Today I was watching a Sex and the City marathon and the episode was on where Miranda was on her honeymoon and hated it. Carrie wrote an articles/story about it, about how we live our lives based on what we think we “should” want or what we “should” do.
Miranda didn’t want to be on her honeymoon and have sex 3x a day, but it’s what she thought she “should” do and what is socially acceptable.
It made me think back to my wedding and vow renewal, and I think it’s something that a lot of military spouses experience. The idea that they “should” have a big fancy wedding, but the reality that the military makes that nearly impossible.
My husband and I did what many military couples do, went to the courthouse and had a quick civil ceremony and planned a big wedding for a few years later. A big wedding that we thought we “should” have, and one that our family and society expected us to have.
So I spent 2 1/2 years planning a big wedding, the dress, the flowers, the food, the venue, the invitations, all of it.
And the big day finally came, and it “should” have been wonderful, I “should” have felt like a queen. But in reality it felt like a big stressful expensive party where I was wearing a big white dress.
Now don’t get me wrong, it was fun. But it didn’t feel nearly as special and romantic as the day I said my vows to Jeremy in a horribly lit dingy courthouse.
There is a society standard that in order to have a special wedding day you “should” say your vows in an expensive white dress holding a beautiful bouquet in a church, followed by an expensive reception with dancing, an open bar, appetizers and a seated dinner on beautiful table clothes with show stopping centerpieces.
But after having both a courthouse wedding and a big wedding, I’ve discovered that what makes your wedding day special is that you get married. It’s the exchanging of vows, looking into your partners eyes as you say “I do” and exchanging a commitment to share the rest of your lives together.
Now, I am by no means putting down women who have had big weddings. However, I do think that it’s necessary to realize that you don’t have to have the wedding that society tells you that you “should” have, if you don’t want to. And this is especially true for military fiancees who find themselves with limited time to plan a big bash around the military schedule.
It doesn’t have to be just a courthouse or a huge wedding. It can be a private elopement on the beach or a backyard wedding with your immediate family and friends. Your wedding can be whatever you want it to be, not what you think it “should” be.