Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Who Knew Practicality and Romance Don't Always Go Together?

Eeesh.  The wedding.  I declared a moratorium on all decisions weeks ago during the bar exam prep madness because I simply could not do it all.  The bar exam was over a month ago but I haven't flipped through a wedding magazine or been a regular on the wedding blogs since.  During that forced stepping back period, it occurred to me that I was insane.  Insane to think a wedding could actually happen right now.  All of that wedding venue shopping and contacting photographers and negotiating deals was wishful thinking and giddiness and excitement lacking any basis in reality.  Reality is that I don't know if I'm going to have a job, or even a home of our own, come June.  We plan to pay for the wedding ourselves, so putting down a 33% deposit on a venue right now feels...stupid...and impossible.  We cannot plan a wedding right now. 

That sounds so practical and wise and reasonable.  But I hate it.  I hate this decision.  I hate this time in my life.  I hate that so many things beyond my control have to fall into place before I can have this bit of happy.  I hate myself for being so eager for my "real life" to start, and for being so utterly unable to enjoy the present.  I hate that something that I've looked forward to all my life, something representative of love and joy and family, has become so loaded and impossible-feeling and far away.  That this time does not look like what I hoped it would.  And then I get mad at myself that I can't let that be okay.  That I can't accept that this is life. 

I am very aware that the marriage is infinitely more important than the wedding.  I know that and I believe it.  So the idea of taking control of the situation by taking a weekend away and eloping has crossed my mind many times.  Or even the idea of inviting our parents and a few friends and having a teensy ceremony and a fabulous celebratory dinner - maybe that would be okay?  I have sat with those ideas, turned them over in my mind, given myself permission to consider those options, and ultimately have rejected them.  They are not what we want.

The thing is, my life is so compartmentalized.  I have my immediate family in Texas, the majority of my extended family in Georgia, a brother and cousins who are dear to me in New York, my high school friends in New Orleans and France, my college friends in New York, and North Carolina, and now London, my law school friends in Pennsylvania.  Joe's family is in New York and scattered across New England.  The effect is that we only get little pieces of our life and loved ones a little at a time.  And because of logistics and geography, my family and friends just get me and Joe's family and friends just get him and most of them have never gotten to experience or see Joe and I as a couple.  In addition, for the most part, Joe's friends and family have never met my friends and family.  This wedding is the only opportunity we will have in life to gather our people together.

The idea of having all of these people in the same room at the same time; the idea of getting to see all of their faces at once; getting to introduce them to each other; getting to thank them and tell them we love them; having them witness our vows and the beginning of our new family.  It means more to me than I have words to express - it means everything.  Our lives are not, and our marriage will not, be complete without these people.  For us, there is no wedding without them.  This day is as much about them as it is about us - not everyone feels that way about a wedding, but that concept is at the core of what this day is about for us.  Not just the love we have for each other, but our love for our friends, our family, the people who have loved and shaped and supported us along the way.  The people who taught us to love, the people who got us here. 

We sat down recently and began to think about who the day would feel incomplete without, as in if that person wasn't there then the day would feel slightly less special.  I came away with 38 names, and Joe had 42.  A wedding for 80 doesn't seem unreasonable.  Except right now it sort of is.  If we're going to do it, I want to do it the way we envision.  Although, ironically, we know that every person on that list would show up on a Tuesday afternoon to see us get married on a city sidewalk in jeans and t-shirts if necessary.  That just makes me want to honor them properly even more. 

So we have to wait.  Wait until the time is right and we're a bit more secure, which means a job and a home and being able to plan life more than 6 months at a time.  Whenever that will be. 

And as much as I may hate it.


chickster said...

I know it completely stinks to wait, but I'm glad this time has offered clarity for what and who is truly important in your lives. Those 80 people are certainly lucky to have made the list and are more than happy to wait until the time is right for you guys.

SG said...

If you need anything, let me know. We love you both!

Christina said...

Thank you, Sher & Sara! We are very blessed and I love you both very much.