I think sometimes I obsess over my wedding day details like my hair, and my nails to keep my mind occupied… but perhaps mostly because I really actually can't quite picture myself as a BRIDE.
I keep trying to imagine the day — waking up with my fianceé, having coffee, going out to brunch, getting ready, taking pictures, going to the chapel, to dinner afterwards. But it's foggy in my imagination, and that's likely because… it's huge. I can't picture it, and I've DONE it before. This is my second trip down the aisle, and I still am finding it so hard to wrap my brain around what it will feel like that day.
My fiancée and I were talking the other day about our wedding, and it kind of feels like we are playing pretend. Ok, y'all, we actually are grown-ass people. We are both 34 years old. I will be 35 in not-that-long. We have both been married before. We know what we're getting ourselves into. But I still feel like a kid playing “Bride.”
For example, I've had conflicting visions of my wedding-day attire. Both are extensions of me — do I want to go full-on, used-to-be-a-burlesque-performer-for-years, high-femme-queen, pin-up glam, in daring red and bold cat eyeliner? Or do I want to go softer, sweeter, a little precious, a little bit rustic, and Southern through and through (which I am), in well-worn boots and a sweet white dress and hand-tied wildflowers?
Deciding to elope meant I made a choice rather quickly to go with the red dress I love, that I feel fabulous in, that my fiancée loves, as well. Great! But today, I stumbled upon the adorable white dress of my dreams, and I yearned to also be THAT girl.
Although I certainly am both of those — and many other things, too — I can't really perform both versions of Bride at the same time. And that's okay. My wedding doesn't have to be the ultimate reflection of Who I “Really” Am As a Person.
I know, this isn't earth-shattering news — the concept that no, Virginia, we actually can't have it all. Every time I make a choice, every time I say “yes” to one thing, I am also saying, “No, thank you,” to perhaps thousands of other things. This is true in my life, every single day, right?
Why does it feel so much more heightened when planning my wedding?
Ah, I guess because of that (very recent) idea that our weddings are not just rituals that make us a legal family unit, followed by a party to celebrate that union. Now weddings are expressions of our very unique and super special snowflakeness. Right?
I'm curious whether it's because we're queer, because we're two women. Same-sex marriage is still so new; we spent much of our adulthood never thinking we'd be able to do this (legally), and even if we could commit to each other in a ceremony, that other people wouldn't take it seriously. But people are. My family is. My co-workers are.
There's just some stuff there that we're unpacking, and maybe everyone feels it, like how nobody ever really feels like an adult, or a “Bride,” no matter how many markers you hit. I still feel like a kid, and I keep waiting for someone, like the chapel staff, to laugh and tell me we can't really do this, but that's not happening.
Instead, THIS is really happening.