The months between the the excitement of getting engaged and walking down the aisle are supposed to be the most joyful part of my relationship to date, right? This is what wedding movies, The Knot articles, and bridal magazines have shown me. How come I am sad, anxious, and sometimes feel ill with stress much of the time?
Jason and I have wonderful families that are doing so much back in Wisconsin to make this wedding come together in two months. Neither of us come from wealthy families or have any money ourselves, but everyone is putting in as much as they can to make our day as special as possible. Within two weeks of being engaged, my father booked a venue for our wedding and a DJ. My sister works at a bakery and is taking care of the cake and so much more. My mother already bought her dress and gave me her credit card information to buy my dress and the shoes I had to have. Jason’s mother has already booked rooms for her and Jason’s uncle so they are able to come up for the rehearsal dinner and now they are taking care of the photography, which I have been freaking out about.
Even with all of this support I am having a difficult time being happy right now. I feel like I am constantly on my computer, my eyes hurt, and I am having a difficult time sleeping. I have been gluing so many fabric flowers that my fingerprints have melted off because of hot glue gun burns and pricking my fingers with my sewing needle. I feel alone even when Jason is sitting right next to me. He is incredibly supportive and has even been helping me craft when he can.
I cry nearly everyday. At first, I thought I was just happy-emotional about our impending wedding, but recently realized that it isn’t displaced happiness, but anxiety and sadness. I am sad that we cannot be at home in Wisconsin planning our wedding with our family and friends and that we are inviting twice as many people as we set out to invite. I am frustrated that our budget feels like a pie crust being spread too thin because of the huge guest list. I am sad that a close friend is having financial difficulties and that my wedding is not helping her situation.
I am confused about my identity changing. I have been Mindy M. Wara my entire life. I have gone over the decision to change or not to change my last name for longer than we have been engaged. My final decision (to date) is the take both last names as a sign of my transformation and change through our wedding. This has been a difficult decision as a feminist and a teacher. I want to keep my own identity, but the truth is that my identity is changing. I will no longer just be a “me”, I will be part of a “we”. I have done so much research on what is the “feminist” choice, but the truth is that regardless if I keep Wara, take Maciolek, or take both Wara Maciolek I am still taking a man’s name – my father’s or my husband’s – it might as well be a combination of the family I was born into and the family that I am making.
After today’s meltdown regarding the photographer and the cost of photography, and my on coming cold, I started doing some research on “how not to become a bridezilla”. I am not there yet, but I feel like this meltdown is definitely the closest I have come. I stumbled upon a website called Emotionally Engaged run by Allison Moir-Smith, MA, Bridal Counselor and Author. So much of what she had to say on her website and testimonials from other brides made me feel less alone in my wedding craziness. “For most brides — 88% — engagement brings up difficult feelings, psychological issues, and family and/or relationship problems. So take some comfort in the fact that your difficult feelings are normal and natural (Moir-Smith).” I am picking up the book from the library ASAP.
Are there any other blogging brides out there, or wives who remember having similar feelings during their engagement? Do you have any tips for staying stress free during this time?