Its my own damn fault. Part of the stress of planning my wedding has come from my own inability to say the right things the right way; using the wrong words or not saying anything at all. I have left things slide or stagnate through my own inaction but fortunately I have been called out on it.
It needed to happen.
See, Johnno and I have both been stressing out about our lack of an engagement party. We were offered one by Kelly back when we first were engaged 2 years ago but we held off. We were paranoid about paying for the wedding ourselves and unsure who we could invite. Weddings are very political things to a degree--how many people you can have, who you choose to invite, when you choose to invite them--and we were scared. We didn't want to step on the toes of friends who were engaged sooner and getting married earlier, we didn't want to risk inviting people to an engagement party if we weren't sure we could have them at the wedding so we kept pushing off any party.
Now in our minds the engagement party would be a party similar to what my friends did for Kelly years ago--simple, elegant night out with friends to eat, drink and be merry as we all got excited about her upcoming nuptials. It wasn't stuffy or overly done but just candles and pretty views and cocktails with her nearest and dearest. We want to have that same type of affair for ourselves to get more excited about the wedding.
See--the thing is the grunt work of wedding planning is stressful. It's pick colors down to the right shade, budgeting for every possible problems, telling family members to stop trying to invite people and figuring out how to work our friends into the ceremony. It's about squirming over contracts and tasting every dish under the sun, handpicking play lists for the reception and finding a photographer who wont make you feel fat. And while having a planner has helped with this in a major way it is still something that can make the best couple bicker.
Which is why the idea of the engagement party took on such a focus for us--something to be fun and dressed up and celebrate with people. A night that we could laugh and shrug off concerns about place settings and marriage vows to enjoy the excitement of the special day. And every time we dropped hints, trying to ask about said party we were greeted with either silence or a quick agreement it was happening. It was starting to annoy us that we didn't feel we knew what was going on.
Things came to a head when I sent out an email asking about when the engagement party would be since we were planning the last few trips up to Seattle to settle things for the wedding. The question was avoided and my feelings were hurt because I was led to believe that nothing was happening and I didn't want to push and feel like forced anyone into anything and instead had built up such an anger about the issue I could barely see straight.
Turns out I was using the wrong word.
When I finally sat down and talked things over with my maid of honor I realized that the girls all felt the time for an engagement party had passed and that I had said no when they offered so they were annoyed that I felt like they blew me off. They were more concerned about throwing a shower which I never even though about--I just wanted Johnno and I to have any kind of party. Everyone was hearing the specific words used when I was using the wrong words all along.
So when Edie and I sat down and had a long discussion about wedding things--the one thing that came clearer and clearer was I wasn't expressing myself the right way. I was using the wrong words and not saying any words at the wrong time and if I actually sat down and thought things through and communicated them properly it would be okay.
I had to use my words--the right words so people could meet me half way.
Knowing how much of what was going on was a misunderstand freed me of so much. To know that they were waiting on me to say what I need and what I wanted so they could try and make things happen... It helped a huge deal to know this. That they want to celebrate, to help and to be there and I wasn't being pushy or unfair took away so much of my stress that it was freeing. It really does matter that I say what I feel and what I want so I can make things happen for me, for the girls and for Johnno... It was a good lesson
PS I am sure I am not using syntax in the right way but it sounded good. I have much more to learn I guess.