what I learned when I destroyed my wedding

Here we sit, one month after our crazy wedding, after all of the insurance hoop-jumping and depressing car browsing and trying to locate my cell phone charger that I threw into a random bag after the crash and pouring the expired milk out, I feel we have learned a few valuable lessons:

1. People are nicer than you think.

We have said this before, but we definitely would not have the superb memories of our day and even more so, MAY NOT EVEN BE MARRIED without the kindness of complete strangers.  People who stopped by the crash site to help us out and people who drove us places or gave us cars to drive or people who became impromptu wedding vendors … we are immeasurably indebted to them.

At several points after the accident we considered giving up the idea of getting married and just driving home.  We were running out of time and did not want to inconvenience or disappoint  family members.   But the overwhelmingly depressing idea of abandoning everything and just driving home with a ruined car AND weekend was too much for us to bear, so we blindly continued with whatever wedding we could cobble together.  We are so glad we did.  We are husband and wife because of people we will probably never see again.  Thank you.

2. It will be funny … later.

While we met some pretty remarkable strangers, some of the new people we encountered were not so kind.

Mostly government employees.  Surprised?

“Why didn’t you plan this better?” was the refrain of the county clerks when we quite literally limped into their building asking for information on wedding licenses.  I thought A’s head was going to blow off.

“WELL, LET’S SEE.  WE DIDN’T PLAN TO CRASH OUR CAR AND END UP HERE. MA’AM.  AND I AM TRYING TO FIGURE THIS OUT AND GIVE MY FIANCEE SOMETHING NICE.  UNDERSTAND?!?!”

He was stern.

Then, when we were eating our mountain of chocolates after our wedding, some of the volunteers at the hotel apparently heard our story and set out to find the bride and groom who were attending their event.

“Are you the couple with the problems???”

That was how we were greeted, and then asked to pose for a photo.  We did … so I guess we are.

So while we didn’t need a lecture about effective wedding planning from a grumpy clerk or were not looking for such a colorful name, it is hilarious now and another essential part of our wedding story.

3. Don’t fall asleep when driving.

4. You can’t please …. most people.

We did not expect everyone to understand or appreciate the way we got married.  Knowing we were going to disappoint friends and family members did not make our decision an easy one, but it was the right one for us.  Those that were upset were so because they care very much, and wanted to share an exciting day with us–so we are accepting whatever emotions they are expressing to us as a sign of how much we are loved, and how much they wish they could have attended.

That may be naive or too rosy, but that is how we are accepting it, and moving on.

Through the wedding we have learned once more we cannot please everyone .. . and I don’t think any example is more obvious than at a wedding.  Even if we did have a more traditional wedding, many I have gone to still are criticized for spending too much/not enough, or the food was bad or the location was too far to travel.  I think everyone has encountered that at a wedding, right?

We wish we could have appealed to everyone, but the day was ultimately about us.  Which brings us to ….

5. What is a wedding?

I realize now that most of the photos I am in, I am standing next to my groom.  Looking back, I do wish I would have had some standing next to my brother, or just my parents or brother-in-law and his girlfriend… but the majority are just with A.  But that is what the day is all about.

Because of that (ridiculous, stressful, amazing, lucky) day, we are now joined for life.

Even though we did not have the day we planned, and we had to return with no vehicle, a bit of injury recovery, and heaps of stress from the plans I ruined–we are married.

And if the wedding is any indication, our marriage should be pretty great.

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