In a lot of ways, my non-online community never got the chance to get fully excited or invested in our marriage joy, partially because we're having such a long engagement (19 months) and partially because other aspects of our life took front-seat priority. The day after we got engaged, my mother ended up in a foreign hospital and it took months to sort everything out. I didn't get the chance to tell her or anyone else about our engagement for weeks because, obviously, her health situation took precedence. And then, Jason got downsized just after my mother's situation finally stabilized. The engagement became unimportant (publicly) and to some extent I used this blog and wedding planning research as an escape from it all. But it was a private escape. We never made a big deal out of the engagement. We had other more pressing life issues to deal with. We felt lucky that we had a year and a half so we had time to deal with our immediate challenges and save up for the celebration.
Somehow, a lot of people in our community took it to mean I wasn't excited about our wedding. And over the last year, I've put up with a lot of half-joking comments about our neverending engagement and how we could have already been married, bought a house and had kids by now (um, no) so what are we waiting for? And the cold feet jokes just really need to stop. Because our 19 month engagement doesn't mean I'm not excited about our wedding. And it doesn't mean I'm not engaged. Good for you that you (or your parents) had enough money sitting around to make your wedding happen in nine months. We didn't. And we're okay with that, even if you, apparently, aren't. And as crazy as you may find our process (though why do you care again?) and as much as I wish we were just freaking married already, it's been a blessing to take our time..
Our long engagement means we haven't had all that much to talk about publicly as we slowly work through our to-do list. It means I know I'm an overworked, easily stressed out procrastinator and that I needed lots of time to slowly pull this together, find affordable options and lock in lock in 2010 (and even some 2009) prices for our 2011 wedding. We've had time to really refine our plan for what makes a meaningful wedding. It took a while to get on the same page, but we're both truly excited about our crazy hippie taco truck fiesta wedding. We've had time to really find wedding helpers we love and adore and we've been able to build real relationships with them. I'm genuinely excited to share our wedding day with people we care about, instead of simply capable people we hired to perform a service. We've had time to plan for our marriage, including working through a great book, start our Making Marriage Work class, and join a temple. We've had time to be lazy procrastinators. Really, it shouldn't take two months to deal with a guest list. But it did, and didn't and it didn't cause any problems in the overall timeline. We've had time to take up new hobbies like side businesses, volunteering and gardening.
My first self-planted succulent! I hope I can keep it alive...
And we've had time to build our family
But now that our wedding is finally around the corner (ish), I'm kinda excited to have people celebrate. I don't want a shower with a pile of gifts, but I'd really love the chance to revel in this a bit. It's time. I wish we could just be married already, but I recognize all the smart reasons and benefits to having waited. But now, it's finally our chance to have some public fun with this process. So, on our one-year engageaversary, I just wanted to say what an extraordinary year it's been and how much I'm looking forward to the next steps in finally pulling it all together, full of last minute DIY projects, logistical overplanning, a bachelorette evening and all.