With just two sleeps till the big day Alicia reflects on the engagement and wedding planning period and the surprising life lessons she has learnt along the way.
2013 and it's finally here! Looking back on 2012, our 10 month engagement period involved a lot of self discovery and self acceptance. We learned a lot about ourselves as individuals and as a couple. Some examples of the lessons I learned are:
1. More about us
Back in June, my Fiancé and I sat down and separately wrote three adjectives we hope will describe out wedding. I wrote:
Fun; Romantic; Meaningful.
Everything goes smoothly; Romantic; Meaningful.
Our answers said volumes about who we are. We both value romance and meaning. I prioritise fun, he prioritises success and organisation. This is so true about who we are and has come to light many times in the past - such as when we tried to travel my way (i.e. loose-itinerary, road trip, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants. It didn't work.
Perhaps this exercise is good to do in preparation for our marriage. How do we want our marriage to be described? And perhaps we can repeat this little question each year on our anniversary.
2. More about myself
I set myself a goal weight to reach before our wedding day. It was a magical, mysterious number that has lived in my head for quite some time. Then one day someone quizzed me on it. "Why that number?" "I don't know," I said. And that got me thinking...
I have never questioned my expectation that I should be that goal weight. I can't ever recall being that weight before, and at the best of times I am only 2 kgs above it, and that requires me to live with a slight feeling of hunger gnawing at the edge of my belly. Is that healthy? Probably not! Is that how I want to live? Definitely not! Maybe *this* is my natural, healthy weight, and that magical number is unrealistic and unnecessary because I am surrounded by people who love me regardless of the digit on the scales. It's about time I did the same.
2. More about other people
When planning a wedding information comes at you from all sides. Options, advice and disaster stories bombard you. The best you can do is sift through it, remember what you want and what is true to you, accept help when you need it and decline help where you don't. It's a great learning experience about setting boundaries and communicating them in life, that you will need to continue throughout life and marriage.
3. That 'B' word ('Bridezilla')
I have always thought the term 'bridezilla' was unfair, but I was still concerned that I would be labelled as one when all I wanted was to not be buffeted by the barrage of options and suppliers. My recently married friend, Alisa, hit the nail on the head: "Bridezilla is a way of making women have to apologise and feel bad about themselves." And she's right you know. I stopped apologizing for saying what I wanted, being who I was and for having opinions. It's called gumption. And if you don't know about gumption then watch The Holiday and a whole bunch of positive movies with strong female characters after that. And that brings me to my next point...
4. Hollywood wedding 'rom coms' are BAD
Hollywood's view of the bride-to-be is bad. In fact brides, bridesmaids, mothers are left untouched. Stay away from these films and don't let the industry touch you.
5. Keeping an eye on the prize.
I had to remind myself many times that it's not about the flowers or the frosting. The wedding day is about who I am, who I am about to marry and the life that we are embarking on together. Remembering this helped me not to sweat the little stuff.
In closing, I'd like to quote Alisa once more, as she said:
"I like the bossy bride me. I'm unapologetic and frank about my needs. I should keep that."
This is true. Being more aware of my needs and expectations and finding the confidence to speak out has been a very important lesson in my life, and is one that I definitely intend to keep.