I’ve said it a hundred times in the last year, but so many things about wedding planning have surprised me. Thankfully, the more I talk to various newlyweds, the more I am told this is totally normal, hence me feeling less like a crazy person.
The one part that I am still struggling with is social. As intense as it sounds, my relationships with people have changed based on their behavior in regards to the wedding. It doesn’t mean there were huge blow outs, it doesn’t mean there were big confrontations, I’m realizing those dramatic things don’t need to happen for a shift to occur. And the more I talk with other people who have had weddings or are still planning, it happens all of the time.
Going through something so important, something that really demands a community response, sheds a glaring light on those who just don’t think of you as a priority, on those who are incapable of having the relationship with you that you wanted and thought you had. Normal every day life doesn’t give you the chance to really see who will be there for you in a squeeze. So, on one level, planning a wedding is really painful. I’ve cried a lot, been stressed and anxious a lot, been frustrated and angry a lot. But on another level, I am grateful. I am grateful to see a clear picture of what’s going on, on who is with me and who isn’t, on who I should bend over backwards for and who wouldn’t do the same for me.
And I know that saying this out loud isn’t popular. That acknowledging that your wedding is really important to you on a deep, emotional level, and that some people have forfeited their right to be a substantial part of your life because of this event may seem petty on the surface. But it’s not. It’s not petty. There are maybe 3 major events in your life when a true community response is necessary and meaningful, and this is one of them. It matters to me who shows up (not just physically, but mentally), who lends a hand, who offers support, who makes the transition easier, more loving, more fun, who takes the gifts we’re giving, the party we’re throwing, the countless thoughtful aspects we’ve agonized over in the last year with respect and understanding, and who just doesn’t.
And I’m glad it matters, I’m glad that we have a line drawn in the sand that says this is what we expect, this is what we’ll accept, and this isn’t. It makes us a strong team, and it makes me a better friend and family member because I hold myself to those same standards. I know who’s in it with us, and I know who isn’t. And I’m grateful to see it.