Jumping the First Hurdle

bryan-jessica-proposal-photo-blogI stressed and stressed and stressed for weeks about our wedding. Before we were even engaged, I stressed about it, in an amorphous and theoretical sort of way. What were we going to do? How were we going to merge and honor our humongous families while staying true to ourselves? How were we going to do what we wanted and not cave in to the expectations of everyone else?

After we got engaged, these issues were amplified by a thousand. Suddenly, it was all that I could think about.

I already suffer from anxiety and the thought of all those people makes me want to throw up.

All I really want is something small and intimate, but our families are huge.

I just really want to elope, but so many people would be hurt by that.

I want to honor our communities, and the people who have been there for us along the path to this day. 

And around and around it went, over and over, until I forced myself to take a wedding planning hiatus. I gave myself permission to think of anything BUT the wedding for three whole days.

It was bliss.

But then the thoughts kept creeping back, insinuating themselves into the most mundane of moments, making my heart pound and my whole body tense up. What were we going to do?

I made lists. I thought of every scenario. I even wrote out stories of how I saw each option playing out.

Still, I felt pulled in two directions. Bryan wasn’t much help. He told me that he was happy just to get married.

Last week, we went to the Barenaked Ladies concert. It was a great show, as usual, full of fun and energy, which pulled me out of my usual place of habitation – my head – and into the real world for a change. There were a few songs they played that I didn’t know, though, and during those songs, I sank back into my vicious cycle of rumination. But something was different this time. Sitting in my seat in the darkened Jubilee, swaying a little to the BNL songs I didn’t know, I had a flash of brilliant, blinding inspiration.

I would be happy no matter how we got married.

I had a bit more anxiety related to having more people there, yes, but I could deal with that. The fact of the matter is, I just want to marry Bryan. And in my seat, with the colored lights flashing over my head, I fully realized that for the first time. I just want to marry Bryan, and I will be happy so long as that happens. So why exclude other people and make them feel bad for no reason? If we will both be happy either way, then why not make as many other people happy as possible in the process?

As we walked home that night, I told Bryan what I had realized. He smiled, and said, “That’s exactly how I feel, too.”

And so we came to our first real wedding decision, and I came to another important realization:

It is really easy to make things more complicated and stressful than they have to be. Chances are, it’s actually really quite simple. 

PS. A joint post is coming soon about our rather unconventional proposal. I know you’re all waiting with bated breath. :)

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