Sunday, January 25, 2009

Growing up

The range of emotions that wedding planning induces exhausts me, but I have found that the stress has brought my relationship with my parents, with FP, and with myself to a whole other level. Today a dear friend pointed out that this is the first big adult transaction that you do, with large sums of money and many varied interests. This is so true, and I've realized that much of my anxiety about getting it "right" has to do with the fact that this is my first real public act as an adult. What does this wedding say about me? What does it say about our relationship? etc.

Add to these questions matters of cultural differences, the commonplace generational differences between the couple and the parents, the economics. Now you got a bride about to throw a tantrum. It was like because I cared so much about making sure that other people were happy, I felt like no one cared if I was happy. As if there was a finite amount of caring in the world. If I was caring about them, no one is caring about me. Cue tantrum.

It's strange how choosing to share your life with someone can turn you into a self-centered beast. Because people didn't want exactly what I wanted, it was me against them. My awesome perfect me wedding vs. their impersonal generic them wedding.

The truth is none of that was going to happen. A part of growing up is understanding that people may disagree with you, but they still want the best for you. A part of your parents treating you like an adult is their honesty with you. A part of you being an adult is you listening. My parents are more open-minded than I give them credit for, and I've recognized (again) that my own openness must stem from their openness. We are all trying to ensure each other's happiness. That's what families do.

Anyway wedding planning is not going to be easy sailing, but it is good to remind myself that this isn't supposed to be a day when I get whatever I want. It's a day for love, community, and sharing, as that is the real meaning of marriage.

However, I did get my parents to agree to decreasing the party size by 50-100 people. Score!


Elle said...

This was a great post, Chenda. You are really insightful and I think it's great that you have this outlet to analyze your feelings about wedding planning. I had similar tensions with my parents over our wedding - they are UBER traditional, I'm a BIT traditional, husband is NOT traditional. First mistake was me taking both my fiance and mom to the stationery shop to choose invitations. I didn't think I cared about such mundane details. 5 hours and buckets of tears later...
It all worked out though. The invites were more what my mom wanted than what fiance and I wanted, but she made concessions in other areas.

Michelle @ My Wedding Report said...

So true...there is so much emotion in your relationship and then from the families you come from.

It's good to remember what the wedding is truly about!

Also, I added you to my blog page! Looking forward to reading all your posts!