7/28/2015

the thing about weddings is...

 Husband and I just celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary this past Saturday and in the week leading up to it we finally unearthed our wedding pictures on the CD our photographer gave us and had a look. Because, see, we are not wedding people and we certainly aren't wedding photo people which is why there is not one single wedding photo anywhere in our house. Not in a frame, or even a photo album tucked away somewhere. Just this CD whose whereabouts, for the past 5 years, have been largely unknown. This may seem really strange to some people and not so strange to others but the thing about weddings is... I hate them. Yep, even my own.

But -- wah! huh? how can you hate weddings?

Because they're not about the couple. They're about the guests. Or they're about what the bride wore or what colour the bridesmaids wore. Or the wedding is more important than the marriage. It's about dry chicken or no plus one or having to pay for alcohol. It's about inviting the woman who shares a first name with your middle one even though she causes anxiety and depression to manifest.

 When Husband and I got engaged we were ecstatic but like everything else in our lives we really just wanted to celebrate together because the idea of people knowing our private business makes us uncomfortable {says the woman with a blog}. Still we tried really darn hard to let other people in. We had an engagement party which didn't go well and we had a wedding which, after a false start, happened at a registry office {or, in the area outside}. 

We had 2 witnesses which was two too many for us because, see, we're still insanely private and to us getting married and saying "i do" was as intimate as we were ever going to get. We felt forced to have people watch us saying "i do" and gave in to what others wanted until it became too much and we cancelled our original wedding plans. We knew eloping wouldn't be taken well so we settled on a registry office and picked two people who wouldn't feel like intruders to be with us. I picked my sister {because duh} and Husband picked a good friend.

After the ceremony we spent some time taking photos which we both hated. The natural ones were fine, natural even {fancy that} but the staged ones the "kiss!" "look like you love each other" ones put a damper on things. Because, apparently, when you get married you should want everyone around and all you should want is to kiss your "i do" partner and we did, we just wanted to do it alone, or do it when we wanted and not when some photographer who didn't get us wanted.

I will always treasure the hidden moments like this that he captured but for the most part my wedding photos remind me of feeling forced by society and by family to be someone I wasn't. And that's how I felt for the majority of my life. This is what weddings mean to me. Somewhere along the way they became about all the guests and not about the couple. It's about the two families merging when, to Husband and I, it was about us racing off to go start our own. For us, to finally, feel loved and accepted for who we were.

Yet, our wedding became a stain of sorts because we felt obligated to invite people we didn't want there. We felt unheard and misunderstood. We still felt unloved.

Don't get me wrong. Our wedding was, for the most parts wonderful, and I did fall into the joy of becoming a bride. My sister and I spent the day getting our hair, make up and nails done and it was fun and perfect and everything I wanted. The four of us had fun at the ceremony {and in the transport to and from} and the reception was wonderful when we were surrounded by real family and friends who were like family. But, we also regret some invites. We felt obligated to invite two people because they were blood and that's just what you do right? 

You shouldn't. And if we could go back they wouldn't have made the cut.


So, yup, I hate weddings. Or, rather, parts of them. My advice? Celebrate your day with people who make you happy. Who are there to celebrate you. Who won't whip out a video camera against your wishes. Who won't encourage guests to do something they know you'll hate. Don't invite someone you don't want there out of pity. Invite people who made this day happen. Nobody less.

This is one of my most favourite photos from the day. Only Husband and his friend are looking at the camera. I'm looking... where? And my sister has half-open eyes {though still looks great}. So when I think of all the regret, all the drama and all the stabby feelings I remember moments like this which are so far from perfect but in the most amazing way possible.

And even though we still wished we had of eloped, I am glad we got to celebrate with my siblings and our friends because they helped get us to this point and made the night feel pretty darn great.

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