On July 15, 2012, the love of my life got down on one knee and somehow through a tidal wave of tears and very few audible words, we became engaged.
It literally took my breath away.
You know that feeling you get when your name is called in math class and you have no idea what the value of x is, let alone what class it is that you are sitting in because you have blissfully been daydreaming of Freddy Football and the upcoming Homecoming dance?
Multiply that by about 1,000 and you’ll feel what I felt when that wonderful man took a step back, diamond in hand, and dropped to his knee.
Of course, this even trumped math class.
He asked that I plan the wedding. Wow. There it was, my first job as a future wife! The man who plans every little detail about everything, even if it’s just a trip to the grocery store, has given me the task of pulling together a wonderful event that will be the beginning of our life as a married couple.
There was just one problem…
I didn’t grow up like a typical girl. I grew up whittlin’ and shootin’ guns. I was more concerned with riding my bike or playing T-ball than dreaming about what I thought my wedding would be like. Sure, I had crushes on boys and wanted to marry them, but never did I imagine what our day of vows would look like. So there I sat trying to think of what I wanted, or more importantly, what my new fiance would want. I quickly realized that you could literally go any direction with this coveted day. Therefore, all I had to do was pick one and voila, my vision would be solidified!
I have determined that I am the worst wedding planner on the face of this earth… No, no… in the history of the face of this earth. Who thought I could do this? Monkeys could pull together a better shindig than me with just a few flowers and a bundle of bananas. And after our first wedding venue stole our money, I had lost all hope in the planning process.
When I had finally signed onto another venue, another bride had taken our date. This was just the cherry I needed on top of this mud pie that was my wedding. Just kick me while I’m down why don’t you? Forget the fact that I’m still licking my wounds from the first hiccup.
I spent a great amount of time crying and throwing punches into the air. In between some not-so-waistline-friendly scoops of ice cream I cursed the world. “Why doesn’t anyone want me to marry this man?” “I just want to be married, is it that hard?” And my personal favorite “Is this what our whole marriage is going to be like?”
Bitterness consumed me and the pity party became an all-out festival with anger and hopelessness taking the main stage.
My Matron of Honor, seeing that I needed a severe rehabilitation into the real world, said that I needed to sign up for The Knot. I kind of scoffed at this idea. I thought I could be the first bride to complete a wedding without using devices such as TheKnot.com or Pinterest. My pride wouldn’t even let me log onto either of those sites to see if they would be beneficial to me.
Bedroom door locked, curtains closed tight, my face lit only by the light emanating from my laptop, I logged on. I browsed wedding ideas and nifty tricks for the wedding woes, but more importantly I discovered a network of brides who had lived the typical little girls’ childhood. Future wives who had dreamed the dreams that I needed during this planning process.
I have an innate fear of failure. It stems from the awful creature that lies within me, perfectionism. My Hyde, if you will. Even when my fiance first asked me to be his girlfriend, I didn’t immediately respond with a yes. Instead, I said… “I don’t want to fail you.” Good one, Jess.
So every time I encounter a conflict, I see it as a failure. Ultimately, I pressure myself way too much to put on a beautiful event for the entire family and the family I am becoming a part of. Obviously, it has taken some time for me to realize that it’s the families involved that will make the day beautiful.
My eyes were beginning to open and the joy of planning was returning.
It was then that I found a convenient To-Do list. Finally, I could organize myself and reach deadlines. I just needed to enter the date of my wedding. I punched in the numbers with eagerness. All at once, as the calendar popped up, red flags began dancing across my screen.
Yep, less than eight months until wedding day and I am significantly behind.
Laptop thrown across the room, I cursed the “helpful” sites.
Worst wedding planner, ever.