Planning a second wedding is quite strange. It’s like walking a familiar road after being absent from a city for decades – you think you know the sites and the layout but nothing is as it was.
I don’t want to think about the first time, endlessly reflecting on how it was done before. But I do, if only to make sure I do it differently now. The basic structure of the wedding is the same: private ceremony followed by celebratory dinner with loved ones. But the details are intentionally altered. My first wedding was on a beach; this one is in the mountains. The first date was in the winter and this one is in the fall. My first dress had straps and my hair was up. Now? Strapless and hair down and loose. A Thai restaurant is replacing the Italian that served the first dinner.
There is an unplanned difference between the celebrations that struck me yesterday as I was working on the guest email list (That’s right, wedding Evites. Don’t tell Ms. Manners). There is a good chance that my dad will be the only guest present at both. As far as my family, we’re small and spread throughout the country. My mom will actually be in Italy at that time (don’t feel guilty mom -go and enjoy yourself!) and I don’t think any other family will travel. I got married the first time only 6 months after moving to Atlanta. So, the friends at our celebration were coworkers that we had at the time since we had not yet developed any meaningful relationships in the new city and our friends from Texas could not make the trip.
This time around, the friend list is long and rich with history and meaning. I have friends that have known me through my entire marriage, supported me through the divorce and have seen me blossom again. I have others that have only known me after. Brock has friends that never thought they would see him marry until they saw us together and said they knew. Even the restaurant has personal ties, as they know us well, saw the evolution of our relationship and have hosted many a gathering for Brock’s martial arts students. We will be surrounded by our community as we celebrate. That feels good.
Having friends around means I also have a shower this time through. Something I’ve never had. The hostess texted me yesterday and asked me to pick a theme: kitchen, wine, bathroom, lingerie or camping. I had to smile at the last one. She is very much a city gal so I knew she threw that in for me even though it pained her:) I chose lingerie since it’s something I never buy for myself and I left all my collection behind in my old life. Plus, sometimes it’s nice not to be practical:)
It’s crazy that, even as I’m about to move on from the past in the biggest way possible, the past still follows behind, tapping me on the shoulder occasionally just to remind me it’s there. But even though it’s sometimes strange, I’m okay with my awareness of the past. I’m not trying to run away from it or bury it where it can’t be seen. I’m hopeful that now that the planning is done (yippee!), the past will take a polite step back and maybe not follow so closely.
Related: Why I’m scared of 22 year old dress consultants – Say Stress to the Dress