Two and a half years ago, I married a very good man and had a beautiful wedding to celebrate the whole shebang. Happily ever after, right? Here's the awkward thing: I can't stop thinking about planning my wedding, even though I'm approximately 900 days removed from it. Organizing our 160-person wedding was not romantic or dreamy, for the most part. I enjoyed it, sure, but it was a joy similar to how I imagine one feels after a 5 a.m. workout. It was a means to an end, and it often left me stressed and sleepless. I still have nightmares about our ceremony going awry.
But over the past few months, I've started thinking about it more in the abstract. My friends are all starting to get married — I got engaged my senior year of college, and most of my peers wondered why I was settling down so young — and I've fallen back into the Pinterest spiral of envying perfect weddings. I can't stop looking at wedding Facebook groups and eyeing creative wedding ideas. My husband is wary of my renewed interest in all things nuptial, although I've promised him I'm not planning a second wedding. I just really love weddings, okay?
So when the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate invited me to check out what the process is like for couples who get married at the luxury hotel, I tried to play it cool. But having a reason to talk about weddings is my dream! I don't think my wedding was so great that I have to relive it, but the excitement of making a bunch of choices about a once-in-a-lifetime event — choices that I don't actually have to see through — is something that I miss. Everything just seemed so important at the time I was planning my wedding. Should the flowers be coral or blush? (Coral.) Would people appreciate my menu choices? (No one cared.) Would my fiancé make a mad dash for the door when I walked down the aisle? (Recurring nightmare, but luckily, he stayed put.) Not to mention, my day-to-day life is kind of mundane, and wedding planning added a certain excitement that doesn't have the same flair once you're actually married. But I don't want to become an event planner and plan your wedding, per se — I just want to redo my own.
In Orlando, I was surrounded by the kind of opulence that's only really appropriate for a wedding. I sipped caviar-filled champagne and ate lobster, steak and 18-karat gold leaf and nodded as I looked at all of the wedding ballrooms, imagining where I would have put the dance floor if I were planning a wedding there. Of course, I pictured myself in every scenario — maybe I should have gotten married at a hotel, rather than a museum. Perhaps we should have done something small and intimate, instead of inviting so many people. I pored over the wedding package brochure, looking at hors d'oeuvres options and drink menus. But I also caught myself asking an important question: Why couldn't I get over our wedding?
There's a lingering (sexist) idea that women who love weddings are more focused on the celebration than the actual relationship — if you're brave enough to peruse certain misogynistic corners of the internet, you'll recognize the sentiment. Yes, there's an element of look-at-me that goes into talking about your own wedding, but isn't that true for pretty much anything important that happens in our lives?
I don't think loving wedding planning is as terrible as some people want you to think it is. For one, it's a casual past-time that allows someone to fantasize about reliving the best day of their lives. But also, it's difficult to accept that a day that was supposed to be the best day of your life has already come and gone — especially when you get married young.
And that's what I realized, after having the ultimate chance to see every possible wedding option on the menu, so to speak: even though my love for wedding planning isn't a character flaw, I want to be a little more aware of just how much time I spend thinking about it. Because what matters most is that my husband is a caring, kind man who goes out of his way to make me happy. Even though our programs didn't get passed out and people got too drunk and some guests forgot to sign the guestbook, our wedding itself was still magnificent.
Being at the Omni didn't leave me wistful, like I assumed it would — instead, I thought about how cool it is that every wedding is so different. The only thing I'd change if I redid my wedding is the belief that my ceremony and reception had to be absolutely perfect. Even if everything had gone wrong, it still would've been the best day of my life. I'll continue to ooh and aah at other people's nuptials, but I'm going to try to take myself out of the equation.