Can We Skip the Wedding?

The days since Dave asked me to marry him have flown by. They’ve been wonderful to some extent. We traveled up to Iowa so I could meet more of his family and friends and so that he could say goodbye to people he didn’t get to see before he moved to Texas. The weekend was lovely. But everything surrounding the wedding has been quite stressful.

I want to marry this man, but oh how I wish I could do it without a “wedding.” I’m probably the worst party planner ever. I don’t know venues, food, color schemes, music, decorations, or any of the stuff that goes into putting on a wedding. Perhaps more accurately, I don’t care about those things. Trying to muddle through a list of things that mean nothing to me leaves me completely overwhelmed. Anytime I’ve thrown a party, my “planning” has amounted to calling Mom and Dad and asking if they’d make a bunch of food for my friends. They do the work, and I show up and enjoy. That’s how we’ve operated in the past, so this position I’m in of planning – actually planning – leaves me feeling completely out of my comfort zone and overwhelmed. I’m about two seconds from drugging Dave and flying him to Vegas. And who knows? Since he’s seeing my stress, I may not need drugs to get him there.

I keep bringing myself to the reminder that I am not planning just any wedding – I’m planning my wedding to Dave. That makes a difference. It doesn’t make the details easier for me, but it softens my heart towards them for sure. My heart isn’t so soft that I’ve eliminated the grump factor, but I’ve tempered it quite a lot. I keep bringing myself back to gratitude for the incredible man who has chosen to love me for the rest of his life, gratitude for the families and friends we have who want to celebrate with us, and the support we have to make a gathering of the people we love happen.

I don’t know for sure yet where or when it’ll take place. I don’t know if it’ll be dressy or casual. I don’t have a real sense of colors or whether we’ll have a wedding party. I know I’m marrying Dave. I am hopeful the friends who introduced us will play a big part in the ceremony. I have a wish for sunflowers, which have long been my favorite flower, though I don’t know if they’ll be in season. And I’m hopeful that my friends will join me for a long run on the trails the morning of my wedding day. Beyond that? I have no idea what I’m doing. Dave gets home from Iowa on Saturday, and we’ll talk and figure some of it out together.

The other day, after work, I asked him to go for a run with me – not because a run was on my training schedule – but because I needed it. We ran three miles in my neighborhood. As we approached the house, he took my hand and instructed me to skip with him. Skip – like you learn to do in elementary school. Dave said that it’s impossible to frown and skip, and he was right. We laughed as we skipped home.

11 thoughts on “Can We Skip the Wedding?

  1. My sweet friend . . . if there is anything I can do to ease your stress and help you out . . . please let me know. I love event planning!!!

  2. In answer to your question: “Yes.” I’ve had two weddings, one with months of planning, lots of people, the right colored napkins, a fancy dress. One at the beach in drawstring pants and t-shirts, with a ten friends and family and no hoopla. The second was every bit as meaningful with none of the stress; which meant it was more meaningful.

  3. I agree with Gretchen. Do what makes you and Dave happiest. If that means asking your parents to throw a cookout for 10 people, that’s great. If that means a wedding at your church with 400 people, great too! And it’s totally OK to outsource the planning. Many people LIVE to plan weddings and it’s worth paying a good one to take all that off your hands.

  4. My advice is to do more of what you’ve done in this post– think about what’s important to you to and just leave the rest. Weddings are a billion dollar industry and there are countless options for EVERYTHING out there (right down to invitation paper, announcement fonts, and cake flavors) but after all, a wedding is not a marriage. For a marriage, all you need is two people and love, faith, and commitment. You certainly seem to have that already, so everything else is icing on the cake! (Butter creme icing on a three-tiered honey almond and chocolate marble cake… or maybe fondant on red velvet… or whipped sugar on lemon pound… 😉 )

  5. Niles and I went off and got married in Sedona. Only people there were the couple that set us up along with his brother (and his wife) that we invited at the very last minute. Total of 6 people. Best thing we ever did. Yet it was formal dress. Then we went out to eat afterwards. No stress. I highly recommend this form of wedding. Then we had a reception for everybody when we got back.

  6. You don’t have to have a “wedding”. You don’t have to do anything you are told. Happiest sentence you wrote began, “Dave gets home….” You had no need to point out the miracle of it. Just the confidence that home is where you are together.

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  8. Everybody is on the right track: Just do what is right for YOU! Think about the weddings you’ve been to — which stick out most in your mind as THE BEST EVER, and most importantly: What made them so memorable? It’s not about the dress or food or music or napkins. When the wedding reflects the personality of the bride & groom, everyone there FEELS it! It’s one of those “whole is greater than the sum of the parts” moments.

    You may not realize it, but you’ve already started the planning process. Sunflowers and a morning run. What do you mean you don’t know if sunflowers will be in season?! If you want sunflowers to have an important role, then you plan so that they can be there — get married in sunflower season!

    And you’ve kind of answered this question already, but I’ll take it one step further: WHY are you planning a wedding? Not because you want a big bash, obviously, and you didn’t mention anything about doing it to please someone else (parents, etc.). You specifically said BECAUSE YOU WANT TO MARRY DAVE and secondarily to do so in the presence of your beloved tribe.

    So forget about whether it’s a “wedding” or not — make it about celebrating your and Dave’s commitment to each other and inviting your loved ones into that beautiful circle of love for a day. **If you make that your focus, I promise you it will be a day everyone will FEEL and will remember forever!**

    So if you WANT a big bash with themes, colors, and fancy napkins, HIRE SOMEONE TO DO IT FOR YOU. If you honest to God DON’T CARE, then get your parents to cook, hire someone (who can do portobellos!) to bbq, or have a pot luck. NO ONE WILL CARE! This is your TRIBE, your loved ones! All they (yours and Dave’s) want is to celebrate your love with you!

    Keep your focus on that, and all else will follow.

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