A public planning hiatus

Posted on October 28, 2008. Filed under: reality |

I get ahead of myself when I’m excited.  I get all caught up in the options and possibilities, then I get lost in them, then I get stressed and frustrated and overwhelmed and stuck in indecision.  I’ve known all along that I would struggle to enjoy our wedding planning process, to embrace the joy and accept the stress without letting it suck me in.

When we decided to take more time and get married in the spring instead of October, we agreed not to decide on a new wedding date until Thanksgiving for a variety of reasons.  One of them was everything I just mentioned about myself.  J also needed time to get through his enormous to-do list at both houses without the addition of a bunch more wedding-related tasks.  We were in the middle of our post-engagement challenges, so very little that we dealt with at that time could be called joyous (ya know, because we could barely speak to each other without riling each other up).  In a nutshell, there was no way that we could plan a wedding together with all of the joy and happiness that the journey deserved.

Because I’ve been married before, I realized that I needed extra time to not only become accustomed to being engaged (and eventually, a wife) again, but also to assess and find closure with my past marriage.  Every wedding task brings up memories — some good, some bad — and I’ve decided to take the time to get through them so that I enter my marriage to Mr. Cheese with a clean emotional slate.

Also, choosing a wedding date starts an almost unavoidable series of events.  It’s a short hop from “When’s the date?” to “Should we fly in on Friday or Saturday? Where will we stay?  Will we need to rent a car?  What’s on the schedule?  Will you need help with anything?  What do we need to bring?  What will we be doing each day?  Will we have time to sightsee?  When will you be leaving?  Who will handle the rental items/ dog walking/ cat feeding?  Do we need to stay longer?  Will I need to rent a tux?  Where will I rent a tux?  Can I bring a friend?”  All of these are valid questions, questions I’d certainlyl be asking if I was booking a flight across the country for my daughter’s wedding weekend, but we didn’t have any answers yet, and we wouldn’t until we figured out how to get along again.

{By the way, we have gotten past that frustrating month with the help of our couples counselor and a new mantra: Be nice.  We’re happier than we’ve ever been. More on that later if you’re interested.)

So, we went dark (theater people, am I using that analogy correctly?).  We promised my family that we would give them plenty of time to book their flights, but that we needed some time to enjoy our engagement, do some talking and planning, and figure out what we wanted as a couple.  We told them that we were thinking late spring, and that just after Thanksgiving we’d start negotiating a date that would make sense for everybody.  They understood.

That decision was a big deal for J and I as a couple, because it was really the first time that we prioritized the needs of ourselves ahead of those of our families of origin*.  The time off is giving us time to have wedding discussions without pressure to make decisions.  I have the luxury of enough time and space to really deal with any feelings that crop up from my first marriage.  Together, we’ve been to couples counseling — and that’s been a huge success for us.

Did anyone else declare a hiatus before you started planning your wedding?  And do you remember the first time you made a decision that put your new family’s (you and your fiance) needs ahead of your original family’s*?

*I know that “family of origin” is awkward to say, but I believe that J and I are a family — with our cats and dog — that will be made official by our marriage.  I use “our family” to mean he and I, now, so that we get used to it and also so that we remember that wedding decisions are marriage decisions which are family decisions.  Unfortunately, that leaves me with a very awkward phrase when I want to talk about the-family-from-which-I-came.


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One Response to “A public planning hiatus”

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[…] our planning hiatus is almost over, we’re about to clue our families in so that they can weigh in, and I’ll […]

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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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