why-i-never-dreamed-of-my-wedding-its-simply-lindsay-2

I hear it from young girls, from high schoolers, from women who are engaged – it’s usually the same thing that goes something like this: “I always imagined my wedding would be like…,” or some variation to this extent. Since we were little, girls envision their perfect fairy tale wedding, imagining what their dress will look like, the flowers, cake, dancing, and all the lovely glittering details of the celebration. They create mental Pinterest boards of their special day until they’re old enough to make an actual and probably secret Pinterest board to organize the pretty little details of their future nuptials.

By the time he or she pops the question, that sparkly ring secured on your finger, the last piece of the puzzle is finally in place, and you can put your long-awaited plan to action.

Why I Never Dreamed of My Wedding

From trying on wedding dresses and choosing flowers to cake tasting and meeting your wedding planner, the pros always seem to ask a similar question – “What did you always imagine your wedding looking like?” – to which I would always reply, “I have no clue! I just got engaged.”

That’s when I realized I was a minority and had been my whole life – a girl among girls in my childhood and later a woman among women, I never participated in those starry-eyed conversations where you compare future wedding notes. Yes I knew I wanted to get married, and yes I played Mash and True Love games to determine my compatibility with various prospects, but I never thought about the actual wedding.

Wedding Planning

It’s not that I don’t like weddings – in fact, I don’t think anyone had a more enjoyable two-year engagement and wedding planning period. I thoroughly relished in each part of the experience and had no clue why wedding planning was notoriously a stressful time. (Plus, didn’t you know the biggest relationship myth that all good relationships are hard work?) When the day came, our planning came to fruition, and the celebration was my idea of perfection. So you’ll see, it’s not that I don’t love weddings or buy into the planning process, it’s just that I never dreamed of my wedding until I was engaged. And in fact, I don’t understand why or how anyone does.

why i never dreamed of my wedding

Programmed since childhood

Typically, girls are programmed, through television, books, Disney movies, and the media as soon as they can glue their toddler eyes on the TV screen that finding your ‘happily ever after,’ aka getting married and finding your Prince Charming, is your life goal. Luckily kids’ programs today focus more on stronger female leads, like the bright and ambitious girl doctor, Doc McStuffins, or the kind and courageous Princess Sofia who has no emphasis on finding a man to fulfill her life, but even with the inclusion of this new media, the classic stories still exist and prevail.

why i never dreamed of my wedding

The thing is, those “once upon a time” and “happily ever after” stories existed in a time where women either weren’t allowed to go to school or to work or were discouraged from doing so; this was a time when your only option was to find a man to get married, or attend college purely for that purpose, so you could be taken care of and start a family. But that was a long time ago, and gone are the days (far gone) where a woman needs a man to exist in society, and in fact, more women attend college than men and are pursuing careers in all fields, even those once dominated by men.

The Problem with the Wedding Industry

Aside from this, I see a problem with the whole wedding industry, one that spotlights the celebration and all the fun components of weddings, so when you think of wedding, you think rings, cake, flowers, dancing, dress, décor, and more. Whether you have a 6-month or 2-year engagement, your engagement period is solely focused on plan plan planning for the big day.

bridesmaids

But amidst all the glitz and glamour of getting swept into the idea of engagement parties, registering, trying on wedding dresses, and choosing bridesmaid gowns, the true focus of a wedding is lost. A wedding is a by-product of the most important part of the “big day” – a wedding is simply a celebration of the most important thing to celebrate, a couple’s marriage. Their commitment possibly to God, definitely to each other, and deciding to come together to share their lives forever.

Dreaming of a Wedding…

I never thought of all of this when I was a kid, but I somehow, subconsciously, must have known this. How can you dream of your wedding when you need to understand who your spouse will be first? Isn’t the most important piece of the wedding puzzle your significant other? And without him or her, how can you concoct this dream wedding when the wedding is just a result of celebrating your commitment to this person?

The Rush for Fun Shiny Things

I think people can rush into an engagement because it’s the next fun, shiny thing to do after you’ve been in a relationship; I think people get caught up in the wrong aspects of engagement and wedding planning.

Instead of flashing through your engagement, preoccupied with guest lists, financials, and white or ivory (always choose ivory!), people should focus on their relationship. Your engagement, of course, must involve wedding planning, but that shouldn’t be the sole focus. The couple should focus on understanding themselves as a couple, learning about and considering the implication of marriage, speaking to established couples, a religious leader, or people in your church community, if that applies to you.

why i never dreamed of my wedding

Whether you’re a parent, adolescent, are engaged, single, or married, I would encourage you to consider the difference between a wedding and marriage, the difference between a celebration and a sacrament, and encourage your kids or young girls to dream about actual future accomplishments that lie ahead in their future. Because getting married is not a triumph, but pursuing education, higher education, and a fulfilling career are all certainly achievements to strive for.

More emphasis, excitement, and congratulations seem to go towards a newly engaged couple over the new graduate, the girl who put herself through community college, living at home to pay for college, and working three jobs to work her butt off to graduate from law school. Let’s show our excitement for the engaged couples in our lives while putting more emphasis on the actual milestones that are true achievements.

Everywhere
  • It’s funny because I understand this better now than I used to.

    I was definitely in the majority of “one day you will be my bridesmaids and my colours will be this…” and then.. I met the mister. We’re not engaged (yet) but I’m ready to throw out all that dreaming and get married at the courthouse tomorrow.

    Not that I wouldn’t love to wedding plan (i love weddings. love planning. love parties… it’s just how it is) but I don’t have a vision for it anymore.. I want us to build it together. All I want to focus on until then is my blog email list, professional development, and how many reps I can do at the gym 😉

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Aw Laura, so cool to hear from you, thanks for reading and responding! It’s a normal part of
      childhood and being a girl, so you’re not alone. Nobody loves planning parties more than I do, so I’m ALL FOR wedding planning- it’s really fun and exciting and only potentially happens once. I’m excited for you and to see what your future has in store for you ❤️

  • I never dreamed of my wedding either, but not for the same reason! I just never gave it thought until I was dating the man I knew I’d marry. About 6 months before we got engaged was when I started to brainstorm. Another reason was that I wanted my future husband to be a part of the planning…it wasn’t just my day, it was OUR day. I wish more brides understood that. Typically, I don’t think a guy would care to do certain parts of planning (decor, flowers, etc.), but it meant so much to Michael that I didn’t shut him out. 🙂 I think that it’s okay to dream of it growing up, but as long as it’s not made into an idol – almost just like anything else.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      YES YES YES Summer! It bugs me when people say it’s the bride’s day or the bride’s family – Noooo, it’s about the couple.

  • Loved this post, Lindsay! I never really thought of it that way. I had an idea about some aspects of my wedding when I got into the collage age and even more so when I started dating my now fiancé but I didn’t know every last detail. I am so glad that society is becoming more progressive so it isn’t ingrained into young girl’s minds that you have to have a man.
    xoxo, Jenny

  • Abbey Phipps

    I didn’t dream about my wedding either, which made it so much more fun to be able to plan it WITH my now-husband! We were able to decide what was special to us without all my preconceived ideas getting in the way. 🙂

  • I was the SAME way! I never dreamed about getting married or my wedding until Dave and I got engaged. And then of course it was super overwhelming because I didn’t know a dang thing about weddings. I loved that we had a two year engagement though. It didn’t take long at all to plan the wedding, then we had TONS of time to think about and plan for our marriage.

  • CoCo

    I’m the opposite, I’ve always dreamed of a wedding but now that I am getting closer to getting engaged the more I am realizing that eloping sounds like a way better idea! I know too many people who have had big weddings and wished they would have eloped!

  • Paige Allison

    MASH! OMG, there’s no better way to determine if a mate is the right fit, hahaha! I loved that game. All jokes aside, I remember going to try on wedding dresses for the first (and only!) time with my sister and the consultant asked, “What have you always envisioned yourself in?” To which I responded, “Um…. I don’t know? I’ve never thought about it.” She was shocked! I had a full year engagement which was tons of time to get everything planned and I’m so laid back, I truly didn’t care how my napkins were folded or if we had round tables or rectangular.

  • I always had an “idea” of what I wanted for a wedding…a theme and color scheme. That was it. When I actually got engaged, I told my aunt (who was my wedding planner) my colors and that I wanted an outdoor, “loose and not stuffy english garden party-esque reception.” She took care of all the details. When my other aunt, who did my flowers asked what kind of flowers, all I could tell her was wildflowers and ferns…she kept pressing for specific kinds, and I didn’t know! It was so interesting to be on the other side when my sister got married this summer–she had every detail planned. Our aunt again did the wedding planning, but my sister was with her every step of the way to OK or dismiss or add or change things. She wanted the day to be perfect. I kept telling her that the day would go super fast and she won’t care about every single detail on that day. She didn’t believe, of course, until AFTER the wedding! haha!

  • Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}

    I don’t think I dreamed about my wedding, but I was obsessed with wedding magazines when I was a kid (like 6-10 years old). My grandma would get them for me soley so I could look at the dresses. I loved them. But I never thought about what I wanted until I got engaged and then we had a full year to plan it all so we could enjoy it and not be stressed out.

  • I am a wedding planner so weddings are a huge part of my life, but I totally agree that we are so wrapped up in one day. I tell all my clients what my mom told me: “If at the end of the day you’re married, then you had a great wedding.” That’s the point, after all!

  • Interesting perspective. I’ve considered having a tiny wedding and saving the money to travel the world for a year with my hubby!

  • And indian weddings are probably a billion times worse than this, huh? I definitely am the boy in the relationship and don’t really care the type of wedding I’ll have, but I know it will be overwhelmingly extravagant #IndianGirlProblems. I also think that the money could go towards better use like a house, further education, savings, investment… So glad I’m not (literally) the only girl who doesn’t believe in having a wedding board haha.

  • Oh my goodness, so much yes. And I was actually just thinking about this concept the other day because EVERYONE always asks me how wedding planning is going, and it gets quite annoying. I think so many people value the actual wedding than the MARRIAGE now days..

  • Katie Shank

    YASSSS QUEEENNN! Women and especially young women need to set their own goals for their lives and go after them. I understand that many people want a long-term fulfilling relationship, and that’s fine (I have one!), but that shouldn’t be a goal. Find what makes you happy, and pursue it. It’s fine to day-dream about a big party you may have one day, but we all need to realize that, as you so eloquently stated above, a wedding is a celebration, not an achievement.

  • Stacey Eckert

    I never dreamed about my wedding either! We’ve been engaged for 2 years now and finally started planning last March. I kept telling my fiance that our wedding day shouldn’t be focused on having a HUGE celebration (like he wanted) rather a small group of our closest family and friends who really know us and love us. I still wasn’t excited about the process until I read a story on HONY about a girl with cancer (who eventually passed from it) and how she never cared about a wedding either until it was a possibility that she might now get to experience it. I changed the way I thought about the whole process and chose to enjoy it because I’m lucky enough to be able to experience it!

  • Lindsay this is such a good post! I worry about this every day with B. She is so princess obsessed and even though we have books in girls being scientists she is still princess and bride crazy. The wedding is a party the marriage is a lifetime. Such good points you are so level headed! Ginny is lucky to have you as a mom!