So I’m getting married tomorrow… and I thought I’d best not let this madness pass before sharing about it! I’ll try be more sweet than bitter. Truth is it has turned out sweet but it could have been so easy to end up bitter.
For the most part everything has gone really well and people have been really lovely!
Reactions from others have been so kind, so interested. Even strangers. They hear you’re getting married and it’s all ooo and ahhs and like they wanna be in on it.
We’ve tried to be unconventional but not managed as much as we would have liked. We didn’t send out paper invites, I’m not wearing a veil (not to put too many spoilers in here), we’ve cut stuff that’s of no value to us from the ceremony, I’m doing my own makeup, getting married on a Sunday… among other things. Listing these seems so ridiculous but every choice that isn’t “the norm” has had to be explained and validated even if no one has a problem with it but just because it is unknown, different or new.
Every decision along the way has felt like a battle, battles of different intensities, but all full of emotional and mental conflict. And I’m war weary.
The to and froing with others in terms of their expectations, with my fiancé in terms of our similarities and differences, and then hardest of all – with myself.
Trying to figure out what I want in the midst of it all. What is important to me and what isn’t? Where do I have grace to compromise and choose another’s happiness over mine? Why am I so angry all the time!?!
I guess it actually hasn’t been any different to all the other battles and decisions I’ve had to fight for in my life – only this time – super condensed, expensive, high pressure and with a lot more people weighing in on it!
Writing vows and planning the ceremony has been a much needed slap in the face shocking me back to reality. Because the dress, the colours, the flowers, the food, even who’s coming and who’s not will all be over in a split second. And yes it will be beautiful and glorious and fun but I wanted that energy, that life, to go into my marriage, into my relationships and community, into my future – our future! Not into explaining why I’m giving a speech or why I don’t want a veil.
The more I’ve thought about it, and talked about it, the more I realise most of my frustration, weariness and rage comes from having to fight something much bigger than wedding traditions and marriage. Something that’s so ingrained in them, in all of us and our society.
When looking for a photo for this blog I searched things like: soldier, warrior, strong – the photos were mostly of men. Then I added woman to my search.
I found pretty women, smouldering women, women being taught by men how to use computers (seriously), women with butterflies covering their mouths… I mean… what!?! Not so subtle way to say “you’re free – but don’t speak”.
Perfectly lovely people with the best hearts and intentions have asked me why I’m working the week before my wedding. My fiance has worked the week before our wedding and I don’t think he’s been questioned about the sanity of it.
Inequality for woman is tough but I also wasn’t prepared for how much tougher it is when conditioned to carry the mental and emotional load associated with “wife”.
Its been hard enough for me to try put this into words, in a way I feel it and a way others will understand. Coming up with a way out, solutions or change will probably be harder still. I am going to start with talking about it, with feeling outraged and asking the difficult questions. Maybe I’ll start with a pair of boxing gloves and bulk up for the fight.
The real battle isn’t going to be a battle against others or society, its going to be a battle for my mind, for my own heart. For my freedom, my choice, my strength and value. As a woman and as a wife.
This bride is going to war.