A Washingtonian Wedding: “How’s the Planning Going?”

Emily learns that there’s so much more to marriage than your wedding day.

When you’re single, people ask, “How’s the single life?” or “Met anyone lately?” When you’re dating, it’s “How’s it going with that man of yours?” When you’re newly married, it’s “How’s the adjustment to married life?” Of course, the exchange varies depending on depth of friendship, social situation, etc., but really, the question everyone asks when you’re engaged is “How’s the wedding planning going?”

My reply is always an enthusiastic “Great!” In e-mails and texts, I remember to follow the “Great” with an exclamation point, but really I feel my “great” reply is sometimes . . . greatly ironic.
See, I never really got why engaged friends would vent about that question. Maybe it’s something you learn by doing, but now . . . yes, now I understand. It’s not the sheer quantity of the same question asked over and over or even the reminder that you’re still behind in planning. I think it’s that when you’re engaged, there’s just so much more going on than wedding plans.

There’s this other small, tiny, insignificant detail—that you’re entering into a sacred union for life. Okay, so much more important than whether the cake has fondant or buttercream icing. So much more pressing than the invitation font. “Do you promise to love, comfort, honor, and keep him for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful only to her so long as you both shall live?” This is the powerful question asked of couples since the 17th century. If divorce isn’t in the equation, and for us it’s not, then we’re pairing off for life. But if that isn’t heavy enough, there’s this whole idea of thinking as two, dreaming of our future, paying bills and buying furniture together, one day having kids. . . . I mean, I’ve done none of this! How does this all work?

What I am completely certain of is my love for Drew and my desire to marry him and only him. The other stuff, I’ll be honest, I have no clue about. This Saturday, Drew and I are entering into our first session of engagement counseling at our church. While I know that marriage is mostly a leap of faith, it can’t hurt to gather wisdom from happily marrieds, talk through as many issues as possible with a trained counselor, and read a ton. So here goes—and there went me on my soapbox. Thanks for reading.

Some commenters previously suggested reading Emotionally Engaged, which I haven’t picked up yet, but I’m planning on it today. Any other tried and true resources?

Emily, a Washington bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Nashville this fall. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.

To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.