I suppose I’ve had a lot of time to think about all the things I want for my future. Nearly 20 years. I, like many girls, have fallen into the trap of Pinterest and have saved kitchens, children and wedding dresses to my boards. But as I got older my life kept changing—the way it does—so did my #goals and my Pinterest boards.
I have been to a handful of weddings in my life…enough to realize I don’t want one.
I always thought I’d be the girl in the princess ball gown with a gorgeous bouquet of expensive and exotic flowers whose colors were strewn down the aisle, over the arch where I would say “I do” and in the hands of my carefully chosen bridal party of 22. Yes I know. Ridiculous.
But the more weddings I went to, the more I realized how impersonal they could become by inviting 275 people who would sit in the audience and listen to you tell the love of your life your vows to them, because honestly nobody gives a shit. Maybe your parents, but even they get distracted. Then after, when the reception is full of trying to have meaningful conversations with people who don’t mean that much to you; you’d rather be at home in bed with a glass of wine and a movie.
I always thought I couldn’t take my wedding day away from my loved ones, but the thing is—I can. It’s not about anyone but my future partner and I. There is a beauty about picking any place in the world to get married and tying the knot there. On the park bench you first met, surrounded by nature or anywhere else that seems fitting. But I don’t want 200 people hoping that the food is good and there’s an open bar, taking away from that moment, because it’s not about them. Not at all.
To go along with that, if my partner confesses that he doesn’t want to elope, and I say fine as long as we keep the guest list under 75, and he says okay, I am sorry dad, but I am walking down the aisle alone.
I am not now, nor have I ever been, anyone’s property and do not need to be “given away”. I am my own. And I am very capable of walking down an aisle and making a commitment to someone else, forever, on my own. The thought that we still embrace such a degrading tradition is beside me. I am not anyone’s to give away. Sorry Dad—nothing against you. The photo op is not worth my independence and my ability to make my own decisions. It never should be.
Going off of this, a quick note to my future partner: don’t ask anyone’s permission to marry me.
I don’t need it. And the only person you need permission from is yours truly. I’m sure I’ll say yes so don’t freak out. Plus, I am perfectly okay with nothing more than a plain wedding band, yes, diamond free. It doesn’t matter. I hope our love is never bow tied with a ring. I hope our love is bow tied with laughter, and friendship and late night takeout pizza and too many beers and moments like this filled with companionship.
I don’t want any of the things I once thought I did. I don’t need those big houses, nice cars, 3-carat engagement rings, a room full of people and a dress I’ll never wear again and spent way too much money on. I want a love that’s full of everything it should be, because I hope, when I meet the person I’m supposed to be with forever, none of that matters.
Why does a wedding have to be thousands of dollars? Why can’t we get married wherever we want, have that moment together and come back to our closest family and friends and a party filled with food that’s actually good, a backyard bartender and real celebration that doesn’t feel stuffy and fake and full of people you’re just trying to impress. A love that is real will never need any thing more than the looks in the eyes of those holding it, to prove its existence.
So I am sorry Mom & Dad, for taking these moments away from you, I am. But if you want, I’ll hire a videographer and my wedding will cost 1,000 dollars, and it will be the most practical thing I have ever done. And unlike the running joke, there will be no bridezilla, from this type A, hopeless romantic who has thought about this day since she was six. Who knew?