Friday, May 25, 2012

Lights.... Curtain.... SHOW!

I'm a bit bitter about the similarties between throwing a wedding and putting on a theatrical production. It's not that I don't love theatre, because I do. It's the fact that, for me, this wedding has felt so much less authentic than I want it to be. Somewhere in between being a meticulous planner, a people-pleaser and having an out-of-control guest list, I've completely lost track of the Grige and myself.
Maybe it would be better to lose track of us... We're odd.
Photo: Megan Shiley

I shouldn't be complaining: "Oh, poor ME! So many people love me and want to attend our wedding! My life is so horrible!". I'm thrilled that so many people want to be there for me, for my parents, and to meet the Grige. When I look at the list, I can't think of a single person who I would cut. But the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. Somehow, this group of individuals who I know and love has turned into an audience that I must impress. And that, is a horrible feeling.

My parents come from a small town. They've lived there all of my life, and for the 10 years they were married before they had me. They have an amazingly kind, interesting, wonderful and ENORMOUS group of friends. They've been my mentors, my teachers and my friends for my whole life. However, given the nature of small towns to be on the gossip-y and competitive side, I've been bombarded with advice on how to impress everyone and how to take the best from every wedding this group has ever been to.

We're not the world's most impressive bunch, but boy are we happy!
Photo: Tom Zych

It's all made me feel like my mantra, "this is just a party to support and celebrate the commitment of two people who love each other", is a bit quaint. It's to the point where I wonder if people who will be receiving our painstakingly designed and beautifully letterpressed invitations in a few short weeks will even be thinking about the Grige and I when they open them. Or will they be thinking about what kind favors we'll give? Or why we didn't offer chicken? Or, god forbid, how much did these fancy invites cost???

It's like the playbill is out, and everyone is sitting in the theatre wondering if the players are up to their tasks. Wondering if the set will be realistic, if the script will make them cry, if the tickets were worth it, how long will the show run?

And for me, the person trying to write the ceremony script - to pick readings that will be meaningful to us, but relatable to other people; to pick music that we like but that makes sense at a wedding; to meaningfullly incorporate our values and visions for our marriage without ending up feeling too exposed or vulnerable in front of so many critics - I mean guests.... Well, it's kind of a lot of pressure.

Something relaxing - to relieve the pressure...
Photo: Evan Quasney

And frankly, it's pressure I didn't sign on for. I am an extremely sensitive introvert. I do not like large groups of people and I do not like exposing my work publicly for criticism. In fact, it's kind of a miracle I have a blog at all. All I wanted was to marry the Grige, and to make as many people happy as possible in the process, which inherently meant a big wedding.

I'm left feeling like I'd like to have a banner with a disclaimer made to hang over our ceremony site to remind people that they are witnessing an authentic commitment, and not a performance. There may be a script, and it may be a big party, but the real reason for a wedding is to celebrate love and support two people as they start their lives together. I wish I could shake the feeling that I need to remind people of that.

ACTION! The show must go on.
Photo: Jeanine Finch


  1. If I had a dollar for every time I said "What will people think?" while planning our wedding, we could have afforded a wedding at the Hay Adams. And I consider myself to be a very "fuck 'em if they can't take a joke/don't like me" kind of person. I really struggled with this too and honestly it didn't let up until I just let it/everything go (I figured we were beyond the point of no return and what was done was done, so fuck 'em if they couldn't take a joke or our wedding!), which happened about 4 days before the wedding. I look back on it now and am a bit sorry I spent so much energy worrying about that because it took away from the experience. And then at the same time maybe that just was my experience! It was real! I was real and in the end it was all ok. So no advice here, but very sympathetic commiseration. :)

    1. I totally agree with the fuck 'em mentality. I almost feel like posting a reminder in our programs that says something like "reminder: You are here to celebrate a MARRIAGE". Probably not appropriate, but so tempting. I'm hoping I hit that zen moment a little earlier than 4 days out though....