR said...

Maybe the metaphore you were looking for was a present and it's wrapping paper. The marriage is the present, that lasts, the wrapping paper is very pretty and nice but is ephemeral.

Sarah said...

Love it. We're planning our wedding and trying to buy a house too, and people keep asking about the wedding planning and we're like... well, it's on back burner because everything else is happening! We're mot worried-- wedding blogs spurred us to get a lot of the biggies done early on, so we're in fine shape so far. It's not just a huge concern since we're treating it largely like an awesome party! ;)

Marian said...

First a metaphor: moss on a stone. It is soft and lush and really pretty, but it pulls away so easily. What's left is a solid foundation that is hard to chip away at. (I also like the wrapping on a present. And mmm... cake.)

Second: You are so right! It's easy to lose sight of what's really important sometimes. There are times when the stressors in life seem so much bigger than you, and it can be very difficult to refocus and breathe and remember that you are a team with your partner. You are there to help each other, no matter how angry or upset either of you may get.

A Los Angeles Love said...

This is what we're trying to hold onto too. The day after the proposal, we got really bad news about family. It puts planning and weddings and marriage in perspective FAST. Life happens, we find joy (and icing) where we can, and we use a solid foundation (maybe stone-ground wheat bread?! ha.) to ground us along the way.

jes [a mountain bride] said...

oh I just love you Sara. Seriously. I wonder sometimes that if weren't for you an Meg my whole outlook on our wedding and marriage would be a lot more generic...and more focused on performing a production for our friends/fam instead of building a strong foundation with which to help shape our life together.

you're my lil ray of SANE sunshine.

Katie said...

I like the "icing on the cake" metaphor! The title of your blog caught my attention -- my wedding was around $2,000 as well. Wasn't easy, but it was super small in the mountains. Worked for us, and we've been enjoying the "cake" ever since! :) Best wishes!

megan said...

SH! i feel your pain. we just closed on a house last week and when people ask about the wedding we're like "ummmm...everything big is taken care of and we'll get the little details out of the way later. like, when our bank accounts aren't being bled dry."

it's fun though and it's great to have a home to call your own. one day at a time! a believe me when i say that closing is STRESSFUL.

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