There is a saying that goes something like “You make plans and God laughs.” I’d like to present my own little turn of phrase: You make wedding plans and former brides laugh.
I’ll start by saying that my wedding day was amazing; the whole weekend was, really. I loved it all. But if I’m being fair to my micro-managing self, I spent at least a couple moments noting each and every little tiny thing that didn’t go according to my “plans.”
For starters, there are two major things over which you have no control: the weather and the common cold. And there are lots of little bitty, insignificant things that you couldn’t ever anticipate.
Leading up to the big day, the weather forecast threatened rain. Normally, I can roll with the punches, but this was my breaking point. It was the one thing I couldn’t control. In fits of total-freakout-mode, I found myself waking up at 4 a.m. to buy bright yellow rain boots and 6-foot-wide umbrellas for the bridesmaids.
We persevered with our plans through the pouring rain on Friday, and made quick work of the rehearsal during a perfect break between downpour and hailstorm. But little things kept creeping into my view.
When we arrived at the rehearsal lunch, no one had a name tag on. How was anyone supposed to get to know each other? Silly me. Somehow, they made do.
I broke the Champagne glass that I had painstakingly glass-etched for my mom. I handed her the pieces to show her I had at least made the effort.
Peter’s tux didn’t show up at the rental store. No one wanted to tell me in fear that I’d “freak out.” I ask you, when have I ever freaked out? I knew they’d fix it. I mean, they couldn’t very well send the groom down the aisle in a T-shirt and jeans.
When I woke up the morning of the wedding, I was sick. Not just a little sick. More like “101-degree fever, deep, lingering cough and a runny nose” kind of sick. Apparently the $70-plus I had spent on Emergen-C, Airborne and other such vitamins hadn’t done the trick leading up to the big day. Some little bug was having its way with me.
Again, I persevered and with a box of Advil Cold Sinus, we dove into the getting-ready process. As the day wore on, while I was doing my very best to “be present” (as everyone had advised me to try to do), I was trying harder to not fall asleep from the combination of cold medicine and Champagne.
Everyone tells you that the day is going to go by super fast. I was ready for this. But I wasn’t at all prepared for how quickly the ceremony would go. I can’t even remember it. I have three little flashes of memory, and that’s it. As Peter and I rode off in our pedi-cab toward our married life, I kept saying, “It just went too fast!”
The rental hall, albeit beautiful, was hot. Hot, hot, hot. Even though it had rained all week, our day was 70 degrees and sunny. So when they told me they had “turned the heater off,” I wanted to scream. Heater?! I’m boiling, my reception is about to start, and how are people supposed to dance in this heat?
While planning for the reception, I had everything built up in my mind, but I somehow failed to communicate it to everyone around me. The flowers were just a little off, the candles weren’t spread around quite right, and apparently if you’re planning for dancing to start after sunset, you should really plan on it being after twilight. Because there was an hour of brightness I couldn’t have accounted for. No one shakes their groove thing in the daylight. It just isn’t done.
Then there were the things I didn’t plan that still magically turned out perfectly. I didn’t plan the order of each and every song at the end of the night, and yet the last half-hour was perfect.
I didn’t plan how I was going to balance my time between my new husband, my family, our friends and, of course, the photo booth. But somehow it worked out.
So it’s the little things that ended up perfect — like Peter catching my eye from across the room, or our friends and family all joining together at the end of the night to dance around us — that I hope my neurotic super-planner self can remember instead of all that little stuff that doesn’t really matter.
And we can only hope that my brain decides to block the memory of being sick. Although I’m sure the wedding video will remind me of my froggy voice when I said “I do.”
Gal on the Go appears every other Monday, alternating with Jennifer Huffman’s Surrendering to Motherhood. Contact Michelle at email@example.com.