As the home stretch of wedding planning draws near I have made the mistake of still looking at bridal “inspiration”- especially when our venue posts pictures from other weddings – which is general is a bad idea as I have chosen to not cover every nook and cranny in white tulle but when I see weddings at our venue that I have done so I worry that ours will look sparse. But recently I saw something another couple had done that I can absolutely without a doubt say I do not question for a second that we should do – they had a large backdrop saying “best day ever”. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely backdrop and I am sure that a couple that could include such a prop in their budget had a most wonderful wedding but in general this phrase associated with weddings has always perplexed me .
Forget the fact that “best day ever” plays into the social pressures we have created that demands a wedding be this magical, wonderful, perfect day or else the marriage is doomed to fail (when study after study has in fact shown the opposite is true) I find it just depressing. If the wedding day is in fact the “best day ever” than that means the days ahead are a long, drawn out journey of mediocrity reminiscing about what was. Calling the wedding the “best day ever” plays into the fairytale where the wedding is the end but in the real world it is the beginning. Saying “I do” is the easy part the real joy in marriage should be not in getting married but in being married; actually doing is the hard part but the part that brings the best rewards.
I have been very blessed to have attended many weddings and surprisingly not a single couple is divorced (not that I thought any of those couples were headed that way but statistically it wouldn’t be surprising if some of them did) and I have even more friends who were married before we were friends – what this means is that I get to witness the marriages of a lot of wonderful people. I see the joy in their travels together, in their accomplishments, in their children, but most of all I see their joys in each other. Witnessing my friend’s marriages has shown me that in marriage your joy is doubled but also your sorrow is cut in half. Calling the wedding day the “best day ever” does not honor the journey that is just starting.
I also worry about the message it sends when we call our wedding days the “best day ever”, as if marriage is the only path to achieve happiness. For every couple I know who finds joy in their marriage I know someone who has found just as much joy in the success of their self-reliance. We live in a world where we may soon have the first female president but women are still prone to celebrate their marriages and motherhood more than any other aspect of their life. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to have a partner in life with Shaun but that partnership is a choice – not a necessity. I choose marriage, I choose the partnership but it is not the only path to joy.
I hope October 22 2016 is a great day. I hope we are blessed with good weather. I know that we will blessed with the love of many family members and friends and I hope they are blessed with good travels. I hope that there is joy and laughter and maybe even a few tears. I hope to look back upon this day with fondness as the years go by but as much as I hope it is a special day I hope it pales in comparison to the adventure that lies ahead.