Eff the bachelorette party
Eff the large bridal party and matching dresses
Eff the Saturday night wedding
Eff the fancy invitations
Eff the designer dress
Eff the really chic, sustainable, and super-fabulous venue
Eff the fancy catering and service
Eff the bouquet
Eff the favors
Eff the wedding cake
My ultimate wedding goal is to have an emotionally honest ceremony in a pretty locale, to get boozy with friends, and to dance to great music while looking fabulous. The rest can really go eff off. I'd love nice save the dates and invitations that would thrill my paper snob soul but I'd rather buy nicer beer for our guests. I'd love a pretty succulent bouquet, but I wouldn't choose it over a beautiful ketubah. I'd love a gorgeous designer dress but I'll be happy with special wear-again accessories. And once I made those eff it decisions, I truly decided not to care. It's not worth my time, angst, or money to second guess myself. I'm not shopping at fancy dress stores or custom shops because I'm just going to find a flattering white dress and be done with it. I really can't be bothered anymore.
So I'm willing to eff a whole freaking lot. I really am. But you know what? This wedding matters to me. In fact, it matters to me a whole darn lot. It sometimes weirds me out that I'm spending all this time and brainspace planning a wedding, because I was a happy singleton tomboy who could never really picture the partner or marriage. Five years ago I would have laughed in your face if you'd told me I'd be spending all this time writing and thinking about weddings. But the truth is, I'm still a bit in awe that I found a life partner who's so right for me in all the important ways. I want to honor our promise and commitment with seriousness and celebration. I want a day in which we can bring our families together as we begin to build a new expanded family, together. I want to facilitate joy and solemnity and giddy love. And creating space for that isn't simple. Coordinating family, tempering expectations, and defining meaningful traditions all while grappling with irritating vendors, huge amounts of money, and a shifting relationship is a painfully large challenge. And trying to find creative ways to limit that huge expenditure of money with 150 projected guests is a comically large challenge that's taken a lot of time and effort.
I wonder sometimes why I'm bothering with this challenge at all. In many ways, I think a wedding is simply an important symbolic ritual of marriage, but it's not a reflection on marriage itself. Jason and I feel "married" already, in the sense that we've been committed to the everyday efforts of building a joint life for a while now. So the wedding is icing on the cake. Many of the details (like that cake) can get tossed. Effed, as it were. Because the purpose of this all is a chance to say, "Yes, this matters. And yes, we promise to make it matter."
And that's the part that feels huge to me. It doesn't feel huge in a need-a-fancy-ballroom-reception way. It just feels important in a way I've never experienced before. I've never felt so sure of anything as terrifying as linking my future in with someone else. And I want to honor that hugeness.
And so, the wedding matters. I can feel entirely laid back about save the dates, but I can't feel entirely cool and laid back when the venue plans get tossed up and smashed to pieces and when the guest list feels out of control. I can't feel laid back when our plans get twisted in a way that doesn't feel right for us and our rituals and truths as a couple. And I can't feel cool and laid back when the little moments start adding up and I suddenly lose it in a cathartic scream of frustration. But oh. effing. well. This matters. And it turns out that I'm not cool and laid back about it at all. I'm heartfelt and earnest and I want to honor our marriage honestly. And at this point, I'm ready to rip on anyone and anything that gets in my way.