December 2, 2008

Wedding mirage

In the beginning, wedding planning seemed so straightforward. I’d done the hard part in finding MM, my sweet, smart, funny, caring , sexy, witty hardworking military man of a fiancé. All the details related to the event that would make us Mrs and Mr would be a straightforward project like any of the others I’ve done in current and past careers.

As I saw it, when you strip away the rituals and the history of this human event, a wedding is just a project. So, like any project, we’d make a list and start ticking off things. Pick a date, define a guest list, find a place and a planner and a dress, choose attendants and a colour scheme, and then arrange all the other details as they come.

It started off lucky. I won Susan’s fabulous contest and so netted myself an amazing and wonderful woman as my wedding coordinator aka my project manager. MM and I quickly agreed upon and engagement ring and ordered it and we agreed we wanted a fall wedding so we chose a date. We had some small snags with defining the guest list, picking the attendants and learning how much MM wanted to be part of the planning process (“a lot, but not all the time” was his contradictory response). The engagement ring took a month longer to arrive than we’d anticipated (though given I was the one who proposed I shouldn’t have been too surprised). But overall it started out so well.

Then life and the military happened. My thesis started looming – would I get it done in time to start my PhD next fall? MM started having to travel a lot for training as he prepared to deploy overseas next spring to serve in Afghanistan. The military machine started changing its mind as to when he should serve, which threw the wedding date into question. So we moved it. Then we found out that the best man and 80% of the friends’ side of the list would be heading overseas when MM got back. Absent best man? Can’t happen. Date move again, by another six months, putting the date so far into the future that it felt like a mirage.

Now with it a spring wedding rather than a fall or winter one, I started questioning our colour scheme. Eggplant and bronze in May? Really? (...Though Susan has a great response here to this apparently common dilemma). And a fully lace dress for a breezy spring afternoon? Maybe not? Back to the drawing board on the dress hunt.

Add to that the difficulty Susan and I were having finding a venue for our day and next thing I knew, this project called a wedding was rather severely derailed. The whole event started feeling impossible.

This was all in October and the first bit of November. Fast forward to now.

I’m still stoked about our wedding, still pining to be Mrs MM. But wedding planning is a bit at a standstill. I feel like I’m holding my breath, waiting for the new year, the new releases of venue dates, the new dresses, the new announcements of deployment dates, the continuation of work on my thesis. Six months into this engagement and nothing is done, little is decided. The wedding is decidedly on, but just doesn't feel like it's happening. It will happen, it just doesn't feel quite real at the moment. It's my personal wedding mirage, out there in 2010, just waiting for me (with Susan's expert guidance and MM's occasional involvement) to get on with it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for us. It has a date attached to it and a desire to just make it happen. Soon. But not right now.

Welcome to wedding planning for a military fiancé.

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