Every so often my fiancé Steve shares his thoughts. Here’s his last pre-wedding post.
It’s just around the corner. The 10-day weather forecast now extends to the wedding (partly sunny, highs in the upper 70’s…). I keep getting asked, “Are you excited?” “Are you nervous?” “Are you ready?” Yes, no, yes and no.
More and more I’ve found myself saying (and hearing) “…after the wedding.” As in, I know we need to do X, and maybe we can get to that after the wedding. When will we find and unpack the rest of our dishes, pots, and pans? After the wedding. When will I get caught up at work? After the wedding. When will we have friends over for dinner? (You know the refrain).
I look forward to life after the wedding, because so many things have been on hold while we’ve been merging households and making preparations. The top five things I’m looking forward to leaving behind:
5. Dates as planning meetings. You go to dinner with a beautiful woman, sit down across from her over a candlelit table, order a bottle of wine, and… each pull out your calendars and to-do lists. I look forward to leaving the notebooks behind.
4. The craft room fiancée. Sandee and her mom are making lots of lovely decorations for the wedding, some of which I’ve even been allowed to see! But she’s labored some long hours over a hot glue gun. On good days, I hear her singing upstairs. On other days, I hear the occasional growl. I won’t miss the time and stress involved in so much high-pressure D-I-Y.
3. Middle-of-the-night financial questions, like waking at 2:00 AM, trying to remember if I actually wrote a check for X or just dreamt that I did. What account was I going to use for Y? Did we over-extend when we decided on Z? I prefer my pondering take place after coffee. In daylight.
2. Life lived out of a suitcase or cardboard box. For two years, I saw Sandee mostly on weekends, packing a suitcase and driving an hour each way. For two months, we’ve lived in cardboard box limbo, our earthly possessions stowed in unlikely places. Unpacking has been sporadic and scarce as work and wedding preparations have taken priority. I’m ready for us to be home, together.
1. Wedding-related decisions. I’m OK with decisions; I can be very decisive. I create decision-support models and software. But I’m weary of all the difficult trade-offs. How many of our friends can we actually invite? Where’s the balance between being tight-fisted and responsible about wedding expenses? When is it OK not to care about some décor detail that’s so important to my bride? I look forward to those days after the wedding when the toughest decision is whether to drink red or white wine with dinner.
Still, I don’t want to be so focused on “after the wedding” that I don’t embrace and thoroughly enjoy every moment of the wedding itself. Here are the top five things about the wedding I want to hold on to and savor like a 12-year old scotch:
5. Seeing my bride. That precise moment when Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” bursts out with full strings and she rounds a corner, coming into view in a dress she has so carefully chosen, eyes shining, reveling in the day she’s dreamed about. I just hope I’ll be able to see her clearly, and not through blurry, watery eyes.
4. Friends and family. I’ll have wonderful friends and family members at the wedding to share my joy. Some of them I haven’t seen in too many years. Some of them will be standing with me as Sandee approaches. Some of them will meet her for the first time that day. These friends have stood beside me in some tough times in my life; I’m eager for them to be beside me on one of the best days.
3. Sharing the day with my sons. How many grooms get to share their wedding day with their adult sons? It’s not entirely rare, but it feels very special. Tucker and Dusty have observed (with different levels of involvement and comment) my years of dating. They have cheered me on, sometimes questioned my choices (or tactics), but never begrudged me the search. It will be an honor and joy to have them participating in the ceremony.
2. A perfect evening. I know things may not go exactly as planned. The sunset may not be spectacular, I might stumble in the “first dance,” and it’s entirely possible I’ll spill something—hopefully not on Sandee’s gown. But we’ll be dancing to music we selected, eating food we chose, drinking wine from vineyards we’ve visited, and be surrounded by people we love. How could that not be perfect?
1. The ring. Strange? I’ve never worn much jewelry, but I really like the idea of having a ring on my finger again. I picked it out, and I’ll like the cool feel of it when my bride slides it on my finger, and I will absolutely mean the words I speak over it. And eventually, I’ll grow so used to the reassuring weight of it on my hand that I’ll feel naked without it.
I’ll be married. And I’m really looking forward to that.