Dakota and I have been discussing marriage since our first week of dating. Eighteen months, and one perfect baby girl, into our relationship, it all became so much more real when he formally proposed at Disneyland.
But growing up in a Southern Baptist family, I was taught very black and white ways to live my life. Although I’ve outgrown the ridiculous-ness of some of them, a few of the ideals still linger around. Like the belief that the only acceptable order to build a family was to be married BEFORE you have a baby, so when I first found out I was pregnant, I felt a bit of shame around not being married to Dakota.
It was only heightened by sharing the news with my family.
The first question 90% of them asked, before asking how I was feeling, or if we knew the gender, was, “When are you getting married?!”
The sense of urgency led me to feel I didn’t deserve an actual wedding since they seemed to want us to dash to the courthouse.
I relayed the same response to all who inquired. “We are in no rush. Besides, being married doesn’t guarantee you’ll stay together any longer, or that you’ll experience more happiness.”
Being pregnant was enough of a life-altering event without throwing a wedding into the mix. I really just wanted to enjoy my pregnancy.
Until I had the ring on my finger, I’d always felt we’d most likely elope. Just Dakota, Chunkz, and me, sailing the open seas on a cruise to Hawaii, but once the fresh excitement of my new bling calmed down a bit, I started to really think about the pros and cons of eloping.
The truth is, I’ve imagined getting married since I was a little girl. While it was never a top priority in the past, I knew committing my life to one person, and celebrating our love with our closest friends and family, was definitely something I wanted to experience.
As a little girl, I’d dreamt about what my wedding day would be like, and how much fun it would be to go dress shopping with my mom. She’d always loved taking me shopping and making me try on pretty clothes she could doll me up in.
When my mom died, my inevitable wedding was something I couldn’t see myself planning without her, but I’ve grown a lot since I was a lost and scared 18-year-old who didn’t know how to survive without her momma.
I’m a momma now too, and I’m constantly amazed how quickly I outgrow different versions of myself.
Sometimes I can get caught up in my own s#!%, but having a daughter helps me view things from a more reasonable perspective.
What would I want Chunkz to do if she were in my scenario?
You bet your a$$ I’d want her to have a huge celebration, and I’d be raging from the heavens celebrating right along with her!
So after a brief pity party (I’m only human), I wiped my tears and pulled up my bootstraps.
We’re having a wedding!
I am totally capable of planning a wedding without my momma, and she would’ve wanted me to have the party of the year to celebrate our marriage. If you knew her, you know how much she loved a good party. 😛
Finding a person you want to spend the rest of your life with is something worth celebrating. For the universe to align in all the right ways to help you meet your life-partner, truly is magical, and I want to share the magic of our little family with the people who mean the most to us.
Besides, who doesn’t love cake? And an open bar…
Dakota wouldn’t mind a courthouse wedding, but I know he’ll appreciate the big affair when it comes time. He just wants whatever I want, as long as I stick to the budget 😉
We’re only in the beginning stages of planning, and I’ve already second-guessed my decision at least 10 different times. There’s a lot more detail involved than I anticipated, and deciding the guest list in itself is enough to drive anyone insane.
It will totally be worth all of the insanity, and I can not wait to watch my sweet Chunkz toddle down the aisle, while my handsome honey waits at the end for his two wild ladies to join him. The whole experience will only be enhanced by sharing the moment with our loved ones.
And if anyone really thinks we don’t “deserve” a wedding because we already have a baby, you’re not invited anyway.