Making the nontraditional work

by Katie Goddeyne

I’m getting married in four months. Obviously, I’m over the moon about it, but I’d be lying if I said planning this shindig wasn’t one of the most stressful experiences of my life so far.

Approximately 525,600 details are involved in coordinating your big day ranging in size and specificity. How are we going to feed all of these people? And what do they even want to eat? Do we need chairs for the ceremony? Does Eric need a pocket square? What if I fall down the stairs in my dress? I won’t though because duh – sandals! Do I seriously need to assign seats because that seems like something I wouldn’t do…OMG, SHOULD I WEAR A VEIL?

It’s exhausting and mentally overwhelming and tedious. It’s also so much fun and out-of-the-ordinary and exciting.

I openly speak and write about my mom’s sudden passing away nine years ago, and I do so relatively often. It was a big part of my life. My dad more or less decided to make his exit from my life shortly thereafter, which I typically avoid conversing about.

SO I’ve been making these decisions and planning the biggest party I’ve ever thrown without the traditional parental guidance. Sometimes that’s still weird for me. I wouldn’t say it’s depressing or sad – I’ve grown comfortable with my grief over my parent(s). But it is weird. And writing about this particular part of being without them, in a public forum, is even weirder. But here I am writing about it regardless of how scratchy it feels because I think it’s important to stretch yourself from time to time.

I’m certainly not alone in my planning efforts. I’ve had heaps upon heaps of support from my friends and family members. My bridal party knows far more about my beauty plan than they probably care to. My aunt has looked at more place settings and table décor than I’d like to admit. My friends have endured my thoughts on cake flavor and rehearsal dinners and bouquets more often than they should have had to. My mother-in-law-to-be has probably painted the picture in her head several times over as my neurotic descriptions of our vision have changed over the last several months. Eric and I have gone over price point after price point. I know for a fact my sisters sometimes force their enthusiasm because this – is – exhausting.

And we aren’t even done yet, but they’re still answering my calls and texts about every little detail.

I’ve never been more grateful for my nontraditional web of support.  I am incredibly lucky to have this lovely bunch of coconuts in my corner. Nontraditional isn’t the way that I planned my life, but it’s where I landed, and it has helped shape me into the lovable weirdo of a woman that I am today. I am consistently reminded that life typically doesn’t walk the path you’d assumed it would. I’m also consistently reminded that if you’ve got the right people by your side, you can do just about anything – you can even quiet that inner monologue about shoes and veils and chairs.

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