Monday, March 7, 2011

My Big Fat Practical Wedding

Over the past few weeks I’ve been pondering the best way to introduce wedding topics into my blog. I’ve even gotten a few posts partially written, before deciding not to post them. None of them seemed quite right.

Then, this weekend, I attended the Boston session of the APW book club. I met all these smart women whose posts I’ve been reading since I discovered the Practical Wedding website last fall, and I felt such a sense of community with them that it made me think about the ways I’ve changed since September, and how APW has been a part of that.

I never spent any time dreaming about my wedding when I was younger. Really not much at all until I got engaged. I used to think that meant I wasn’t the “kind of girl” who cared about weddings, and I secretly also thought that made me tougher and cooler than the girls who did. But now I’m forced to admit that I never was or wasn’t any particular kind of girl, because I truly am excited about my wedding and I love the fuss of being engaged. It’s taken me a while to get to this good place.

I think below my indifference there was a deep-seated fear of stirring up all the things that weddings involve. What do we talk about when we talk about weddings? Love and companionship of course, but also women’s rights, feelings about our parents, fears about money, and the realities of growing old. To plan a wedding is to assess a life; past, present and future. All the rituals, costs, and people involved means if there’s a sore spot anywhere in your life, the wedding is going to hit on it. Making a guest list forced me to take a hard look at some friendships that had drifted. And it was hard, though ultimately freeing, to admit that my Dad and I don’t have a walk-me-down-the-aisle, father/daughter dance relationship. Sometimes wedding planning is about making choices I don’t want to make, and facing truths I don’t want to look at.

It was wonderful on Saturday to talk to other women who’ve been through, or are currently going through, the same things as I am. I hope to be more involved in that community as time goes by.