Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Writing About the Wedding

Number 37 on my list is to write a wedding graduate post for (APW). Since I love that site and the community there so much, I want to give something back by sharing my experience. Also, I really want to add to the growing body of women who say “I got married and it was great, and it wasn’t all about the napkin colors!” So much of the current cultural narrative on weddings focuses on our materialistic culture, our overblown expectations, and transgressive behavior on the part of brides, and frankly, I’m sick of it. Most women are not the out-of-control “bridezillas” that popular media would have us believe.

The fact is, wedding planning encapsulates the difficulty with being a woman today, as cultural expectations, family pressure, “tradition,” negotiation of relationships, body image, insecurity,and socio-economic status all combine to create a perfect storm of expectation. And then when women fail to meet that expectation, they’re called “cheap” or “tacky” (if they don’t have a lot of money) or “spoiled” or “entitled” (if they do have money). And if they happen to have a meltdown over something silly in the middle of that perfect storm? Then they’re a “bridezilla” and the object of scorn and derision.

So, all that to say, I really want to write about my experience with wedding planning and being a “bride” (and a fat, bespectacled bride at that!). It’s hard to do, though, because how do you put something as huge as a commitment to another person into words? I know what I felt during our wedding ceremony, but I don’t have words to describe it. It’s easier to focus on the things that went wrong, or how annoying (parts of) the wedding planning process were, because I have words for those. But a word to describe the feeling of joining myself to another person, for life? Being able to say how that feels? Is really hard.

So, the goal is to put that stuff into words and send it to APW. If Meg decides to publish it or not, well, that’s up to her. For me, the goal is putting it out there, and letting go of the ultimate outcome. If it’s published, great! If not, well, I’ll just have to try harder the next time I send a piece of my writing out to the world.

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