One day this past summer, my boyfriend and I were sitting on an old, wooden swing overlooking the pond on my grandparents’ farm. There were tea lights floating out on the water and tiki torches lighting up the shoreline. “This is it,” I thought to myself as I swigged some cheap cabernet from a plastic wine glass that came with our picnic set. I turned to him, “You know, we could be on this very swing overlooking the same pond in 50 years. Ever think about that?” It was coming. I knew it.
“You really think this swing is still going to be here in 50 years?”
Dammit. I was wrong. This really was just a date. Now my heart was racing for a whole new reason. I got up to change the annoying music he had playing for us, and he went to the cooler for another beer. “I can’t believe I have to be the one changing the music,” I said in my sassy tone. “Wait, are those roses?” In front of me by the portable speaker was a dozen red roses, and behind me I could feel him coming. All of the sudden he was dropping. He had something in his hand. My mind went blank. All I can remember is a long, sweaty hug of relief and a big, shiny rock on my shaking hand. I was engaged, and it was magical.
And for a while, I thought being engaged would stay magical and planning our special day would be even more amazing. I mean, it’s what every girl dreams about, right? Every girl wants to share her life with more than just a cat and a few boxes of wine. Every girl wants to make each grown woman she passes cry as she walks down that aisle adorned in a dress that costs way too much for only one use. Every girl wants the reception and the cake and the pretty centerpieces and the Kitchen Aid mixer she put on her registry. It all sounds great, I know. But, behind all the fancy invitations and fondant colors is just some really great marketing. People don’t realize that getting engaged isn’t really worth all the hype. Here’s why.
Planning A Wedding Is Hard
You might have the biggest ~**Dream Wedding**~ board on Pinterest. You might already know your colors. You might have a cake in mind and a dress style you like. But, be advised, this does not mean you know how to actually plan a wedding. Where are you going to have it? Do they have their prices for your date ready yet? Are they booked? Do they have an additional refrigerator for flowers, or is your florist going to have to show up last minute, get lost on the way, and delay the wedding 2 hours while you sob and ruin all your expensive makeup? See, this stuff ain’t easy. Oh, and try making all those decisions whilst your mother tries vicariously re-living the wedding of her dreams through you.
You Have To Glamorize Your “How We Met” Story
I hate you people with romantic stories — mostly because you probably made it up to cover the sloppy post-bar sex you had four years ago on the night you met. As for me, my fiancé and I met several times before our “how we met” story begins, but he was too blackout to ever remember me. And on the day we claim to have met, it was in his fraternity house and I remember the hot topic of our conversation being about Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits. Real impressive stuff, I know. So, somehow I have to turn a sweaty frat house into prince charming’s castle and a boy in beer-stained boat shoes into a knight in shining armor. Can’t I just put “we met in college” on our couple’s website and call it a day?
It’s Really Not Just Your Day
Everyone is going to call this “your” day, but in reality it’s your day, the groom’s day, the bridal party’s day, the groomsmen’s day, and 100 – 500 of your family and friends’ day. You need to help them park, prepare them food, tell them where to go and at what time, walk around all evening thanking them for coming, dance with them, and give them favors when it’s all over. They will talk about your wedding in comparison to others.
“Poor thing had to have rain on her wedding day. Too bad it couldn’t have been as gorgeous as it was for mine last month.”
They will talk about things you paid a lot to have that could have been better. “That DJ was just awful.” They will pick out things they do and don’t want at their own weddings. “I would love to have my wedding here—just not with these colors.” You will give, and they will take (but still give you a small, insignificant gift in return). All in the name of tradition. After all, would it even be considered marriage if you weren’t starting off in the hole?
At least I have something shiny on my finger to look at when I’m bored, right? .
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