It's been a year now since we got engaged. Amazing to think of that startlingly sunny day, the daffodils out and the sun warm on our skin during a picnic lunch, when it is still so bitingly cold outside this year. Every time I think back to that weekend I get a pang in my stomach of enduring joy and also sadness that it's over; back then I was naïve to the inevitable trials and stresses of planning a wedding, and the tears and questions that it would bring!
I've been purposely quiet about our wedding plans over the past six months. After being a guest at the most wonderful wedding of one of my closest friends in November I realise how powerful a wedding day can be when the details are kept secret between the bride and groom. I want to keep it all to myself until September, but at the same time I'm bursting with impatience, wanting to tell everyone about the tiniest details that I have planned, should they go unnoticed in the bigger picture of our wedding day.
The amazing thing about a wedding (and I want to point out how separate the ideas of 'wedding' and 'marriage' are to me here: in no way am I ignorant to the fact that a wedding is, in its entirety, about marriage) is that it's about making an internal vision come to life. I know some people have their weddings planned from 'being a little girl' (Yuck. Since when was the wedding just a female institution?), but for me this wasn't the case: Daniel and I each took some time to think about our ideal wedding, then put the ideas together to make a picture of what we wanted. Over time this picture has developed and changed quite dramatically, and what we have now resembles only very basically what we originally came up with. A lot of the process has been about compromise; I wanted a very small wedding with only our nearest and dearest, but we are now planning for around 80 guests thanks to the sheer number of wonderful people in our lives!
And those wonderful people have been the best part of the process so far. I finished off the first of our wedding invitations yesterday, and there it was in front of me: exactly what I had imagined our invites would be like so many months ago. Thanks to artist friends and seamstress friends and gardening friends and countless other friends, we're getting something that resembles exactly what we want. How often does that happen?