I'm up early this morning. Sleeplessness hit-- again. It's funny how this happens every year during wedding season. I wake up in the middle of the night, try to fall back asleep, and begin to think. I think about the weddings I've attended recently and how beautiful they were. How happy the bride and groom were, and how everything seemed to be just as they'd always dreamed it would be.
And then the familiar ache hits. I didn't like my wedding. Don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful day. People who attended will tell you how special it was, how lovely everything turned out. And they are right. I loved the order of our ceremony and the pastor we chose. The reception site really was nice. This is the part where I feel like a horrible person. People in other countries don't have enough food to eat and I'm complaining about my wedding.
I think what all the emotions funnel down to is regret. I regret so much leading up to that day. I regret not doing the things that Ben and I dreamed about, like an ice cream bar or an outdoor wedding. I regret not choosing a dress I fell in love with, but instead just picking something because I was so tired of trying them on. Most of all, I regret losing my own voice. I didn't say no. I didn't voice my opinion like I should have. I let my dreams, my vision for the day, be trampled by someone else. I chose the "modest" wedding dress because nice girls shouldn't wear strapless, even on their wedding day. I didn't tell the hairstylist I didn't like the way she did my hair, because that someone thought it looked good. I let myself be led around by guilt instead of standing up for what I knew I wanted.
I wish I could go back to myself during that time and tell me how many sleepless nights I would spend regretting that day. I wish I could explain that even the best photographer can't make you look beautiful if you don't like your dress or your hair. I wish I could tell myself that I would cry when I look at my wedding pictures.
It's been a year and a half since that day. I got out of bed this morning and decided something: it's time to move on. No, my wedding wasn't everything I hoped it would be. I certainly didn't feel my most beautiful, nor do I look back on that day with a lot of joy. Yet I married my best friend that day. That's what really matters, in the grand scheme of life. I got married to the man that I love and we have a wonderful life together. It's time for me to stop crying and keeping myself up at night and move on.
Ben promised that someday we'll do a vow renewal ceremony, and I can pick out a dress that I love. But until then, I can find other times to feel beautiful. I can dress up for other occasions. I was looking at our picture wall this morning and realized that I want to be surrounded by pictures that make me happy. So today, the wedding pictures are coming down. It's time to move on to a new phase of life. I am finally independent of the guilt and the compulsion. I am free, and I am loved. Who needs a wedding when I have a life filled with love?
This post was more for me that for you readers. Thanks for listening, though. I realized that I needed to write all this down- to make the choice to move on and have people hold me to it. So thanks for reading today. Also, anyone need a wedding dress? I've got one I'm looking to get rid of. It's time for freedom and joy in my life, not regret.