permission granted

The internet has always been a source of permission for me. Permission to be angry, to be sad, to laugh at something even when people around me didn't find it especially funny, to shake my fist at injustice, and to not feel guilty when every fiber of my being is forcing me to feel that way. Maybe, as an adult, I don't need permission. But I seek it out, constantly. It's relieving in the same way a hug from your best friend is relieving. Or, um, a perfect cup of tea? The way bourbon is relieving?

As I stepped out into the world of weddings, all of that permission-granting seized up. There was not a single place I could find anywhere that simultaneously focused on weddings AND gave people interested in having them the permission to go their own way. I have since found that place, A Practical Wedding, and it has become my One True Source consistently capable of providing me with ideas, insight, and permission. I mean, I still read** the other blogs and I still pin their photos and I still lust over the details. But my solace is found at APW.
And you're going to achieve your ultimate goal—to be married to your partner—whether or not you managed to get enough artichokes to hold your place-cards, and whether or not you get a feeling of transcendence when you pronounce your vows.

I'm not saying both things are equally irrelevant—obviously transcendence is nice if you can get it—but let's be realistic here. Artichokes you can buy; transcendence you've just got to wait for. If you've got to worry about something, choose the artichokes every time.
I read a post today that made me high-five myself, as it is a craftily-worded description of the place I have come to in my own heart/head about our wedding. The other night I spent my usually One Hour With Mom conversation talking about things, especially my dress. My mother invented pragmatism, okay. If you look up the word in the dictionary, her face is there, questioning your judgment when it comes to your whims of frivolity. Growing up under her guidance has turned me into a fickle beast, because I am naturally given to frivolousness if I don't reign myself in now and then. But also, I am given to painfully stubborn pragmatic behaviors. When it came to my dress, and all of the feelings I've been told I should seek out in a dress/should have about a dress/should feel when I'm in a dress, I became rather cranky. I believe I said, "Mom, pardon my French, but it's just a fucking dress." I don't want to feel anything other than mostly comfortable. That is the only feeling I'm seeking. And, if I'm honest, that's all I want to feel at my wedding, too.

With this post, I think I will conclude my ranting/whining about the WIC and move on to just focusing on what we're doing, what has inspired me decor-wise, pretty pictures and things like that. I can't promise that I won't come back here and scream into the blogblivion, but for now I feel much more at peace with the "just do whatever you wanna do" approach to this big day of ours. Our focus IS squarely situated on the marriage, and I'm truly grateful that my family is planning on coming from all ends of the country (and maybe even world, too!) to attend. I want a celebration of love, ours and the loves that taught us how to do it in the first place, and then I'm looking forward to the serenity of married life. The certainty and simplicity that knowing you have your dude, by your side forever, brings.

Photo: Madge Elliott and Cyril Ritchard's wedding, St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, 16 September 1935 / photograph by Sam Hood // from the State Library of New South Wales Collection on Flickr
** Insofar as any of those other sites contain words. Mostly it's just lists of where to buy things, secrecy about how much it cost, how hiring a wedding planner is the only way you'll survive your Big Day, and how their feelings were as perfect as their make up was in every single picture.

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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.