I got engaged earlier this year, and have spent a decent amount of the time since planning our wedding for early next year. We have in mind a short, casual ceremony followed by a fun party to celebrate our marriage with our friends and family.
When we got engaged, we entertained the idea of skipping a wedding altogether in favor of a simple courthouse ceremony. But then we thought about how much we enjoy celebrating with our friends and family when they get married, and decided that it is an event we want to share with the people we love. Still, as much as I am looking forward to the day I get to marry my fiancé, there is no way that our wedding day is going to be the best day of my life.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of wedding planning yet, you can imagine that it is a constant string of women excitedly asking you, “So, how’s the wedding planning coming along?” And they are, in my experience at least, well-meaning and want nothing more than to offer you help and advice based on their experience.
I try my best to be polite and answer as many questions as I can in these situations, but the truth is that I dread a lot of these conversations. It’s not that I’m not excited to get married, but I feel like I have to fake excitement over the wedding planning process to not seem rude to these women who are so interested in my plans. The worst conversations are the ones that end with the other female party sighing and saying, “It’s going to be the best day of your life.”
I totally understand where this comes from. Romantic comedies with the impeccable bride and groom in their impossibly perfect ceremony. Lifestyle blogs and Pinterest boards where the place settings and centerpieces look like they took hours of work and thousands of dollars to create something straight from a design magazine. It is nearly impossible to scroll through Facebook on a Monday in June and not see a new photo album of wedding photos titled, “The Best Day of My Life!”
Once we get into our twenties we are visually assaulted on a nearly daily basis with perfect weddings and perfect brides and perfect grooms. We see them so often that we just start to assume that that is how our wedding day should be as well, and if you decide to go against the grain even the slightest bit, it gives others free reign to raise a judging eyebrow.
With all this outside influence to make your wedding day utterly perfect, the wedding planning pressure gets amped up to an unreasonable degree in order to set the stage for it to be The Best Day. Sure, I want my wedding day to be a great day that I look back on fondly (and I know that it will be!), but I refuse to believe that table settings and flowers will be what will make or break that day. What is important to me is that guy who asked me to marry him, getting to commit our lives to each other and then celebrating the occasion with people we love.
Even having this mentality, the ideas that the wedding industrial complex have so deeply ingrained into wedding culture can creep in at times when I feel the planning stress the most. But in those moments I do my best to remember that our wedding day is about this new adventure in which I get to marry my favorite person, and the color of cake frosting (or even a cake at all!) are not going to determine the happiness I’ll feel when I see him at the end of the aisle.
Like I said: I can’t wait to marry this guy, and I can’t wait for our wedding day. But why should our wedding day be the best day of my life? I can’t see how it will top the intimate moment where he asked me to marry him, and the following day we got to stew in mutual excitement before we had cell service strong enough to call and tell our parents. I know that our wedding day will be a huge milestone for us, and it will be (legally, at least) the beginning of our lives together. It will be our only wedding day and for that I will always cherish it. But I can’t bring myself to put so much stock into this one day of the many days that we have spent and will spend together.
I am beyond in love with my fiancé and can't wait to marry him, but the best day of my life is not going to be the one when I marry him. My best days will be the ones spent married to him, as his partner, going on adventures and being the goofy kids that we are. I’d hate to tag my wedding day as my Best Day and spend the rest of my life with this man in days that pale in comparison to the one where we got married. There is so much more to life than a wedding day, and the best part is that I get to spend them married to an awesome guy. And I can’t wait to get to each and every one of those days, with him.