I have a confession to make.
I’m a bad bride.
I’m not good at it.
People at work (and other places) ask me all the time “How’s wedding planning going?” and I never have any answers for them. I kind-of assume that the appropriate answer to this question (similar to “how are you?”) is “Fine.” Because, if we’re being honest with each other, do you really want to know what flowers I am choosing (or not choosing) or how I’m struggling with finding shoes? I can’t imagine that anyone really cares.
Secondly, I don’t see this whole marriage thing as quite as life-altering as everyone makes it out to be. Sure, we have a huge [freakin’ AWESOME] party in a few months. It’s going to be a blast, and we are going to have a wonderful time with all of our friends and family. I love the man I am marrying and want to “make it official” with the support of the many important people in my life.
But I don’t think that party is going to magically transform our relationship. As far as I’m concerned, the marriage is already made; the wedding is a celebration of that fact. Too often, I think, people confuse the two.
I’m not all squealy and girly about the whole thing; the wedding isn’t something I talk about all the time. Part of it has to do with what I like to call “wedding fatigue.” When you’ve been engaged forEVER like we have, you kind of get tired of thinking about it. What was exciting in the beginning—a whole lot of idea generating and looking at pretty pictures—slowly morphs into actual to-do-list items, and nobody wants a longer to-do list.
And finally, I’m a bad bride because I’m also SO MANY OTHER things. My identity is not wrapped up in this one label, and I won’t think of myself much differently when I transition from “fiancee” to “wife.”
Perhaps I would be much more excited about the bride thing if it was all I had to worry about, but it’s not. The last couple of months have been rough, and I have had to fulfill so many other roles. Besides “bride/fiancee,” I am also (to name a few):
* A family member, and we lost someone from our [already small] family over the holidays.
* A professional, and I’ve been consciously focused on professional development. This has led to at-work and out-of-work commitments that take up my time.
* A mentor, and it’s important for me to be there for my students as they cope with uncertainties and make major transitions in their own lives.
* A friend, and in the last few months, I’ve had one [very close] friend move away and another go through a rough time. The latter needed my support a lot more than I needed to talk about things like accessories and decorations.
* An employee, and budgets have been virtually nonexistent lately. No additional staff means I’ve been the busiest I’ve ever been in my job, and, as someone who plans events for a living, I’m not always psyched about coming home to do the same.
My point in telling you all this is not to make you feel sorry for me, or to complain, or to vent (although I have done plenty of each of those things recently). My point is to say that, for all of the things that make me a bad bride, I would hope that those things also make me a better person. I think that my many facets make me more interesting. My ups and downs help me to better empathize with friends’ unhappiness and better celebrate the exciting times. I hope that for all I analyze and all that I am involved in, that I am more well-rounded, practical, articulate person.
For all that I may lack as a bride, I hope I make up for as a person. And when that bride goes away in a few months? What’s left is the wife—and woman—I’ll be for the rest of my life.
And isn’t she the one worth focusing on?
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.