I promise we’re not. I know it’s completely ridiculous how many weddings Timmy and I attend. Some people believe we’re making it up, knowing this many people, at 30 years old, getting married and starting a life out with their partner. I know it’s difficult, even impossible, for some people to believe that this many people still want to get married at all! But I promise you it’s true, all of it, and you should probably just assume that if we’re busy on any given weekend, it’s more than likely because we’re going to another wedding.
Last year, 2012, Timmy and I were invited to 13 weddings and made it to 11. That’s roughly one wedding each month. This year, we have been invited to 12 (so far), and have made it to 7 with plans to attend 3 more next month and November. Yeah, it’s totally crazy. None have been in Lakeland, FL, if you were wondering, so yes, that means we’ve traveled for each and every single one of these weddings, most of them in or around Atlanta. That equals round-trip plane tickets, to and from Atlanta, almost once a month, just for weddings and wedding-related festivities (oh yes, there have been 2 bachelorette parties thrown in there too). This doesn’t include trips to anywhere else for any other reason, which we’ve also done, like to Daytona Beach, Palm Coast, Disney, Clearwater, a fishing trip to St. Mark’s, and Melbourne Beach.
We also accepted two new jobs, moved from Atlanta to Orlando, moved out of Orlando, moved to Lakeland, both turned 30, added an hour commute each way to work, and are planning a huge 30th birthday party/fundraiser in two weeks. This year, which hasn’t even ended (although it’s breezing by), has been rough, to put it lightly. Personally, we’ve been struggling a bit, which makes these trips home to celebrate the high point in someone else’s life very bittersweet: bitter because we’re not the best we’ve ever been, but sweet because we don’t live close to our family and friends anymore and get to celebrate and be light-hearted.
We really do enjoy sharing these moments with people. As sappy as they can be, and sometimes awkward and boring if you don’t know the people, it’s still amazing to be a part of such a special event in someone else’s life. I’m still not sure of my outlook on marriage (I see both sides of the marriage coin), but I do understand the importance of it for others and respect it. It is a joyous occasion to witness, two people coming together and professing their love for each other in front of everyone that has ever known and/or cared about them. Emotional at best, slow but happy at worst.
Unfortunately, it’s been my experience so far that after attending a large number of weddings over the last two years, the majority of those married completely dropped off the side of the earth, never to be heard from again after their wedding. I’ve noticed a few who somehow see the world differently as a married person, a world in which once their moment under the spotlight is over, no one else matters anymore and they feel no need to celebrate other people’s special moments. I personally don’t like these people. I don’t see a reason I should, but you can do your best to help me understand.
But the ones who stay around are the ones I admire. The ones who return phone calls and texts, who email you back, and make plans with you. They are awesome. They handle challenges within their relationships head-on, they make strong decisions about their future and family planning, they share financial information, and the trust is overwhelming. They can be flexible and they can stand their ground. They refuse to believe that marriage is an institution, as in jail or mental hospital. If anything, marriage gives them license to experiment in life, to take on adventure, and excitement with their partner. I think all relationships that progress to marriage should be striving to reach all those indicators because without them, the future looks pretty dim and boring.
People always tell us, “You know, you don’t have to go to every wedding you’re invited to. Just say no!” To them I reply: that statement didn’t work against drugs, and it doesn’t work against weddings either. You can’t just always say no, considering who is getting married, their ties to your family and/or past, and what you’d like your future to look like with these people in it. Sure, for some invitations, I have looked at Timmy and said, definitively, NO. I had no idea who they were, had never heard their names being mentioned, so no. I wish you the best, but no. Others we didn’t attend because of more important things, like my father’s 65th birthday, which I had no intention of ever missing, even if we didn’t do anything special at all for it.
But after double digit weddings two years in a row (for me, at least 90 in total for Timmy since 2000…yeah, I’ll let you read that number again), Timmy and I have a pretty good sense of the things we will and will NOT, under any circumstance, ever ever ever do in our supposed wedding. We certainly don’t plan on any sort of religiosity during the ceremony cause honey, that just ain’t us. Aaaaaand that’s about where our agreement ends. Everything else that a wedding entails, just imagine Timmy as the bride and me as the groom. Because that’s what Timmy wants. He wants me in a white dress, he wants the ginormous wedding party, and the tradition, and the no-budget-to-achieve-his-vision attitude. He has in fact, referred to our hypothetical wedding day as “HIS big day”. That is not a joke. “HIS big day.” Not our big day. Not even as a lot of people think, her big day. Nope. HIS big day. End of conversation.
But I digress. All these trips home are making me super poor but super happy to enjoy parties, free booze, food, and dancing. This last weekend we were home to celebrate one of my closest friend’s weddings to a crazy gorgeous gal. The Austin/Reina wedding started off pretty standard (although the entire wedding party, including bride and groom, rocked some Converse shoes, so that was awesome), until the reception. Oh my friends, it was a show. Literally. The video is on Youtube, linked here obvs, and it was a dance battle royale: groom’s side vs. bride’s side. Now, the bride may have won in the looks department (which I’m sure Austin will argue his case to the death about that point), but the dudes so clearly won the dance-off. It wasn’t even close. Check it out for yourself.
Austin and Reina gave us a mighty high bar to climb over. So did Jenny and Joe when it came to their gorgeous location and one of the best weekends we’ve ever experienced. And Heather and Mark when it came to their friendly and welcoming guest list. And so did the wedding in Isle of Palms (the couple I never met, and Timmy forgot to introduce me at the wedding) with one of the best weddings bands EVER. And Kemper and Kevin when it came to band guitarist (Purple Rain much?) and floral arrangements. And Leah and Mike for an unbelievably charming location and ambiance. And my sister and Jared, who just celebrated their TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY. And…
Ok, what I’m trying to say is, Challenge accepted, y’all.
That is, if we ever get married.
So, if our wedding day shall never come, here are pictures of us from all the weddings this year, in one gallery. Marvel at my amazing choices of dresses, and ooh and aah over Timmy’s suits. (Keep in mind that at the wedding we went to two weeks ago, Timmy forgot his suit pants, so we had to drive to a Joseph A. Banks to buy a pair of closely-matching suit pants an hour and a half before the wedding. He’s never boring people.)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go strip to make some money to pay for all your weddings. Did I say strip? I meant nap. Definitely nap.