The Best Day of Your Life

Originally written shortly after getting engaged – Summer 2011

There’s a lot of noise in the wedding planning world about the expectation that your wedding will be “the best day of your life”. Scan any major wedding website, magazine, or even advertisement and you’re sure to stumble across this phrase, (or its cousin – ‘the happiest day of your life’) at least half a dozen times. To me, this sets the standards pretty low for the rest of your life (not just beyond the wedding but before it as well). I’ve had a pretty awesome life to date, with some pretty phenomenal days. I haven’t exactly been sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting for a man to come along and marry me so I can get my life started.

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about the wedding. I’m excited to wear a pretty dress and plan a fun event and celebrate surrounded by all of the people we love most in the world. But it’s a superficial level of excitement compared to the depth of excitement I feel for the rest of my life. I am excited about scrimping and saving for a downpayment together while we daydream about our first house (a cute little place with a big kitchen, lots of windows, plenty of character, a big ramshackle porch, a little balcony, and lots of land, please and thank you!). I’m excited to set common goals and work together to make them a reality. I’m excited for the adventures we’re going to have – the roadtrips, the DIY projects, the new hobbies we’ll inevitably try, building our little life together. I’m excited to travel and explore our world together. I’m excited to drag home our first real Christmas tree, and decorate it with whatever pathetic collection of mismatched ornaments we can manage to scrounge up. I’m excited for the day we bring home our first pet, maybe a rescue dog from the local shelter. I’m excited for the day we decide we’re ready to expand our little family. I’m excited to read all the baby books, do all the pre-natal classes, and generally overprepare like I always do for everything. I’m excited to bring that little addition home, and feel the intense love, exhaustion, enthrallment, and awe that comes with having your first child. I’m excited to create and develop our own family traditions, and figure out how we work as a unit. I’m excited to grow together, and challenge eachother, and learn from eachother.

People often talk about their dream wedding. This dream may involve a villa in Italy, or a grand ballroom, or a quaint rustic barn in the countryside. It may involve a designer dress or matching glittery converse sneakers or that perfect vintage veil you found on Etsy. It could have a monogrammed aisle runner or cute little flower girls carrying a sign that says ‘Here Comes the Bride’ or a hip rock band that gets the crowd dancing all night. All of that’s fabulous and fun, but my dream wedding? It’s a day full of joy. A day overflowing with the excitement and promise of our life together. It’s a day where I feel giddy knowing I’m committing to share the joys and weather the challenges with the most kind, wonderful, loving, respectful man I’ve ever met.

So am I excited about the wedding? Yes, of course. But putting it up on the pedestal of ‘best day of our lives’? No thanks. I’ll be happy with our wedding if it’s another wonderful day to add to the many wonderful days we have had and will continue to have in our life together.

Post-wedding editors note: This is exactly how the wedding turned out to be. Another wonderful day to add to the many wonderful days we’ve had and will have together. With a little extra surrealism and love thrown in for good measure.