Fish Out of Water


This is our Save The Date picture. Kind of sums us up. 



Here I sit, exactly 230 days away from our wedding, looking at my save the date. While most girls would be dreamily envisioning the small details if their big day that they had been dreaming of since childhood and all I can think of is how lost I feel. I am lost in the planning, lost in the process and lost in the details.

When we started sitting down to talk about getting married, my fiance’ and I had very different ideas of what a wedding should look like. My version was more like a quick elopement and a small brunch with only the most essential people there (parents, siblings, maybe a few close friends). His was more like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”: hilarious movie, terrifying reality.

Everyone I expressed my fears and concerns to managed to make me feel guilty that I was keeping Steve from his wedding and said that if I loved him, I would see his perspective and we would have a wedding. Steve and I had many discussions about why it is important to him. It boils down to this: his family has always had weddings. They expect weddings and they enjoy celebrating marriages. We have grown up with such different perspectives, it’s kind of crazy. He has done what he thought was reasonable and made a lot of cuts to our guest list of people he no longer sees or have moved away. This brought us just under the dreaded 200 headcount. That’s where we sit. With that many guests we’re having a wedding.

So I find myself, a textbook introvert with social anxiety, planning a party for 180 people. I don’t even feel comfortable at a party of 10 people that I didn’t plan much less the grand daddy of parties… a wedding. The fun doesn’t stop there, though. My loving other half is now seeing all the obstacles that I tried to avoid. It’s a romantic thought, isn’t it? Two people that love each other just saying that they promise to love each other in front of God and those closest to them and then they share a meal and leave for a week for some time alone. It doesn’t happen that way. That’s a nice story, though. Good try every fairy tale ever.

Instead the final decision to get married comes with categories of smaller more numerous decisions. Weddings come with rehearsals. Rehearsals come with details, dinner and making a plan. Weddings come with showers. Showers come with registries.  Registries come with coordinating an entire home, while we’re still in our temporary home of an apartment. Kind of steals the joy of where we’re at right now, doesn’t it?

Here’s what I’m really struggling with right now in descending order: Cost, details and impact. Wrap it all up and that’s everything but the bow, huh? Everything designed for a wedding has a much larger price tag than is justifiable to someone as frugal as myself. Yesterday I ordered my veil. I was sticker shocked at $120.00 for some tool and lace to sit on my hair for 12 hours! I mean… come on! Everything is so expensive! Here’s why I can’t understand this. What good is it doing us or anyone else? I could use my money to give to someone who needs it, provide, help and save for our future. All these things are greater than a party to me. My heart aches to do good and this is the biggest obstacle I’ve encountered.

The next thing I’m fighting against is the detail of everything. Everyone is asking me about the tiny details of things such as time of rehearsal dinner. Time and place of the shower. And so many other things that I’ve never considered in my life. I don’t have every detail hammered out and let’s be honest, I’m more concerned about what vegetable I’m making with dinner tomorrow when having my sister and her date over than I am over what kind of vodka we are buying for our bar at our wedding 7 months from now. But my anxiety tells me that I must be equally concerned about both and now. I am struggling to refocus my mind on what it is that matters and when, while I have nagging thoughts of our wedding, nagging at me like a tired toddler hanging on the pants leg  of his mother, chatting with a friend. If I just keep shushing it, it’s bound to pipe down, right?

Finally, the impact. I have a spare room of wedding stuff in boxes and in piles. At the peak of collecting stuff for the day of the wedding we will then (so I’m told) be flooded with stuff from our shower. Because we have an apartment and not a house just yet, a lot of the shower stuff will have to be kept in the boxes until we have a home… adding to the growing pile of stuff in our room. After the wedding we will have this conglomerate art installation of boxes that will have to be sorted, unpacked and essentially divided. Does anyone else see the madness to this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

When I got engaged everyone told me that the wedding was about us. Then so very quickly they changed their tune. It very VERY… like shockingly fast, became about the guests and the family. The family wants and deserves a wedding. The family deserves a shower. The family will want x, y and z. I’m a family girl, don’t get me wrong but I’m so much more practical than that train of thought lends itself to. I love my family and Steve’s and I would give them the shirt off my back, make them dinner with the last of what’s in my fridge and stop what I’m doing to help if they needed me but there are some things that are just excessive.

So at this stage in the game, I’m feeling like a fish out of water. I’m out of my aquarium flopping around on the floor in a room of familiar faces while they all tell me how to flop or where to flop but no one offers to put me back in my tank. This is a snapshot of an introvert with social anxiety planning a wedding. I am making decisions as I absolutely have to. I am trying to hold it together with Steve, though he knows the extreme stress this is causing me and he feels some of it too. He feels the financial strain and I feel that plus everything else. And when people ask me about the wedding I try to redirect the conversation as quickly as possible to something that matters to one of us. I am dreaming of my first day of marriage to my amazing fiance’ that has stolen my heart where I don’t have a wedding looming over me. I want a marriage more beautiful than our wedding day.


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