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The Truth about Wedding Planning

April 24, 2009

Here’s wedding planning you won’t get at theknot.com…

One thing I think the world lacks, is genuine openness about trials, struggles and challenges. I regularly find myself talking to moms in hopes that they will share both the good experiences and the less-than-good experiences about pregnancy, child-birth, and raising children. Depression and isolation occurs when one thinks they are the only one struggling. I desire in my life to create safe places for people to be honest about their feelings and to connect them with others who feel the same way they do. Even close friends often hide their deepest struggles in an attempt to keep up the perfect facade. Who are you fooling? Sometimes life is hard.

This stage in my life, while incredibly wonderful and hope-filled, is really hard. Wedding planning is hard. There are about a million things to stress about. Jarrod and I have done everything we can to remain calm through this process. We are keeping the budget as low as possible, inviting everyone we love, and making things easy on ourselves and hopefully our families as well. However, in the midst of all of this simplicity, there is complication. Everything costs money and we don’t have a lot of that. We are separated by distance more often than not, which is sad, frustrating, and lonely. We are so blessed to have each other and absolutely incredible friends who are supportive, thoughtful, and encouraging during this time. But it is still had to be in separate states.

I’m graduaing in less than a month. I turned 27 on Wednesday. I’m moving 1 week from tomorrow. I have to find a job in Louisiana soon. These are all wonderful things in nearly every way. However, they are hard. It’s difficult to write about this without feeling like I am complaining. I am definitely not complaining. But I do feel a desire to be authentic about the difficult season this is. I am devastated to move from Dallas and my friends and family. I love it here. I am scared to leave everything I know. I’m worried I won’t find a job that I like. I’m superficially stressed about wedding details on top of deeper fears of financial burdens, making new friends, and finding a career that I am passionate about. Life is gloriously wonderful and full of love, but this season is hard.

One element that I’m not sure people discuss enough in wedding planning is the intense commitment it is to promise the rest of your life to someone else. I cannot picture myself in 5 years, how can I possibly promise my life to Jarrod for 85 years? That is a huge commitment. It is one we discuss regularly. Acknowledging the hugeness of this commitment makes me feel better. I am not committing to looking hot in a white dress for 5 hours. I’m devoting the rest of my life to someone else. I am promising to take care of Jarrod and do what is best for our new family.

Pre-marital counseling is essential. Working through differences is important. Dealing with finances before they tear a family apart is crucial. If wedding planning is reduced to flowers, food, and decorations, couples are not starting out on the right foot. Marriage planning is more important than wedding planning. And that is scary. If I just had to throw myself into planning a super fun party with dresses, shoes, awesome cups, and cake, we’d be set. It’ll be over on July 5th and everyone will have great pictures. But that’s hardly the end. It’s not entirely the beginning either. Perhaps it is a new chapter of a book. It is an opportunity for Jarrod and I to begin to bring our lives together. We are two independent and happy people coming together to make each other better….to make the world better.

My life is packed up right now. About 65% of my things are in Slidell. About 15% of my things are in my bedroom. The last 10% are in my car, in the garage, or scattered around the house. By next Sunday 99% of my things will be in Slidell. Hopefully by then I will have a job. (Don’t ask, I don’t want to jinx it!) I will be with Jarrod, Sophie, Oliver, and Lucy. Life is so good and so full of love that sometimes I feel like I’m going to burst.

But that doesn’t make it any easier to leave Dallas and begin this new (scary!) journey.

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