So far the wedding planning is teaching me lessons that I know will be helpful in our marriage. If you know me, then you know I have a tendency to make a plan for something, and then I really do not want to deviate from the plan. At all. Because it was part of the plan, so why would we change the plan, when we took the time to come up with the plan in the first place? (Maybe I’m not super sure what the word “plan” means, especially versus “actual.”) I hope you’re picking up on my control issues.
The first lesson after our engagement? I thought through all the factors for our wedding – cost, weather, travel, etc. My plan: a wedding in Annapolis (less expensive than DC, close to the easiest-Oklahoma-arrival airport), in the fall (because I LOVE the fall, which wouldn’t be during high season in Annapolis, making it less-less-expensive than DC, with brisk weather), on October 9 (Audrey’s birthday), on a boat! It was perfect! We announced the DATE, we announced the LOCATION, we shared it with family who were excited to reserve rooms and buy plane tickets!
Except so much of that plan was out of my control. Do you know what else wants to happen in Annapolis on October 9, 2010? The world’s LARGEST boat show. And apparently the world wants to stay in Annapolis during the world’s largest boat show, making hotel rooms approximately $350 a night, if you can get one at all. And all the venues might be booked. And if you wanted to, say, have your wedding on a boat, that boat could not get to the dock to pick you and your guests up because of all the world’s other boats.
[NOTE: I also forgot to tell you that when my plan doesn’t go exactly as planned, I have a tendency to want to scrap the whole thing.]
When we found out October 9 wouldn’t work, I wanted to scrap the whole thing. The positive side of me: Let’s just elope! The negative (which honestly has more sway): This is a sign you shouldn’t get married! Luckily, one of players in this relationship is sane, and he talked me off the cliff, telling me, “I’ll marry you TODAY! That’s the important thing!”
Wedding=back on! But when? Where?
After doing a blackberry check to see if there would be another boat show on October 2 (good thing, because the OTHER world’s largest boat show is in Annapolis on October 16), we thought it might work. Then I thought to check football schedules, to make sure it was not a home Navy game (driving up those costs again) or on OU v. TX. Check! Check! Except I was wrong about one of those.
The boat didn’t work out, either, after they up-charged me $2500 finding out that our “event” was a “wedding.” I scrambled to find a venue, hearing rude event planners ask, “October second OF THIS YEAR?!?!” like I was getting married the next day. But I found the perfect place – St. John’s College – which will once again incorporate books into our story. And it’s been hard for me to ask bridesmaids, wondering if they will be able to make the trip from Oklahoma and me being scared about rejection. Wedding websites that didn’t let me change colors and limited my word count (not my strong suit, obviously)! Venues that didn’t allow candles! Hotels that wouldn’t do wedding blocks! We don’t have a photographer! My planned food provider now won’t return emails! Oh my!
But I get to marry Grant Thompson, surrounded by my friends and family, in one of my favorite places, in my favorite season. We get to continue our life together, which was hard for me to even imagine a year and a half ago. I couldn’t even formulate the plan that would get us to this point. And maybe that’s the point. I lived my life day-to-day, because that’s all I could do. That’s all I could handle and digest.
I have a plan for our marriage – a happy and healthy one – but I can’t control it. I can’t will it into being. I can shape it, day by day, loving Grant, taking care of myself, and finding ways of letting go.