It is amazing what a little time will do for your wedding planning outlook. This fall, after a year of stalled wedding plans, when we were finally, FINALLY getting around to contacting our first venue to officially cancel our reservations, we called off our engagement. It had been too much stress and pressure and to-do, and I never felt like I had E’s help or like we were even on the same page. We decided to just quietly set our Facebook relationship status back to In a Relationship (although we are now In a Domestic Partnership, which I like better than Engaged, anyway), put the ring in a safe place, and not talk about weddings for a while. Sure, there were times when we mentioned the prospect, but in general we stopped facing the wedding and instead turned and faced each other. We had some Big Talks, we worked through a lot of issues, and we are in a much better, stronger place than we were 6 months ago.
We went to Tampa, Florida, in January, to visit E’s grandmother along with his brother, N, and N’s girlfriend. While we were there, we talked about getting married. It was on our minds because the night we drove up to Connecticut to board a plane with the rest of the group should have been our wedding night. Luckily, it wasn’t, because there was a really nasty snow/ice/wintry mix thing going on, but still. We’d gotten to thinking.
And so, in Florida, on a lovely 60-some-odd degree evening on a porch in a retirement community full of identical porches, we looked at each other and decided, once again, to get married. It felt more like a joint decision than the ambush proposal the first time around. It felt exciting, and happy, and really, really peaceful, which is a nice way to feel about the decision to spend forever with someone.
When we got home, I pulled the ring out of its hiding space and handed it to E, and he slipped it on my finger and we giggled a little bit. And a week later we had a venue and a date, and a month later we had a photographer and a dress, and things have been rolling onward since.
To say this process has been a complete 180 from the first wedding plan would be an understatement. Everything has been smooth and easy, whereas we avoided our original plans and agonized over the simplest of decisions. Even those that we made often didn’t end up feeling right (see: my original wedding dress, which I cried over and decided I hated 24 hours after I bought it). Part of the newfound ease comes from having done things like choosing a nearly-all-inclusive venue, which really eliminates a lot of headaches. And the rest of that ease is because E and I are ready. We are in a good place. We are both fully onboard the wedding and marriage train (even when I want to derail the train for how expensive it is). And that is the benefit of time and distance and personal growth. I am so glad we called off our engagement for a little while and gave ourselves some time to breathe without the specter of the wedding taunting us from the sidelines. The marriage was always the ultimate goal, but we needed some more time to get to that point. It gave us some perspective and let us work on our relationship and not an event. And now it’s a whole different ballgame, as far as wedding planning goes, and we are swinging for the fences.
Three days following our wedding will be our fifth anniversary of dating. Yes, it’s been a long time, but we started young and have had a lot of life transitions to work through to get to this point. And the next transition — no matter how big or how small — will be our transition to married life, together.
It’s about time. It’s the right time.