When I first started blogging about Tom and my upcoming wedding, my intention was to help other brides with my budget solutions and DIY projects. This all worked out well until a couple of weeks ago when I realized that I am almost done my DIY projects, all of my vendors are booked, and I have little to write about for the next seven and a half months. That's no fun. I also realized that I was missing out on the whole point of blogging, the entire journaling process. I've documented what I've made and what I've purchased, but I have done little to explain how I've felt through the entire process. I think I've been a bit too candid, so I am going to start being more open about things. I am going to use this blog as my sounding board, to tell my story. Now is a perfect time to start telling the story because Tom and I's anniversary is coming up in about two weeks. At the same time, as they come up, I will continue to share my projects and any milestones with the wedding. I promise.
In my efforts to be less candid, there is one major thing that I need to get off of my chest. This is not my first wedding. It's my second. It's Tom's first. Yes, I am having a big wedding for the second time around, and this is why. I was first married in 2002, I was about two weeks shy of my 21st birthday. I was young and stupid. I got married because I thought I fell in love. I was one of those girls that never had a boyfriend in high school, so once I finally got one, I wanted to hold on and never let go. Big mistake. I ended up marrying a scam artist that was also emotionally and physically abusive. After six years of screaming matches, arguments, and lies, he finally left me in 2008 for a new target. I was heartbroken, but quickly realized that I was given a chance to start over. I took a couple of months for me and re-grounded myself, then I moved on. Tom and I have been close friends forever, he served as a confident throughout my marriage, and after giving me significant time to heal, he asked me to be his. After a year of dating, he proposed, and after a 19 month engagement we will be exchanging vows. I took my time this time around.
I would be lying if I said that my first marriage has no effect on the second one. It does. I'm cautious this time, and I've learned that relationships require patience and compromise. I've learned that it takes two people to have an argument, and that each are responsible for it, regardless of how one-sided an argument may seem. My relationship with Tom is a healthy one, my first marriage was not. It's funny because family and friends have actually commented that I look happy. I definitely feel happier.
Aside from the emotional influences, my first marriage also plays a significant role in the planning of my second one. My first marriage took place in a Catholic church and various details were chosen to please my family. This time, Tom and I are planning our day, although, we are remembering our guests too. When planning my first marriage, I tried to include everything that I thought were supposed to be part of a wedding: expensive invitations, floral centerpieces, limos, etc. and I got really upset if I could not have it, almost as though it would make the wedding less valid. This time around, my mantra is "at the end of the day Tom and I will be husband and wife." We are skipping out on the limo, I'm making my invitations and wedding stationary, and our centerpieces are something that I am putting together as well. Our marriage will be no less valid because of it.
I know that it is not traditional to have a huge wedding the second time around, but I am not a traditional kind of person. I don't want my memories of my wedding day to be with an abusive jerk. I want my memories to be of the day that Tom and I proclaimed our love in front of our families and friends. That is exactly what it will be.