I got married! Just in case you’re wondering why there haven’t been any posts since July, it’s because my blog-writing time turned into watch-various-British-shows-starring-Miranda-Hart-and-make-paper-based-decorations time. I regret nothing, especially as now Miranda Hart and I are lifelong BFFs.
Anyway, on with the blog.
Dear Not-Yet-Married Emily,
You’ve wondered your whole life what your wedding would be like. So I’ll tell you. It will be awesome. It will be kinda rustic (mostly there will be wood beams, which is good enough) and DIY, with plenty of bourbon, and 3 separate references to Princess Bride.
It will be the things that people have already told you: it will go fast (especially the ceremony), it will come together even though you’re scared it won’t, it will feel much bigger than you, and it will be love–all the love–pointed in your direction.
But it will also be things people didn’t tell you: sometimes it will go fast, but sometimes it will actually go at just the right speed, and sometimes even too slowly (waiting for the ceremony to start will feel like an eternity). It will come together, but only because you spend months doing research and agonizing over spreadsheets–and then because your family and friends will do tons of stuff behind the scenes that you won’t even know about. It will feel bigger than you, but it will also feel incredibly personal to you and the people you love the most.
Because they’re not just bridesmaids, they’re your best friends and they’ll still tease you even when you’re wearing a fancy white dress. And it’s not just a father-daughter dance, it’s your dad singing Paul Simon to you, and with you.
It’s not just the groom’s father, it’s a member of your new family, taking extra time in his toast to acknowledge Joe’s friends by giving them shots of Irish whiskey and calling them up to stand with him. It’s leaning over to your new husband and saying, “This is for you. They’re up here for you.”
And it will be love–all the love–pointed in your direction. That one they nailed right on the head. It will be a lot of love to digest. Even though you’ll spend a week on your Honeymoon marinating in all that love, it will carry you forward for a long time afterward.
At your first meeting back at work, you’ll hug a coworker after she gives a presentation. Not because she seemed to need one, but because you’ll be on such a love high. You’ll secretly want to hug all 25 people in the room, but you’ll know you can only get away with the one.
Your newfound desire to hug everyone will have little to do with enjoying hugs. Outside of weddings, they’ll still seem kinda awkward. But…you know that weird desire people have to eat things that are cute? Your desire to hug will be like that. It comes from an innate place that is so overcome with love, it wants to envelop everyone and everything and squeeze all the love out like a cheesecloth. Which is, I suppose, the original concept behind the world’s first hug. As a guest, you’ve experienced the tight, emotional squeeze of other brides and thought, “Wow! I didn’t know she liked me this much!” Well, now you know the truth. She probably does like you that much, but she also can’t help herself. Her arms have taken over her body.
The morning of your wedding, you will ask the hairdresser to keep your hair to the left side because you’ll be hugging people on the right, and that’s what the internet said to do. But your desire to hug everyone will know no side. You will hug people on the right and the left and sideways and from above and scooped up from below. By the time you start dancing, your hair will stop surviving, and you won’t care. You’ll put a glow stick into it and keep dancing.
Two weeks after your wedding, you will still be on such an emotional high, you will cry three separate times during one Gilmore Girls episode. Although in your defense, it’s an episode where Emily Gilmore cries, which is essentially equivalent to the ending of the Notebook plus the ending of Forrest Gump, times a thousand.
Right now you’re worried, pre-wedding Emily, because you know your wedding is the only time you’ll have all your favorite people in one place. The idea makes you sad because you know how fleeting it’ll be, and you don’t think you’ll be able to appreciate it. But it turns out, having everyone together at once is exhausting. It’s amazing and magical, and will be incredibly important to you while you make a bunch of promises to Joe. But you probably won’t want to do it again. Ever.
You’ll want to see all those people again, obviously, and as quickly as possible. On your honeymoon, you will start planning every trip for the next 2 years to make sure you see them all. But everyone at once? Woof. One weekend (including a bachelorette party, a rehearsal dinner, and a next-day brunch) will be plenty. You’ll look forward to seeing everyone in bars and living rooms and church halls once again, talking about the normal things people talk about.
Because you’ll have a sneaking suspicion that you don’t need everyone in one place to know how much they love you. Love–true love–will follow you forever.