Throughout the engagement and planning process, much like the question we hear now, nearly everyone around us would ask us the same thing, or a variant of such:
How are you doing?
How are you feeling?
Are you nervous/anxious/ready?
We understood it was all well-intentioned.
During the earlier stages, the question was one that would invite a lengthy response which usually corresponded with more intricate details about plans, ideas, giddiness, etc.
However in the immediate days prior, it became like that damn mosquito that hovers near your ear when you’re trying to sleep, just to flit out of reach as you go to conquer it.
It felt as though every time someone asked us, we melted a little more, and not in a good way.
This all came to a head the night before, during a joint family barbeque put on by mi familia. We were tired, frazzled, anxious, overwhelmed, underwhelmed … we were, indeed, ALL THE THINGS.
We appreciated, and still do, everything everyone did for us. But at that point, we’d traveled for three days, had reunions galore from halfway around the world, partied for our hens and stags, missed one marriage license appointment, had another that very morning, finalized all the details, had some miscommunication meltdowns with the coordinator, done a run-through, were under pressure to see everyone we hadn’t, got lost on the way to the barbeque and here we were. With many asking us how we were feeling.
It, unfortunately, was one of my sweet, poor, unsuspecting aunts who triggered it. Luckily, she’s got a good head on her shoulders and took it quite well when I turned to her and said:
“Quite honestly, if one more person asks me that question, I’m going to lose it.”
I then stepped away, with Aussie, and cried. Not for being sad, not for being scared. Just for being so overwrought with emotion and stress and pressure. We tried to return to the party, but we couldn’t even finish a beer. A sure sign we were finito.
Luckily, our amazing photographers who’d been there, done that, and my super awesome pseudo-mama, Sooz, took notice. The three came over and told us, under no uncertain terms, that it was quite all right for us to bow out and go back to the hotel.
So we did.
We flopped on our bed, curled up together and just stared. After a while we put on an episode of whatever show we were watching at the time. And we passed out.
We really did appreciate all the concern and checking in, but weddings are hard. I’m happy we didn’t go ‘zilla, but it wasn’t a graceful moment.
Planning weddings is stressful. Being around a ton of family and friends, especially when you haven’t seen them in a while, can be stressful. Add all the elements together? It’s a recipe for implosion.
We survived, obviously, and being with our friends the next morning helped to ease the tension.
We learned, through this experience, that even though we knew the wedding wasn’t about just us, nor was it just about our families, etc., it was about weathering the storm together. It was likely (maybe with the exception of a moment or two during the hens/stags) our most graceless moment, and one I’m not happy about.
But, it did set up boundaries, boundaries we badly needed. We needed to step away and just have some us time, time we hadn’t been able to have up until that point. It’s unfortunate it took that moment, those actions, for us to realize it, but that set up a template for us to be able to recognize it in the future. Which makes knowing what we need, what our boundaries are, not so tough right now.
Juju Ivanyuk by Ben Hassett for Numéro #128 on Fashion Gone Rogue