Friday, October 11, 2013

After the wedding, the marriage

When I was 19, I worked at a self-serve gas station, spending 8-hours shifts solo tucked away in the convenience store part of the station. On slow days, I would read the magazines on offer and, after exhausting the selection of tabloids, would flip through the bridal magazines. In one of these magazines I found the wedding dress of my dreams and very carefully used an X-acto knife to cut out the page. I hung on to that page for years and it might still be kicking around at my mom's house. While I still think the dress is beautiful, it looks nothing like the dress I chose for my upcoming wedding.

Even though I picked out that dress 14 years ago, I never had any other wedding fantasies or daydreams. I never picked out colours or planned the kind of fairy-tale setting I wanted to celebrate my nuptials. I also went through a phase where I wasn't going to get married, but that quickly passed. Despite this, I was teased a bit by good friends when, upon receiving my engagement ring, I quickly set out to plan my wedding.

The thing is, it wasn't some vision I was setting out to fulfill. Rather, because I wasn't allowed to elope, and because I'm a planner, I immediately began putting together the non-eloping wedding that would satisfy us as a couple and allow us to celebrate with friends and family.

Even now, four weeks away from my wedding, I'm more excited about the days that will come after November 9. Our wedding day will be wonderful and magical and beautiful and perfect and it will be a fantastic celebration, but I'm most excited about the marriage that I'm getting out of it. I'll be honest, it's the marriage that I want the most.

We bought our wedding bands last weekend and, while wearing his, the Beau casually said, "I can't wait to wear this everyday." Of course I almost lost it. But this also helped emphasize the importance of the life we are building together and the days and months and years we will spend and husband and wife. And it's just going to mean so much to be that wife, to be part of the marriage, to experience every day something that we'll grow and build and work on and cultivate into something even more beautiful than the day before.

I'm still ecstatic for the wedding day that we have planned and for all the work we and our wedding party and family have put into making it so special and unforgettable. And the wedding will, of course, serve as a wonderful starting point for the marriage that comes after.

I am a little scared that I'll suck at being a wife, but I think that just comes with the territory of embarking on a new thing. (Though we've been living together for almost four years so really I've been a wife that long; on November 9 it will become official.) But I'm not scared of the commitment or of the work or anything else that a marriage will throw my way. Bring it. It's what I want most of all.

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