17 Jun 2013
First, don’t crap yourselves with amazement. This is not one of those “Oh my god, he’s so amazing, and I love him so much, and our love is amazing, and our life is amazing, and I would just do it all over again in a heartbeat, if I could–because of all the amazingness! And the love! Not to mention the amazing love!” posts. I mean he is, and I do, and I would, but I don’t talk about my feelings all over the internet, not unless those feelings are snarky and mean. For all you know, I don’t even have other feelings…
No, this post is about hindsight and sometimes wishing just a little, just maybe, you could do something over–not because you didn’t do it well the first time and not because it would really, truly change anything, but simply because you feel that given the opportunity, you could do it better. You guys–I want a wedding do-over.
Yep, that’s me on my big day–still technically unmarried, in case you care. Now, don’t get me wrong: Our wedding was fine. All of the VIPs were there, the food was fantastic (even if our uncles/caterers were practically not speaking to us by the time it was over), the music was sensational, and most importantly, we got married. Here we are, almost 9 years later, still married, husband and wife, Stoppel and Webster, partners through all of it until one of us kicks it. Our wedding was fine; it was. However, I was one of the first of my friends to get married. In fact, the only person I’m close to who beat me to the alter is my friend Julie, and she got married a whopping two weeks before I did, so it’s not like I could look at what she’d done and take notes. (Actually, it was probably more like, “Don’t use the same favors as me, or I will cut you, b****!” I kid, I kid, but there probably was a bit of competition, on both sides.)
Now that I’ve had the opportunity to attend several dozen other weddings, there’s just so much that I would do differently. I’d have someone around who would tell me not to sit down in my dress before the ceremony and pictures. (So, so many lap-wrinkles, and we know how I feel about lap-wrinkles, don’t we, Kendra and Miranda?) I would have shelled out the money for a really, really good photographer. I would have worried more about what we wanted in the ceremony and less about what I thought other people expected from the ceremony. I would have had a freaking open bar. Sigh.
Mostly, I just feel like 31-year-old me has much better taste and judgment than 22-year-old me. Which, yes, is as it should be, but I also feel that given enough time (did I mention that I was trying to graduate college, write an honor’s thesis [about Faulkner, no less], find a job, and maintain a long distance relationship while planning my wedding?) and a decent budget, I could turn out a hell of a “to-do” now, and when I go to all of these lovely weddings, it makes me sort of sad. I just get a little misty for the wedding that might have been, had I had even the tiniest shred of an idea of what I was doing.
So, next year, when Jon and I hit the big 1-0, yes, we’re going away for a week, but we’re also going to have new wedding pictures taken. It’ll just be the two of us, not the whole wedding party (I’m not going to make five other women try to fit into a dress they wore 10 years ago, just myself), but we’re going to do it right. Who knows, maybe by our 20th, I’ll be able to put together a nice, intimate, classy, boozy* vow-renewal, but until then, while it is decidedly materialistic, I’m reserving the right to be envious at all other weddings, if only for the perfect floral arrangements and a bustle that doesn’t break.
* In my mind, “classy” and “boozy” are not mutually exclusive. Yes, Mom, I can hear your voice in my head, but La, La, La, La…I can’t hear you.