The day of the proposal was magical. After we finished taking a few hundred photos to memorialize this special day, we called his parents. They were so genuinely happy for us and they made me feel so loved. I found out they had all known for at least a month that he had bought the ring and was planning to ask me to marry him. When we arrived at their home in San Francisco, his mom had added bridal decorations and balloons to the Christmas decor and planned a very sweet arrival for us. Honestly the entire day felt like a dream come true. I’ve never felt more welcomed and loved than I have with his family. Read our engagement story (here).
In the days that followed, we spent as much time as we could with his family. We had amazing clam chowder and the best sourdough bread in Capitola, truly phenomenal Chinese in San Carlos and excellent street Tacos in Santa Barbara. We ran with our puppy baby in the waves at Half Moon Bay and we opened more presents than ever, sitting next to his Grandmother’s beautifully adorned tree while feeling all the more grateful for this new beginning.
Getting engaged was the highlight of our holiday season and I’m not saying it’s been downhill from there but I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit to a few staggering realizations that have caused me some pause. From falling in love with all too expensive venues to having a hard time finding the right bridesmaid dresses, there have been some frustrating days to say the least. Even more troubling is the hard conversations I’m having with myself about who I’m going to include in my bridal party and who we will invite to the wedding.
If you asked me how I feel about getting married, I’d say I am beyond thrilled to have found my best friend and forever unicorn. Yeah, we’re really corny like that.
I feel excited to begin this next chapter of our lives but at the same time, I feel stressed about who we should invite. When I’m thinking about who I’ll invite from my friends and family, it’s not simple. In some ways, it feels really complicated and that’s the last way I want to feel when planning the happiest day of my life. It’s simply not just a question of how long someone has been in my life or if they’re a family member. I wish it was that easy. Unfortunately, I’m also thinking about the fact that my fiance has never met anyone in my family.
When I met Tommy, I knew this relationship was different and for the first time in my life, I felt extremely protective of a relationship so I didn’t want to bring anyone around that might have a negative attitude about me. I simply didn’t want to subject him to meeting certain family members that have caused me a lot of pain in the past and even as I write this, I feel a lot of anguish about some relationships that haven’t worked out how I wanted them too.
This next part is hard for me to share.
The very worst part of wedding planning is dealing with the emotional work that exists in navigating tough relationships. There are no hard and fast rules in this situation – there are no easy answers and I’ve looked within and sought outside opinions too in order to try to discover a just path forward. It’s complicated and messy and it shouldn’t be. Getting married is a happy thing and I shouldn’t be finding myself so stuck.
When you don’t have the relationship with your parent that you’ve always longed for, thinking about navigating the relationship you do have is complicated. I’ve often found myself thinking about what might have been and that is dangerous because it only leads me to further torment. The guest list has been one of the most worrisome parts of wedding planning because thinking about who I’ll invite has caused me to have to face the painful truth that I don’t often have to face living so far away from my family. Whether I invite someone or not feels pretty final – more final than simply not calling on the holidays or never going for a visit at Christmas. It feels like I am saying something about our relationship that maybe I’ve never said before. There’s a certain finality to it and that is not easy to work through but in being kind to myself, I remind myself that I didn’t choose this. I’m not closed off over some petty disagreement. The decision to not interact was made with careful consideration and I didn’t take it lightly.
Protecting myself, my loved ones, my fiance and his family as well as our collective joy is not cruel.
If we are going to spend all of this money on one event, I want it to be fun for everyone and I don’t want to spend the days leading up to my wedding worrying about whether my guests will enjoy it. I’d rather know up front that the ice has already been broken.
Many of the guests will be traveling to get to our wedding because we all live so far apart so I want it to be a day to remember for everyone, not just me and my fiance.
With this in mind, I’ve been trying to find a way to reduce the awkwardness that always seems to loom over guests at weddings when they realize that they don’t really know many of the other guests. The last thing I want is for my guests to be bored at my wedding. Since many of our guests will be meeting for the first time on the day of the wedding, I have been looking at ways to kick things off beforehand.
Thankfully, I found Our Wedding Party which is literally a digital party starter which will be serving as our virtual wedding hub where all of our guests will go to e-meet each other before the big day. Knowing that I’ll be able to help my guests in meaningful ways before my event makes it just one less thing I have to worry about.
When our wedding guests log into our event on the Our Wedding Party site, they’ll see individual profiles of all of the other guests. Our Wedding Party allows guests to share their connection to the bride and groom, suggest songs for wedding playlists, connect with and find common ground with other guests in a way that feels natural and easy.
I’m really glad to be partnering with Our Wedding Party for our wedding because I know it will make our wedding even more memorable and actually fun for everyone!
If you’re attending a wedding this summer, you can now gift Our Wedding Party to the couple-to-be!
This post is sponsored but all opinions are my own.