Getting married is incredibly complicated.
Wait. Scratch that.
Getting married is pretty straightforward: two people, a legally-recognized officiant, some I dos, and boom, you’re done.
Weddings, on the other hand, are pretty damn complicated.
Bryan and I got engaged back in December, and ever since then, I have been walking this mental tightrope, trying to come up with a wedding that will please everybody.
Mistake numero uno.
Here is the hard truth: You cannot please everybody. So you basically have to please yourself. (Wait…)
Bryan and I (okay, I) went back and forth a lot about what we wanted. Something casual including both our rather large families? Something tiny including our immediate families only? A straight-up elopement? Over the past three months, we have seriously considered each of these options. We settled on option one, even setting a date (and writing about it on our other blog, like it was a done deal, oh, silly Jessica), before I had a mental breakdown and wailed to him that all I wanted was a small wedding, all I wanted to do was elope. And we were on the verge of doing just that. Of telling everyone that we had changed our minds.
But then, an epiphany.
I struggled, with what we should do. I am very close to my immediate family, and the idea of not having them there when we got married was abhorrent to me. I cringed away from it. I thought of how excited my sisters are to be bridesmaids, and how crushed they would be if that didn’t happen. How it would crush me if they were crushed.
So elopement was definitely off of the table.
And then I started thinking about my extended family. It turns out that I’m pretty close to all of them, too. Always have been. How could we have a wedding that excluded the people who have played the biggest roles in my life? How could we have a wedding without the aunt who basically acted as my second mother for my whole life? How could my sweet and wonderful grandmother not be there?
So then a small wedding with immediate family only became a no go as well.
Leaving us…with what we were originally going to do in the first place.
But the thing is, I’m glad that I had a bit of a detour into Crazyland, because it really helped me put into perspective exactly what I wanted from our wedding, and which values were the most important. Clearly, family was a biggie. If I had really wanted to elope, and that was truly the best thing for us as a couple, those things wouldn’t have stood in the way. But they did. They barred the paths for us, until there was only one solution.
So what did I learn? If you start from a place of “everyone must be happy” then no one ends up happy, least of all yourself. Compromise is king.
Now I can stop thinking about it and start planning the damn thing.