Montana Cherries, Huckleberries, and Why Wedding Planning is Like a Rip Tide
Planning a wedding is like getting caught in a rip-tide. You wade out. The water looks choppy but you’ve dealt with choppy water before. You feel the muscles in your body, the weight in your bones. The froth at the edges of crests that slam together releases a familiar, salty spray that mists over your skin, from top to bottom. Your hair stand on end. You wade a little bit deeper. And deeper still. Your feet are still on the ground. And then you lift your feet, and in 30 seconds your sucked into the current. You can see the curve of the shore, the people smaller and darker as you get pulled out and out and out. The biggest of the waves collapses over you, you sink under. You can feel the salt in your eyes and at the edges of your mouth. You break the surface and you're beyond the crests. The shore is just a line. The people are specks. You float on, beyond where folks on the shore even know you’re out there. If your lucky, a boat will curve over your way and you’ll be lifted out of the water onto the faded planks, spread out like a slip of canvas to dry in the sun.
Planning a wedding seems like it will be nothing at first. There’s the initial stress of big picture decisions, like where when how. Hopefully you’ve got the why figured out in advance.
As you get deeper into it, and you spend more time thinking about it, it slowly starts to drag you along. You don't go to far out at first. Maybe it slips into your mind during inopportune moments (like when a friend is wailing about her life and all of its problems). The closer the date comes, the more it pokes its way around your skull, finding places to nestle into.
And then suddenly you're not touching the bottom anymore. Your wedding is a little more than a month away and you haven’t sent your invitations out yet. You’ve just barely managed to convince yourself that one (or two) of the thousands of wedding dresses out there is acceptable, but it’s still in the mail and you don’t know anything about tailoring. You haven’t planned what the groomsmen are wearing, or what color socks your fiancee should wear, and truth be told you could care less. Flowers are the last thing on your mind, but you need to know exactly what you’ll need for your bouquets now despite not having the foggiest idea what might look nice together. Pinterest keeps telling you that you should be DIYing more shit. Pinterest is evil for this reason.
It manages to take up all of the tabs on your browser, all of the texts on your phone, your voice mails, your emails, your postcards and notes-to-self. You think to yourself: “Shouldn’t I be doing more important things with my time? Like writing a novel?” But nay. Alas. You have shit to do. And most of that shit has to do with deciding what color the ribbons on the boutonnieres are going to be. And if you should really buy those $100 rhinestone earrings for your wedding outfit because PRETTY. You have family dramas to quell and expectations to uphold. And lots of people to write checks to. That's when you know you've been sucked out. You can barely see the shoreline of your old life, friends and hobbies -- wavering dots in the distance.
I'm really not the best at planning things. I generally prefer a "let's make everything work on the fly" sort of style. Improv is my bag. I'm pretty good at it, in fact. I may be relying a little too heavily on my improv skills to make this wedding happen. Apparently, you mostly can't improv big events. When I went to try on wedding dresses I was legitimately shocked that ordering a dress two months before my wedding is considered "last minute." I was already late, and I still had 8 weeks. At the very least, I thought I was on time. You want to know what your choices are when you wait until the "last minute"? Holding your breath and scouring the internet for preowned wedding dresses in your size. Or buying a dress from a company that carries stock of their dresses. By the way, that's not most designers so GOOD LUCK.
Why are weddings so crazy? How has the industry become so inflated that not only is the planning stressful, but you can expect to pay the same for your wedding as you did for four years of college education? Somebody remind me of why I'm not just eloping. Somebody slap me.
The wedding itself is that rowboat, pulling you away from the choppy water and the salt, when there's nothing left to plan or deal with beyond enjoying the day. You can watch the theater unfold from the boat, your fiancee rowing with a placid smile over his face. The milky froth and the salt mist churn, while you rock in the bottom and let the steam rise off of you.
If you’re wondering why I’m not posting as much, there you have it. For those of you who have planned a wedding and survived, leave me a comment with some survival tactics. And for those of you planning your wedding right now, let's hold each other and cry a little bit? That's all I ask.
Then we can buck up and talk about what types of macarons we'll be serving. And if they'll have glitter on them.
Peace & Love -- Renee