Planning a wedding has fully done my head in, and not necessarily in the ways I expected it to. There are so many decisions involved in the process and by and large, most of them I don’t care about so I ‘ve seemed more decisive or less “caring” than most brides. I took five minutes or less to decide on my veil for example (I took about 9 months to decide I’d have a veil at all, in comparison). In my determination not to be referred to as a bridezilla (a state of being I now better understand than I ever thought I would and now realise it to be an utterly sexist way of diminishing a bride when all else fails) we decided early on what would be the things we would go to battle on and be prepared to die on the field about and then anything else just didn’t matter.
We’ve been focussed on the end result – that we get married – and seen the rest as icing on the cake. So I haven’t lost my shit over things like:
- pregnant bridesmaids and having to fit the dress to them rather than the dress to my dream vision;
- changing my bouquets at the last minute because my original flower colour clashed with the colour of the dress I ended up with due to it being the closest colour I could get to what I wanted and available in the three style choices I could choose from for the bridesmaid dresses see previous;
- compromise on my table centrepiece flowers cause orchids don’t come in the colour I originally wanted for the look I finally chose;
- blah blah a bunch of other things got changed from original thoughts cause they didn’t work in execution, they didn’t fit with the timing or suit everyone else involved, they ended up not working with the final look
On the one hand, I wonder if later on I will care more and have got into it all more but that’s Future Me and Present Me thinks this stuff is not worth dying over. And I’m also realistic about large scale projects. They always have compromise and they never deliver what the initial concept phase was anyhow. And we’ll get married (as long as we do actually finish writing the damn vows). And on the other hand, I’m happy with each choice I’ve made, in the context of why I made it, as I’ve proceeded. So I’m fascinated with the way the outcome has deviated from initial concept.
Here’s the thing though. I had some very specific outcomes that I wanted and they weren’t tangible. They were about vibe and feeling – friends and family – that kinda thing. And I had a bunch of ideas about how I would create situations to achieve these and see above on compromise. What I’ve learned is, 6 year old me was very imaginative but she didn’t actually have much worldliness in which to base her ideas and visions in context. She didn’t know much about life. And if my actual wedding looks nothing like her ideas, that doesn’t mean the spirit of it isn’t there.
My focus for our wedding is to be surrounded by family and friends and have a joyous day. For me, one of the ways I hope that will be expressed is through traditional Jewish dancing at the reception. I’ve always wanted to be right in the middle of the frenetic antics on my wedding day and I love to be a part of it on others. I love expressing happiness through dance. So instead of having the kind of bridal showers I’ve been to for other brides I know – tupperware party, linen tea, kitchen tea etc – I wanted to have a bridal shower that was a traditional Jewish dancing lesson so those who have never been to a Jewish wedding before would get a taste of what to expect, learn a few of the dance moves and mostly be reassured that there is no wrong! It’s mostly free form and all about silliness and one-upmanship and having a good time.<
My bridal shower was a couple of weeks ago. Not everyone could come but it was a really great mix of people. And we’d asked that instead of presents attendees bring a recipe of theirs to contribute to a recipe book to be put together for C and I. Kathryn, my sister and my Mum helped me cater an afternoon tea spread. And I have to say, I was really taken aback by what actually moved me about the event. I was really touched by those who came along – some are unable to come to our wedding day and it meant a lot that they came anyway and were a part of the whole … is process the right word? … maybe series of celebrations. Rite of passage almost feels like how to describe it.
I feel like this is a process of being embraced. Some of my closed family members asked me what of their recipes I wanted and it’s so heartwarming to think about which memories do I want to bring into my family home as I cook their recipes and serve them to my family and guests on special occasions. Others sent their recipes along even though they themselves couldn’t make it. And almost everyone included a message or note somewhere on the recipe, making it totally personal and special (sorry Kathryn, I totally peeked).
And there was dancing and lots of people humouring me with joining in and getting into it, which meant a lot to me. And I’m looking forward to the day and hopefully we will be able to create the … the Hebrew word I’m looking for is ru’ach – spirit.
The one thing I was worried about, and why I asked someone to come and show us the moves is that whilst I know how to do the dances, I mostly pick them up at a wedding when someone else is doing the steps and then I join in and show others. But I don’t actually know most of the complicated dances myself. I was standing there with an aunt and cousin trying to remember a few of them and they said, “Don’t you know?”
I replied, “I always follow you two!”
And they said, “Someone will know on the night”
And then I panicked, “But *we* are all the people. It’s just us!”
So I might still be a little bit anxious that we don’t have enough core people who know the steps to pull it off. And I’m also worried because the men’s dancing is a lot more … extreme … shall we say? And whilst there are enough strapping young men attending, I don’t know there are enough who can instruct them on what to do (ie how to throw people. Don’t ask).
I have a really great band and the lead guy was who came along to give the dancing lesson. He’d prepared stuff for to show the guys so at this stage, his plan is to pull a few people aside during the pre-dinner cocktails and hand over some tips. I’m sure it will be fine …
It meant a lot to me to see people come along to my bridal shower and take part and be enthusiastic about our coming wedding day. It’s very odd the process from going from a very personal relationship between you and someone else to something that extends beyond that and involves all the people you know. And is the actual point of the wedding itself.
So this kind of kickstarted this dawning of being on the train. My hen’s night is coming up and I wanted to sort of keep it reasonably low key and be more a few close friends round me as I march closer and closer towards this big event. I’m again quite touched by who has ended up coming along to this – my sister-in-law-to-be will have arrived in town and is able to come. And a few work friends who can’t make it to the big day are coming along, available for this. And it’s starting to feel like a drawn out celebratory rite of passage with different friends and family rallying around me at different stages of the procession. It’s not quite what I expected this to be. But like everything in this whole experience, it’s better than that.
I’m looking forward to my hen’s night. Looking forward to catching up and spending time with friends I’ve not been able to see as much this year as I would have liked cause life got in the way. And I’m really excited by how much each of these events is adding to my excitement for the day.
I’m *really* getting married!
Today’s Tea: T2 Red Choc Mint (Rooibos) 4 stars out of 5
Today’s Craft Project: Sunrise socks in Zest Socks that Rock by Blue Moon Fibre Arts
Mirrored from Champagne and Socks.