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

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Guest Post: I Didn't Love My Wedding

by Mindy Wood

I didn’t love my wedding.

I loved having our closest friends and family be a part of our wedding day, I loved marrying my husband, I loved our ceremony, but the reception? Eh.

There were a few details that didn’t go the way I had hoped. I could tell you about them. I could tell you how the glasses I rented spent the night neatly stacked in the kitchen (or on the tables) while my guests were served wine in plastic cups.

I could tell you how our food was set up in a single buffet even though we had planned on having stations. I could tell you that there were white linens spread across tables even though some of my ivory ones were never even taken out of the box or I could tell you that my wedding ended in a music war between the DJ and a group of guests with an ipod.

I could tell you all of those things but I don’t want to because I don’t want you to think I’m one of those brides.

Being the person who said, “Eh, five is a better number than six anyway,” when a dear friend broke an expensive wine glass, I was sure I’d be just as easy going about my wedding.

But the day of the wedding I forgot to print out the directions I had written describing how everything should be set up and decorated (twice actually). I had to start getting ready shortly after helpers and decorations arrived so I needed to hand over the reins and, without any directions, I had to let go and see what happened. Firstly, I want to say how thankful I am for the help of our friends and family in making our wedding happen. Their help was above and beyond and I feel so lucky to have such a great community willing to do anything to help out.

But when I walked into our reception I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I was disappointed that we had put so much work into making our wedding ours; painstakingly analyzing traditions and deciding which ones we would hold onto and which ones we would change.

I was disappointed that the wedding I had envisioned had turned into a hybrid version of what everyone else thought a wedding “should be” complete with formal table settings, a single buffet, 80’s pop music and our sweetheart table front and center (yikes! I felt like we were being stared at all night and could barely wait for dinner to be over!).

When we were planning our wedding we made a lot of sacrifices and changes in the way things were normally done to create a budget friendly wedding without sacrificing all of the charming details. For example I had planned to have the napkins folded in a cute way so that the silverware would slip inside.

The napkins were going to be what defined each place setting instead of a charger or a complete table setting. This was a way to have a classy look without extra dishware (or extra money from the budget!). So when the tables were set with dishware and my guests had to carry their plates to the buffet and drink wine out of plastic cups because all the wine glasses were on the tables, I was embarrassed.

I felt like I had put a lot of effort into figuring out a way to merge class and thrift and now my wedding looked like a less than adequate attempt at a formal wedding.

It wasn’t the disappointment that really bothered me though. It was easy enough to choose to forget about the disappointment (what’s done is done) and focus on the positive feelings, being present and experiencing every moment of our wedding.

But the guilt, that was harder to shake. I felt guilty for not loving all the work that my friends and family (and the staff) had put into our wedding. I felt guilty for not feeling so blissful that I didn’t notice any of those things. And I felt especially guilty that I didn’t see this collective vision of what a wedding should be as a tribute to the great community I had.

I had anticipated having some romantic revelation about my wedding day being perfect in its imperfection, but instead I became soberly aware of the fact that this was just a day, a great day, but still just a day.

It wasn’t until after the honeymoon that I could tell even my husband how I felt disappointed at our wedding because it seemed wrong to feel that way. What lessen was I supposed to take away from this? That the details sometimes do matter? That it’s normal to feel disappointed when your expectations aren’t met? Or, that I shouldn’t have had expectations in the first place? I don’t know. And I don’t know that it matters.

Like any memory though, the bad parts faded away and I started to only remember the good ones, like when my husband’s young cousin said to her mother after our ceremony “did they just kiss? Eww!” Or, that my mom rushed over to help me when my dress got stuck in my chair.

And then there are those wedding day snafus, like that one of the groomsmen ended up in a tux instead of a suit, or that I forgot to put my veil on and didn’t realize it until the next morning or that my dress didn’t quite fit anymore because I accidentally lost some weight (how does that even happen?) that started out as unfavorable but then nestled softly into my memory as some of the most entertaining moments of our wedding day.


Mindy is a writer over at purposefullysimple.wordpress.com. When she's not writing, she's playing outside with her husband, cooking yummy food, or discovering something new to learn about.

REMINDER: Registration is now open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on September 5. Register today!

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Anonymous said...

This is wonderfully honest. And it's also my biggest anxiety about my own wedding.
I wish I could say that I'm just laid back enough that the details won't matter, and that the day is just about celebrating our love - but I want my place settings 'just-so' and dessert table picture perfect too.
Thank you for sharing this post.
Maybe Mindy can look forward to how amazing all her big anniversary parties will be to make up for her lack luster wedding day.

Hannah @ Smith+Scout said...

Thank you for this post, I think that a lot of brides do really feel this way but feel as though they can't admit it.

I loved my wedding, but I do sometimes wish I had had a greater budget or changed my hair or got some photos of certain things.

But I look at the happy photos and look at my husband and I know that that is all that matters, and building our future together really is the most important thing.

Heather said...

The glass thing happened to me, too! And when I asked the caterer about it, she said, Oh we didn't even have to use those! The plastic ones covered it.

So...I rented them why? I was a little embarrassed (I REALLY didn't want my guests to drink champagne out of plastic cups), but in the end it didn't matter.

Annette said...

I think it's perfectly normal to feel disappointed. It seems to me that you have good taste but as the bride you can't direct every detail. It is also exciting to fund genius little ways to save money and still make the event special. I feel fortunate to have a friend who has agreed to be my wedding organizer. I just can't afford to pay someone for the service.

Anonymous said...

Love this! Refreshingly honest. Better not to love the wedding than to not love the marriage :)

Mrs. Pancakes said...

This is a great post...sorry that you didn't like your wedding per se but enjoyed having your friends and family around you..honestly that's the wedding anyway. The marriage is most important!

sabrina said...

I felt this way, too, so its a relief to know I'm not the only one! Nothing seemed to go right on my wedding day, and I had to overlook a lot of things. Once I told myself to "just go with it", I ended up having a happy day and a lot of fun! My mother-in-law always says "It is what it is", and that's kind of how I feel about the wedding. The most important thing is that we're married, not the "party" that we had.

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