"How’s wedding planning going?"
That seems to be everyone’s favorite question lately. And my least favorite question ever.
It’s a question that leaves my shoulders stiff and my breathing tight.
"Um… we haven’t thought much about it yet," I say. "We’re thinking May 2015. Plennnnty of time to plan."
And then I change the subject.
After witnessing one too many of my stiff shoulders, tight breathing and quickly changing the subject reactions, I stopped to check in and ask myself: Why are we having a wedding? Why are we putting an enormous amount of time, energy and money into one day? How else can we spend this time, energy and money?
While I’m all for weddings if that’s right for you (and we’ll gladly savor hors d’oeuvre, drink one too many glasses of champagne, and dance the night away), it’s never felt right for me. I was never the little girl dreaming about her wedding day.
So after the epiphany, when Farhad came home, I sat him down, fully expecting push-back.
"Baby, I have something really important to share…."
"Yes…?" he says, with that oh-no-what-now look on his face.
"Why are we having a wedding? I really don’t want one. I already feel like I’m "married" to you!"
And to my surprise, he exclaims, “THIS IS WHY I’M MARRYING YOU! Or spending forever with you. Whatever we want to call it.”
And so we’ve stopped putting pressure on that one day.
We’ve stopped putting pressure on ourselves to serve what other people may want or expect, but not what we want or expect. That pressure limits possibility. It kills imagination. It stifles dreams. And it builds resentment.
As we’ve let go of the traditional notion of marriage, a whole new world of choices has opened up. Union and “marriage” is now a wild adventure, rather than an expected routine.
With this new lens on marriage, we’re exploring what aspects are meaningful to us, and how we can go about unifying our love in a way that aligns with who we are as a couple.
We see “marriage” in two ways.
First, there’s the contract. The LLC of love. The piece of paper that officializes our union, gives me permission to change my last name, and makes taxes less taxing.
Then, there’s the union of love. The deep commitment. The active expression of our unconditional love for each other. The celebration of our time together on this earth. The setting of intentions. The beginning of our family.
As we’ve started the brainstorming process of what this union might look like, we imagine three to six months of world travel, commencing the journey with a trip to the Courthouse. Saying sayonara with a flowy white dress in my suitcase, we’ll spontaneously discover the place that resonates with our hearts, minds and souls along the way. Then and there, I’ll put on the dress, we’ll step into our ideal scene and say our vows. The rest of the trip will be our honeymoon. When we return stateside, we’ll celebrate our love with family and friends.
In imagining our ideal union, we feel deep alignment, a rush of excitement and great anticipation. Isn’t that how weddings ought to feel? Isn’t that how life ought to feel?
I’m curious: where in your life are stiff shoulders and tight breathing holding you back from possibility and your wildest imagination? How can you view what feels like “have to” through the lens of “hell yes want to”?
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