“Oh, I’d never do that” or how getting married has turned me into a liar

Guest post by HeliaG
Did getting engaged turn you into a pretty little liar? You're not alone! (Custom ring design made on Typerings.com)
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My getting married (or engaged for that matter) has never been a foregone conclusion. It's not that I ever swore it off entirely… though to hear my grandmother talk, you'd think so. The first thing she said upon hearing of my engagement was, and I quote, “HA! I told you so. Told you you'd change your mind.”

You tell friends and family that you're happy the way you are and that you can take it or leave it (“it” being matrimonial bliss). But that's not what makes me a liar, since I'm still stickin' to my guns that I'd not made any sweeping declarations regarding marriage.

But still… in the past month or so, I've been scratching my head about and thinking “Huh. I am such a liar.”

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You Sit On A Throne Of Lies Scrabble Tile Necklace

I'm not a judgmental person. I'm very easygoing in regards to opinions, lifestyles, and desires. Do what you will as long as no one's in pain and you're all clam-happy. More power to you, pet. Life's too short to be worrying about what your neighbor's growing. That doesn't mean that I've not looked at things and gone, “Ooh, I'd not do that for myself,” or “That wouldn't be my choice,” and getting hitched was no different.

Maybe it was the “take it or leave it” notion I had surrounding marriage, but I ended up making more of those sweeping declarations about a wedding than is typical for me in other areas of my life. I'd see someone make their own wedding cake, for example, and go, “Oh, that's cool. But I'd never do that.” Then I'd file it away, presumably forgotten in the mess of file cabinets manned by tiny neuron librarians that make up my perception of my brain. (We still use the Dewey decimal system. I refuse to abandon that knowledge.)

Unfortunately, those horn-rimmed glasses-wearing, self-shushing little librarians are more efficient than I'd realized. Almost as soon as that ring implausibly found itself onto my finger, and the idea of marriage into my heart… there they were, opening up the cabinet and dusting off the file. And as I read it, I go, “Awww man. I'm such a liar.”

A few examples:

  • “I'd never make a cake myself.” Yeah. That's a lie. My mom is enjoying playing around with fondant, and the cake design is so simple, I don't think a baker needs to put it together.
  • “Ooh, I want a really exotic flower, or something absolutely gorgeous for my wedding flowers.” *Buzzer sounds* Oooh, I'm sorry, brain. The correct answer is: Don't give a crap. No flowers.
  • “I'd never spend that much money on a dress.” Lie. Spending money on a dress is one of the few things I've been able to talk my frugal self into. I love dressing up. And now I want a big, crazy, sexy wedding dress that my brothers and sister will want to mime throwing up onto when I walk down the aisle. I've had custom dresses made for my shows, events, and ren faire outings for years. Why would I spend less on the most photographed piece of clothing I'll ever own?
  • “I'll never wear an engagement ring. I'm just not a ring person.” Try and take my antique pink sapphire from me and die.
  • “I'll definitely wear white.” Okay, we'll call this one a draw. The wedding dress will be white (probably), but the reception dress is an ice blue and blush, vintage, tulle, poofy, ballerina number that makes me, every time I put it on, dance in front of the mirror and giggle.

So… every day I'm finding new little memories that float to the surface, and I laugh and remind myself not to make any more sweeping declarations. Thankfully, in this case, it's more amusing than anything to be a liar. And I especially enjoy that the lies aren't all geared towards being offbeat, as some have me skewing decidedly BACK to traditional. Honestly? Being a genuine collection of traditional and offbeat makes me feel more genuine — and less “labeled” than any of the old, silly sweeping declarations those librarians could dig up.

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Comments on “Oh, I’d never do that” or how getting married has turned me into a liar

  1. I was that with how much we’re spending and my ring. I never expected to host such a pricy party or wear a diamond. Ruby?

  2. Yep, never in my life did I imagine I would shell out the kind of money I’m spending on the photographer. I guess photos are more important to me (and us as a couple) than I thought. Also never thought I would wear a diamond, but my grandmother gave us hers, and I EFFING LOVE IT.

  3. I am soooo with you on the dress. At first I would tell people I couldn’t “possibly imagine” spending more than 500, but when the time came for my do do the purchasing, I wanted nothing less than what double of that could offer me. Yes, it was indulgent, but my venue and theme and my own preference demanded I went all out. I’m usually a very dressy person, too, so it only made sense I was extra-dressy on the big day!

    I looked like a royal princess the entire day and loved every minute of it!

  4. Hahahaha, this is so true. My biggest wedding “lie” was that I thought I would DIY everything! I had grand plans to handcraft a bunch of cute, quirky details to show off our personalities. When it was actually time to DO these things, I realized I didn’t actually care about them. So we skipped pretty much all those little “details” completely, and I didn’t miss them at all.

    I also used to say that I would NEVER buy my dress from David’s Bridal. Aaaaaand… guess where I found my dress? 😉

    • LOL my brilliant plan was to have a different flower for each ladies corsage and mens bout to match their personalities. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

    • I said this about David’s Bridal too! Guess where I was yesterday to pick up my dress???

  5. I think the only real lie I ended up with about my wedding is that I had intended never to get LEGALLY married. But it’s what my boy wanted and he used his logics to talk me into it.

    I guess I also at some point said I was only having my sister as an attendant and I ended up with her plus 4 friends. That was another thing that changed because of what the boy wanted though – he had a brother and 4 friends he wanted as wedding party and we didn’t want our sides unbalanced.

    Is it really a lie if you want something and your partner wants something different and you compromise and let them have it?

    Everything else I said though… Halloween costume wedding? Check! Black dress? Check! With a big long train? Check! Invite every friend and family member possible? Pretty close, there were some tough decisions based on space but many many of the people I cared about ended up being there. Religion-free gender-neutral ceremony? Check! Skipping the bouquet and garter tosses? Didn’t have a bouquet or a garter so no one could make me! (if they tried to make me toss my candle lantern they would have regretted it ;)) Dinner & dancing? Check!

    • I’m finding myself compromising on some of these things as well. My sticking point? Am I calling it a marriage? It’s certainly the easiest, but does it reflect how I really feel? I don’t like the religious, gender-biased background of marriage. But then civil unioned doesn’t really roll off the tongue. Does anyone have any thoughts about this?

  6. I did kind of the same thing with my dress. I swore up and down that I didn’t need a “real wedding dress” and even had a couple of cute, tea-length white(ish) dresses picked out online. Then I ended up going out to a dress fitting (in my mind, mostly to humor my mom) and ended up dropping $350 on an absolutely ridiculous(ly gorgeous) strapless, trumpet dress with beaded details. I was able to justify it to myself because it came from an organization that gets dresses donated and uses the money they get from reselling them to put on weddings for terminally ill people. I could tell myself that not only was I helping out a non-profit, I can also donate the dress back when I’m done so that someone else can have something gorgeous they weren’t expecting to buy. Bottom line: you do what makes you happy. (And hooooo boy, does that dress make me happy! I look like a damn movie star.)

  7. For me, I guess I stayed true to what I had always thought. I never fully valued the idea of a wedding as “wedding,” and I stayed with a pretty small ceremony, simple (but expensive) dress (that I can wear again), a small, organic bouquet, and a small cake. It was a very small destination wedding and I loved it.

    Now, that’s not to say I didn’t second guess myself while planning. When I was planning, I kept thinking, “Am I gonna regret a simple gold cocktail dress? Am I gonna regret not having a huge reception with friends around?” I teetered and tottered for awhile, worried about all that. And then I refocused on what was right for ME, and I knew I wouldn’t care as long as I felt right with my decisions.

    And I did. I stayed simple and small and it was lovely.

    I am happy my groom bought me a good quality diamond. That mattered to him- and I never thought it would to me, but it did. We’ll replace the simple white gold band with an antique setting on our first anniversary.

  8. This is totally off topic, but as a neuroscientist, I love the idea of “tiny neuron librarians”!

  9. I think the hardest part of changing your mind about something is dealing with people’s reactions to it. My mother always has one of two reactions: 1) “I TOLD YOU SO!” *epic smugness* or 2) “I thought you didn’t LIKE (such-and-such). Well, that’s WEIRD.” *nose scrunched in disgust*

    It’s okay to change your mind, about marriage, about wearing jean skirts, about anything. People grow and change, and you don’t have to make the same decision your younger self would have made.

    And if someone judges you for changing your mind, fuck ’em. You don’t have to feel bad about making a new choice that makes you happy.

  10. Haha, I’m beginning to think a little like this too! Mainly on the dress front. I’ve always said I’d have a red wedding dress (I tend to look a bit dead in pale colours), preferably from a charity shop (although I realise a non-traditional colour could be harder to fine). But now I’ve started looking I have seen some really gorgeous ivory ones… Though I am sticking to my guns on cost, I refuse to spend more than £200 on a dress I’ll wear once! And if I can bear to part with it, it’ll be off to Oxfam when we’re done.

    We’ll see how much of this is a lie when I go dress shopping…!

  11. Except for the bit about the cake (we had family friends make it instead of ordering from some foofy bakery, like I always planned/expected to), this is me. I still feel a bit dirty – usually good dirty – about how much my dress cost, wearing a diamond (ethically sourced, and therefore more expensive) when our money could have gone to any number of other necessary expenditures, not having flowers for my mother to dotingly press for us in a book, and for not wearing the insanely bright green brocade dress I had planned to. Y’know what? My “gold” (but basically off-white) dress was fuggin’ gorgeous.

  12. This so much with the dress! I even have a little white, strapless dress in the back of my closet that I’ve never worn and always said “meh, I’ll just get married in that, it’s cute”.

    Psssht, nope. Now that I’m engaged I can’t wait to get myself to a wedding dress boutique and try on some of those cupcake dresses I was so against. Plus side? I already have a pretty fabulous rehearsal dinner dress if I accessorize it well….

  13. Hahahaha I can totally relate to this. I always looked at paper flowers and thought, “Those are awesome, but who has the time? I’d never bother with that.” Then when I found out how much real flowers cost, paper flowers became pretty much the only option (flowers are important to me). I’ve discovered that I really love crafting them and I look forward to each flower-making session. The bridesmaids have also been really touched that I made their bouquets for them personally, an awesome side benefit I didn’t anticipate.

  14. Yes this! I definitely thought I would DIY EVERYTHING at the beginning of planning, now I am just going to end up going with simplicity and whatever I can scrimp together/recycle without having to actually put too much work or thought into!
    There are so many more ‘Oh I’d never’ which I know deep down that I would if I didn’t have to budget! I would definitely have a ridiculously fancy, but non traditional cake (instead of the home made semi pro one that my future MIL will make!) and I would definitely get really cute, unique, personalised favours for everybody where as we won’t be giving them out at all, but these are the things that really don’t matter on the scale of things so I will continue to convince myself that I ‘would never’ because I can’t! 😉

  15. Yes this!

    I was going to DIY EVERYTHING and it was going to be perfectly coordinated and gorgeous.

    But then I got engaged and was surprised to find that my attitude was more, “No but seriously, how soon can we do this? How easy can it be?” so we had a very imperfectly coordinated but nontheless gorgeous wedding. Kind of chaotic, not very planned, relying largely on the big hearts of the people around us, just like our life.

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