Good morning again, LITMO Lifers! I am so happy to be back writing and sharing my new adventures with you!
Yesterday, I came back to writing to you after a long hiatus. When you heard the reason though, I’m sure it all made sense – I got married! And I talked a little bit about the rebrand The LITMO Life will be going through in the coming weeks. In that vein, I wanted to continue sharing things about my new life with you – and trust me, I kept a LIST of things I wanted to blog about during the wedding-planning process!
The first – how do you plan a wedding in two weeks? We technically got “engaged” three weeks out from our wedding, but that was just the beginning. We didn’t do any real communicating with anyone – including our parents – about it, for about another week as we were adjusting to the idea ourselves and figuring out if it was something we were really going to do. Then, two weeks out, with everyone on board, we hit the ground running with the plans.
Well, I use the term “we” loosely.
So – to answer the question posed by the title of this blog before I go any further, how DOES one plan a wedding in two weeks? There’s a trick, involved, are you ready? Marry the best man in the world that will plan the perfect wedding, because he loves you for you and knows he’s not marrying the world’s best bride.
Let me explain: I’m not very bride-y. In fact, I may even be the anti-bride. Several years ago, I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post called “Is Modesty In Women Overrated?” In that piece, I railed against the cultural traditions of marriage and babies being the thing we celebrate the most for women. What – because we could get married and give birth, we weren’t supposed to be heavily celebrating our other huge accomplishments? Like grad school, or published papers, or professional awards? I also talked about the fact that a woman engaged isn’t supposed to want to talk about anything other than being engaged and the wedding planning process – but the same ridiculous standard doesn’t exist for men. A man engaged will get congratulated, sure, but he will then be asked about the other things going on in his life, like work or play. A woman engaged, on the other hand, gets congratulated, and then is expected to sit there for minutes a time fawning over all of the wedding planning she is supposedly doing because for a woman, a wedding is considered the most important thing in her life.
It’s some serious fucking bullshit.
Beyond the fact that I hate that idea in theory, in practice, I also really hate planning and organizing. I am not one to spend longer than 3-4 minutes in a store – if they don’t have what I need, I’m out. I hate shopping, I hate making decisions, I hate figuring out what other people are going to want to eat or do or where they will need to sit, and I just don’t like getting my shit together enough to throw an even semi-formal party. I like the types of gatherings where you can tell a bunch of friends to come over, bring something, and chill out as long as they want at your house. I LOVE having get togethers – I just don’t love planning them all the time.
That wasn’t the worst of it, though – the worst of it was that I was dealing with some serious emotional difficulty leading up to the wedding. I knew, of course, from the moment we discussed it that Jonathon (which is how he will be referred to henceforth in The LITMO Life, because it’s not what he goes by with other people and I somehow like it better!) was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Hell, I knew he was the man I WOULD be spending the rest of my life with. I never had any doubts about him or about us or about the strength of our love.
What I did have doubts about though, was me. I had doubts that I could be someone’s wife in the way that they would need without imploding myself. I had doubts about whether I could continue to be me, in exactly the way that I am, without torpedoing this relationship that mattered so much to me. I had doubts that I could continue to be free and open and honest and build all of the other relationships in our lives that mean so much to me while I was also focusing on building a strong marriage.
In short, I had some serious freak outs.
I love him more than I’ve ever loved anyone or anything. I sincerely want and wanted to be his wife.
And yet, I had some to-be-expected freakouts.
You see, regular readers of The LITMO Life will know that I’m not a huge fan of commitment. I’m a huge fan of freedom. I’m a huge fan of doing whatever I want, whenever I want. I’m a huge fan of bouncing from place to place and thing to thing. I’m a huge fan of having no restrictions on me.
So, despite that I really, really wanted to be with this person – this cute, perfect, handsome, intelligent, kind Jonathon person – forever, it’s safe to say I was having a little bit of an emotional struggle. I was having a hard time focusing in the weeks leading up to the wedding, and though I was IMMENSELY excited to be married to him, I was slightly less excited about having a day where I was supposed to be the center of attention and everything was supposed to be “perfect.”
You see, I’m one of those people that believes firmly in the fallibility of a wedding day. Shit will go wrong – someone will be late, it might rain, the officiant might get caught in traffic, your dress might rip…anything could happen. Better to expect and roll with these punches, right? But that’s not the way most people see weddings – in fact, in the weeks leading up to our wedding, multiple people told me they had checked on the forecast, which was so nice and considerate of them! But my attitude was, well, if it rains, we’ll get married in the rain! My groomy felt the same.
I also firmly believe that your wedding day should never be the “best day of your life,” as people make it out to be. It should be a great day – a wonderful day – filled with family and friends and lots and lots of love. But the BEST day of your life? Fucking no. It should be the beginning of a series of BEST days. And your best day should always be in front of you, rather than behind you (a wise friend gave me that one).
Anyway, the point is – with all of this swimming around in my head, I was having a hard time calming my shit down to plan the wedding. Not only was I also busy working full-time, I was also just not sure how to even go about planning a tiny beach wedding for just a few people and still make it fun and interesting. Plus, of course, I was freaking out.
So, what did I do? Well, I called my own personal superhero: Jonathon.
The Monday before the wedding, I called him early in the AM and told him, in no uncertain terms, that I was freaking out and that I needed him.
Pause to breathe if you must, because yes, I have the world’s best husband and we are building the world’s best relationship where we’re unequivocally honest with each other about everything, all the time. I don’t believe in veiled honesty, I don’t believe in partial honesty – as I’ve written on the blog before, I believe in RADICAL HONESTY. So naturally, my future husband was going to have to be someone who also believed in it, and more importantly, could handle it.
My superhero, that Monday, had a lot of special superhero things planned to do that day. He was working the next day, he had worked the day prior, he had just come off of studying really hard for a few weeks, he needed some stuff he had to do for the wedding – in short, he had a lot of shit going on. He didn’t really have time to deal with a freaked out bride that had no idea how to screw her head on that morning.
But since Jonathon is, of course, the superhero of our story – his superhero powers kicked in as soon as I called.
And you want to know what he did?
He blew off his entire day to come over, hang out with me, shoot the shit, and naked tie-dye in our living room.
Not only did my superhero not get freaked out about my freak out, he stayed calm and wonderful and assured of my love for him and his love for me and our perfect soulmate connection, and ignored everything else he had to do to spend the day with his future wife, calming her nerves and giving her the fun time that she needed.
And then, he did something even more amazing: he took over planning the wedding.
And he planned the most perfect, beautiful wedding I could have imagined.
See, while he was over, I told him that while I really wanted to contribute, I was having trouble dealing with my emotional shit and dealing with the logistics of the physical wedding shit. And I was working. So, without blinking an eye, my sweet, perfect husband told me he would take care of it.
“I got you, baby.”
And that was it.
So what’s the secret to planning a wedding in two weeks?
Marry the world’s best man, that will be there for you no matter what you’re going through, even if it’s directly related to him.
And then appreciate every moment.
P.S. Yes, you’ll hear more about the afternoon of naked tie-dying later.