Sometimes in life, it seems like going your own way, or doing things the way you know you want them to be, seems impossible.
We live in a time when “news” comes at us from every direction. Articles with titles such as “What not to wear after 30” or “Parenting mistakes you are probably making” or the one I see a lot “Top wedding trends that need to end.”
All of these are wrong. Every single one of them. They are written by people who assume that everyone is looking at the situation from the same vantage point.
I have been divorced from my children’s father for almost 5 years. When he and I married, we were 19 years old, and Pinterest did not exist. It was a simpler time. We picked what we wanted, held a small but pretty wedding, which led to over 15 years of marriage. It all worked out.
Almost two decades later, I find myself planning another wedding. A little (lot) older. A lot (little) wiser.
And most importantly, paying for it ourselves.
We are adults. We have a house, cars, bills, kids, jobs, and basic adult responsibilities.
I do not have the luxury of spending $3,000 on burlap to line tables for 3 hours. More importantly, I don’t want to.
I want my wedding to be fun. When the cute young lady at David’s Bridal asked me the theme of my wedding, the only word I could come up with was “fun.” I know all weddings are supposed to be fun. But I want this one to feel like a celebration.
I want the actual ceremony to take a back seat. We are planning an incredibly small ceremony (less than 20 people) at a local park, followed by a larger reception where our friends can help us celebrate our relationship and our future.
I want my children to be able to be themselves and enjoy the day and feel included.
I want to be relaxed, to laugh, and to enjoy time with our friends. I would like the entire day to have the feel of a backyard BBQ or an Iowa Hawkeye tailgate. Relax. Take it easy. We are all friends here.
We are planning to have a taco bar, some mixed drinks, and a DJ to help everyone enjoy the night.
My friends and I have discussed the pros and cons of making the tacos ourselves vs hiring a caterer. The idea of prepping it all with my nearest and dearest sounds fun to me.
That is the vision in my head.
The vision in other peoples heads is one of churches, with formal singers, and tuxedos. The traditional wedding. With the somber, reverent feel.
I find myself defending my vision. I feel myself explaining it over and over. I hear myself justify, and almost apologize for it to people who are not the two people getting married.
Why do we do that? Why do we feel that we have to explain what we want?
When I proposed my plan to the man, he was on board immediately. When discussed with my closest friends, I could feel the excitement spreading, as they understood. When I mention plans to others outside of my core group, I find myself feeling defensive.
Why does their opinion matter?
This is our wedding. It will look and feel how we want it to. At the end of the day, we will be married, we will have laughed, and we will have partied with those who love us most.
I know that in my heart, now if we can just make it to that day without having added in some doves or a string quartet at someone else’s suggestion, I think we can call it a success.
So if you are over 30, wear whatever makes you feel confident and beautiful and capable of taking on your day. If you are a parent, parent your child the way you know they need, without the worry of what the house next door is doing.
And if you are planning a wedding, use or don’t use Pinterest as much as you want. Use whatever you want. Don’t let some expert you have never met, and never will, tell you that Mason jars are last season. Keep your vision, no matter how complicated or simple it is. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about the two of you, and no one else.