Wedding Stuff: Fantasy vs Reality and Reigning in Expectations

Seeing “Jumping the Broom” a couple of weeks after getting engaged was a bad idea.

As I said in my last post, I never dreamed about my wedding growing up. I didn’t have a list of the colors, type of dress I wanted to wear, what venue I wanted to tie the knot in, what photographer I wanted or any of that.

However, I did have a few expectations that I didn’t know I had until after I got engaged…and especially after I saw that movie. And when I realized that what I thought would happen, probably wouldn’t, I was sad.

Yes, I was engaged to the love of my life…and absolutely dejected for weeks.

All I could think about is that my dad isn’t around to walk me down the aisle (or pay for the wedding), my mom isn’t in town to help me plan the wedding and the girls I thought I was closest to and who would be there for me the most live far away and don’t seem interested past a “Congratulations” text.

Expectations I didn’t even know I had swarmed my mind in the form of questions. Where was my Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte to fuss over the wedding with me? Where was my Rachel and Phoebe to be my automatic wedding party? Why did my mom live so far away making it impossible for me to move in with her until the wedding? Why did my dad leave this earth before giving me away? Why is my sister too unreliable and faraway to play a significant role? Why is my closest friend in Columbus moving to Tennessee and another friend who got engaged the week after me moving to Kentucky? Why am I planning this thing by myself? Why don’t I have a best friend to be excited with me like I would be excited with her?

I moped around for a few days that turned into at least two weeks. Not wanting to seem like one of those annoying girls who talks about nothing but the wedding, I changed the subject whenever someone brought it up. I half-heartedly looked through the stacks of wedding magazines I’d bought it my excitement the morning after the proposal. I looked at some venues online but didn’t call to make any appointments to tour. I was just ready to skip the wedding and go straight to the marriage. I (only half) joked to my fiancee that the courthouse charges just 25 bucks to get married.

One night, I called my fiancee and expressed my concerns through tears. I told him how disappointed I was and how nothing was turning out how I thought it would and how I didn’t even realize I thought it would turn out a certain way. I lamented about having no one to look at wedding dresses with me. And that none of my friends seemed happy for me. And that my dad wasn’t here to pay for the wedding and give me away. And my mom was too far away to do the mother of the bride stuff. He listened and listened as I cried/whined.

And then I felt really, really, really ridiculous.

My concerns were legitimate, but I realized that I was focusing on the WRONG things. I was being blinded by my expectations and unable to see the great things right in front of me.

For instance…

  • The minutes, hours and days following my engagement, Twitter and Facebook practically exploded with shoutouts and well-wishes.
  • Two days after I got engaged, I had received a box in the mail from my college roommate filled with wedding magazines, a planner, a book and a card addressed to “The future Mrs. Henry”.
  • A friend at my church offered to help me plan the wedding since she is an event planner. She emailed me a list of venues that I might be interested in with all of their information and pricing.
  • The weekend I got engaged my mom came in town and we went to look at wedding dresses.
  • My dad left me in a good spot to pay for a wedding without going into any debt.
  • To top it all off, I am engaged to a great guy who wants to plan OUR big day together!

But I hadn’t been able to see any of that.

I decided from that night forward that I would stop being ridiculous. My dad isn’t alive to walk me down the aisle, but my mom has been remarried for years and my stepdad will be happy to do it.

It may not be the friends I expected, but I DO have friends here in Columbus and out of town who are excited for me and more than willing to listen to me chomp their ear off about the wedding. Plus, all I do is text and Tweet so friends moving out of town is not a big deal.

My mom is only a phone call or a plane ride away.

Most importantly, I really shouldnt be get my wedding fantasies from sitcoms and movies anyway.

I can’t believe I almost let my expectations ruin what is supposed to be a fun and exciting time in my life!

So yeah, I’m excited again cause I’m getting MMMMMAAAARRRRIIIIIEEEEEDDDDD!!!! Now, I’m all about looking at venues, reading bridal magazines and talking to anyone who will listen about wedding stuff!

Expectations will murder a situation that is actually pretty darn great. I think a new rule of thumb for me is to just go with it and be happy with everything as-is…because I have a LOT to be happy about.

3 thoughts on “Wedding Stuff: Fantasy vs Reality and Reigning in Expectations

  1. Monique says:

    Oh my gosh I cant believe you felt so dejected! I enjoy reading your wedding stuff! Its nice to be able to follow along someone that I know, who is my age who is getting married and to see all of the planning/stress/excitement this is causing you lol

    Everything will work out great!! Happy planning!

    Like

  2. lily says:

    Hi Alissa,

    Usually don’t ever comment online but had to after reading this beautiful post! I was right there with you, feeling upset at all the wrong you were observing in your life because things weren’t going as you expected. Your story really puts the age-old tale of “Great Expectations” to the test. Sometimes we become so obsessed with our fantastical visions of what ought to transpire, that anything other than or less than that can never by satisfactory. Our expectations often exceed what is pragmatic.

    You chose to ignore the beauty of the kindness shown to you by friends and family, thereby choosing to become despondent. So happy for you that you finally chose joy for yourself because you deserve it! I was so moved by how simply changing your perspective drastically impacted your understanding of your situation. Sometimes the t.v., movies, magazines, and other media outlets are contributing factors to feelings of inadequacy. But seeing beauty in everything really does make life more beautiful. Congrats on your accomplishments thus far, and best wishes for even more success!

    P.S. your hair is amazing…(seriously considers going relaxer-free for the first time….) lol

    Like

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