Showing posts from 2020

On Weddings and the Surface and the Deep

Part 5 (of 5) in the On Weddings series. Part 1 available  here , Part 2 available  here , Part 3 available  here , and Part 4 available here . It's been almost a year since I wrote the words in Parts 1-4. I am so grateful that I captured them, if only to remember how far God has brought me. (You can read more of my recent, grateful thoughts  here .) I wasn't an avid follower of The Office  when Jim and Pam got married, but I remember making a point to watch their wedding episodes. It was Jim and Pam! Surely it had to be the most romantic, most adorable, most swoonworthy wedding. Well...I was disappointed. Jim and Pam's wedding...kinda sucked. I was so annoyed. All of that romance, all of the cuteness of seasons had led to...this? For those who haven't watched these episodes, let me summarize and say that Michael and Jim ruin the reception dinner, Pam's veil rips, she hates her dress, and she wishes she had made different guest list decisions. Oh, and I think

On Weddings and Comparison

Part 4 in the On Weddings series. Part 1 available  here , Part 2 available  here , and Part 3 available here . Weddings are all about comparison. It shouldn't be that way, should it? And maybe it's just me, maybe that's the thorn in my side. That's fine. But I have the feeling that it's not just me. {Maybe not everybody, but not just me.} As girls, we talk through our wedding plans. For a while, everyone has the same plan--beautiful white dress, with a long train and a cinematic love story. But at some point, probably in those teen years when we find ourselves, we begin to differ. We have styles. We have personalities. Rustic. Romantic. Modern. Preppy. Whimsical. Bohemian. Alternative. Classic. And it just gets worse from there. Every time we attend a wedding. Every time we see photos of a wedding. And if no one has gotten married recently enough, every time we log onto Pinterest or r/weddings. I didn't love her dress, I would have made it longer.

On Weddings and Perfection

Part 3 in the On Weddings series. Part 1 available here , and Part 2 available here . There is a strange need throughout a wedding—before, during, and after—for the event to be perfect. What 'perfect' is varies by person, of course, but it often has to do with how well the bride's desires were met. I spoke with someone recently who considers a wedding to be good or successful dependent on whether the bride thought it was perfect. When planning my wedding, I felt this. Almost everyone involved wanted to ensure I had exactly what I wanted (or what they believed I wanted). And I am so grateful for that; I am so very loved. But with such love came pressure. Pressure to be perfect. Pressure to have everything I wanted. It was no longer an option. You must have everything you want. There is no other way. I wasn’t looking for perfection. Not by social standards, and not by my standards. I couldn’t articulate it then, not with everyone asking me, “Is this what you want?

On Weddings and Judgment

Part 2 in the On Weddings series. Part 1 available here . Until I was engaged, I was oblivious to the strangely permissive culture that weddings induce when it comes to judgment. I certainly participated. With everything else, we’re fairly tolerant people. We celebrate what makes someone unique, and we shrug it off if someone’s values don’t align with our own. But weddings. Judgment is saved up for weddings, even by those who likely consider themselves particularly non-judgemental. I remember, pre-engagement, judging with the rest of them. Weddings are fun to to talk about. “Do you know how much they spent on that wedding? This much. ” “No! That’s ridiculous!” “I know! She just had to have it all.” “I can’t imagine spending that much on just one day. That’s too extravagant.” “Same. I like simple weddings. DIY and all that.” “She should have tried to cut some costs. That’s just outlandish. And the food wasn’t really that good.” “She probably spent it all on the dress.”

On Weddings and Trauma

I never thought that my wedding would be something I would need healing from. It’s not that there was some knock-down, drag-out fight. On the surface, my wedding preparations were mundane, the opposite of dramatic. I vented to my best friend about the stress of the timeline and the {honestly quite minor} expectations of family members, but that’s as bad as it got. I just remember pressure. Pressure to perform. Pressure to strive for and achieve perfection. Pressure to conform. Pressure to be happy. Pressure to “have whatever you want” but “no, not that!” Pressure because this is a one-time event. Oh, and there are deadlines and budget constraints, too. And then there was the wedding, which went great on the surface but wasn’t what I had intended it to be. {I talk about the rain moving our wedding indoors, but what I don’t mention is that even the outdoor venue was a third choice that we got shoved into. And that’s just the venue.} So many small things did not go as intended. “