One of the common complaints about social media is that people who are Instagramming or livetweeting their experiences, aren’t really “present” in the moment they’re recording, and are therefore enjoying things incorrectly. I usually don’t understand this complaint, and it falls into the category of enjoying it wrong or XKCD’s other people having experiences incorrectly. Does anyone ever wish they had written less in their diary or had fewer photographs of things they enjoyed?
But in the time leading up to our wedding, I didn’t really have any desire to record or chronicle what was happening. Now that we’re married, and I’m just waiting for another chance to say “my husband” and laugh hysterically, here are some things about weddings:
The old rule about the groom not seeing the dress is a good one to follow because if the groom can’t see the dress, he can’t put a cooler of snacks on top of it.
Wedding dresses are complete bullshit. The more I think about the time, money, and effort involved in something I wore for a couple hours, the more bizarre the entire concept is. Social customs, man. So weird if you think about it. Actually, don’t think too much about wedding symbols and why they exist in general, because then you will say things like “Fine, let’s get this patriarchal handover started.” and everything will accuse of you not taking the wedding seriously and not being romantic.
We went to a jewelers in South Dartmouth to get Harold’s wedding ring resized, because our trip to the Chapel Hill jeweler had been not so great. My favorite part was being told that in a few years when we have more money, I could upgrade my engagement ring and get a better diamond, and that I shouldn’t worry too much because lots of people start off with small diamonds. Bizarre upsell attempt, I think. Harold was also told that men always complain about their rings, and that his ring fits just fine. (It didn’t fit fine, and while I don’t much care about most of the wedding traditions, I do feel rather strongly that a wedding band is not to be worn as a pinky ring, and that’s why we were resizing at the last minute.)
We had a ceremony at my dad’s church, and about 20 guests to dinner at the parsonage next door. I thought this would be simple and manageable. I was wrong.
My dad ended the ceremony with “husband and wife, Meg and Harold” in order to avoid saying Mr and Mrs, because even if I am going to do the whole patriarchal handover, I’m not changing my name.
Even if you are in your thirties, and have given marriage a lot of soul-searching, and are crazy about your intended spouse, and have thought a great deal about whether marriage is just the social expectation or if it’s really the best thing for your life, and know each other very well, and have decided that you’re really, really ready to get married, the part where you actually see the marriage license is pretty scary. Also, the part where you walk into the church. Also, the whole thing really.