Thursday, February 26, 2009

Something Blue

I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying the process of preparing for my wedding.

I expected to get stressed out having to make decisions and arrangements for all the details, even though we're trying to keep it simple. But it's all coming together so well and with such promise for a wonderful wedding day that every step I take along the way makes me feel happy and excited.

Only one thing prevents me from being completely overjoyed.

I've mentioned before that at my first wedding there was a lot of tension among the various factions of my fractured family. There are even some friends that don't especially get along with one another. These tensions and conflicts spoiled the day, and I am determined not to let that happen this time.

This wedding is for Ken, and for me, and for God. Anything that distracts us from the soulful purpose of the day is not welcome. Therefore we are inviting only a bare minimum from our families: my mother, my sister, and Ken's brother. Everyone else is either not invited or doesn't even know that we have a wedding date set. We'll tell them after that we eloped.

At first, when I made the decisicion to trim the guest list down to almost no one, I felt relief. But now, as I make the arrangements and see how lovely it will be, I feel sadder and sadder that I won't be sharing it with all my loved ones. They won't get to see my beautiful dress, or enjoy the music, or have a slice of cake. Now that there is something really shaping up that I could share, I feel sorry that I won't be sharing it with them.

I still stand by my decision. It would be way too complicated to bring everyone into it, not only because of their pre-existing feuds but because we're getting married in a church and I don't think my Jewish family could handle seeing me there as a Christian. Some of them know of my conversion, but it's still theoretical to them. I don't want that day to be marred by their discomfort.

The church won't be all echo-y and empty. We're inviting anyone from the congregation who wants to be there to "encourage" us, as the pastor put it. He estimated that we'd get around 50 people. Also, some of the ladies will be helping with refreshments, which is so kind of them. So the "church family" (more Christian lingo, which I personally like) will be stepping in to fill the gap left by my absent family of origin.

Have you ever faced a situation like this?


wigsf said...

You can't escape the dark side of a wedding. It calls at you. It wants you to have the big wedding. Admit it. You want it. You need it.

Mwa ha ha...

LoLa said...

Red, My family is so freaky, I can't imagine having to go through getting married again, though I would. I would do it just like few as possible with announcements later. Spend the energy focusing and your pre-spouse and you life together. Explain as kindly as possible later. Wise people say there are only a few questions to ask when deciding what to say to folks: Is it necessary? Is it kind? Is it the truth? A good idea to abide by those questions and give the rest up to God.

Good luck. Everything will be all right. Enjoy this time. Put it away.

(Laura = LoLa)

savia said...

The idea of having your "church family" there sounds absolutely lovely. It's better to be surrounded by positive, kind energy than people who are feeling animosity toward you on your special day.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

It's your wedding! If there's tension or unrest in your family I say lose them and maybe take them some cake later, I mean everyone really just goes to those things for the cake anyway. Right? :)

I happen to be very fond of cake myself. You know... cake is so mmmmm...

Karen said...

All I can say is that if I was a family member or close friend who was excluded, I would probably be hurt. Especially your dad and even your step-dad. A wedding is so special for a dad and daughter.

I know it is your day and you should do it as you wish. But it is a special day for everyone who loves you also.

I hope my counter-opinion is ok. LOL. Of course I am excited for you and supportive of your plans. But those are just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

It's your special day - invite the people who you are closest to, and you believe would be happiest for you. You don't need to add any drama to what should be a joyous event.

If you want people to see your dress and everything, take lots of pictures and instead of saying you eloped, just say you kept it small because of money and people will understand. :)

LL Cool Joe said...

I kind of agree with Karen too. Sorry. Somehow family are family, however crap they are, and yes it's lovely to have the church family too.

I can't imagine how hurt I'd feel if my daughters decided to marry and never told or invited us to the Wedding.

But, I don't know how bad your family are, so maybe there is a really good reason for not having them there with you.

Weddings are never easy.

Anonymous said...

A wedding is supposed to be a happy occasion. Don't invite the people who make it unhappy.

Kate said...

My AA family is the only family that loves me the way that I understand. They will always be first and foremost - the most important people at the meaningful events in my life.

Sparkling Red said...

WIGSF: It's true: I have an Inner Bridezilla. She doesn't come out often, but she's in there, and she wants it all, now!

Laura/LoLa: I love those three questions! Thank you for your sweet thoughts. :-)

Savia: Truly. I think some people in my family would want to be there because of what it means to their ego, not because they actually want to support Ken and I. It would feel all wrong, especially if they outnumbered the genuine well-wishers.

Ron: When I gave all those reasons why I want to marry Ken legally? I was lying. I'm only doing it for the dress, and the cake. ;-)

Karen: I appreciate your honesty. It was a tough decision to make, because people get hurt either way, it was just a question of who and how. I have explained to my dads and while they'd both rather be there, they understand my decision, and they're both being supportive, which is a big blessing.

Darcsfalcon: Thanks for your support. :-) We have hired a professional photographer, and possibly we'll have a friend videotape the event, so that we can share it with various groups and individuals later on. It's not ideal, but it's the best way I can think of to let everyone be "present" for us without being in the presence of each other.

LL Cool Joe: Generally I agree, and I've been very loyal to my family over the years, despite all the reasons I might find to write them off or hold grudges. I've told both my dads in advance of the wedding, discussed my reasons for "eloping", and listened to their feedback. They would rather be there, but they understand how I feel and are supportive.

Unsigned: There will be an element of bittersweetness to the day no matter what, but in the end I'd rather be surrounded by happy faces, without any frowny ones.

Kate: That's amazing. Chosen family can be just as strong or stronger than blood family. Love is so much better without the element of obligation.

jameil1922 said...

no, never but do what you have to to get the day you want for you, ken and God. congrats again!

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I think it's wonderful you're actually looking forward to your wedding and that you're experiencing minimal stress. I think people become stressed when they are planning a wedding by other people's rules (i.e., trying to make the parents happy or other family members happy ... and then it becomes everyone else's happiness except the bride's and groom's). I'm so excited for - this is really great!

Aurora said...

For me the whole point of a wedding is to have it in public, because having it in public makes it more of a commitment.
That said, the thought of organizing one just gives me a great big headache :) There are the same risks as there are with any big party of diverse family members. Mayhem!

Scarlet said...

To answer your question, yes. I chose to "dedicate" my children to God rather than "baptize" them, and I get hell from my family for that.

My church family (at the time) were there to share the moment and they were thrilled for us.

I think you're doing the right thing given what happened in the past. It's your moment, his moment and God's. Keeping it simple and meaningful sounds like a good plan.

Best of luck. :)

Sparkling Red said...

Jameil: Thank you! :-)

Nilsa: My first wedding was like that, so I know what you're talking about. This one feels totally different. It feels so GOOD to be making all the choices based on what we want. I think there are some times in life when it's OK to be a little selfish.

Aurora: Yes, I agree. That's why I'm happy to have members of the congregation there as witnesses, beyond the witnesses that we've invited. I don't feel that I need to declare my vows in front of my relatives to make it more meaningful. But definitely it wouldn't mean as much if there was no one there at all.

Scarlet: Thank you. :-) I used to care a lot more about pleasing people, but now I'm mostly concerned with pleasing God. Hopefully those two things won't be mutually exclusive very often, but when they are, God wins.