Everyone who knows me knows that I am a social animal that is 110% extroverted. So when several wedding invitations started flooding in for me, I was so freaking ready. The food, the people, and the dance moves were born READY. What I was not ready for was the profound impact that attending 6 weddings in 6 weeks would have on me – here is what I learned.
1. We all want connection. Regardless of our differences, we are united in our constant and continuous strive for connection. The emotional speeches, the I love yous, the crying parents, the happy grandparents, and the enthusiastic friends just made it clear to me how important connection is for all of us. No man or woman is an island, and marriage is just another expression of our need to create community. As much as I love technology, all the weddings really made me appreciate seeing so many old friends in person again. Nothing replaces face-to-face connection, and weddings are one of the best ways to reunite, feel, and celebrate.
2. We need to start asking more questions before marriage. I never questioned marriage and just thought that it was something that people are supposed to do. Supposed to do? Really? This is a very expensive must do! Why should I get married? Is marriage something that I really need in order to have a fulfilling life? Doing something because you are supposed to do it is never a guarantee for any type of real contentment or happiness. The same applies to getting married. Getting married because everyone else is doesn’t mean that you will be happy. I think it’s more important to understand why we are getting married and the meaning that marriage brings to our lives. At the end of the day, not only is a wedding a monetary investment, but it is also an emotional investment. I think it’s more important to understand why we are getting married and the meaning that marriage brings to our lives.
3. The struggle is real. The magnificent Mark Manson said it best: What determines your success isn’t “What do you want to enjoy?” The question is: “What are you willing to struggle for?” There is no better place to ask this question than weddings. Weddings are beautiful and make everyone happy, but I was shocked at how much preparation and time goes into making them beautiful. Not only do you have the actual preparation and logistics, but you also have to work with the wedding party’s expectations (which can sometimes include a lot of drama). So as beautiful weddings are, I find myself asking: Is getting married and having a lavish ceremony something I am willing to struggle for?
4. Finding the one isn’t just about romance. I had an amazing conversation with a friend at a wedding and he dropped some serious knowledge that changed me. He said, “You know you have found the one when you can tolerate them in their worst moments. When I say tolerate, I mean that you don’t feel like you want to run away.” But Marilyn Monroe said it best: “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” Hmm….something new for me and definitely a big take away from my wedding marathon. This totally transformed my definition of what “the one” is for me.
5. You should always have a dress on standby. I have never been so grateful that I am obsessed with dresses. I own about thirty of them, so I didn’t have to worry too much about what to wear to all these weddings. I was so grateful for my dress options, especially during this wedding marathon.
6. You should always attend a wedding on a somewhat empty stomach. Ok fine – snack before. But do not eat a full meal before a wedding. Weddings are some of the best places to get quality food. I can’t believe how well I have eaten the past six weeks. All sorts of amazing food. Ghanaian, Somali, AMAZING steak, Indian curry and unbelievable desserts. I’m salivating and getting hungry just thinking about it. But I stand by position: do not eat a full meal before a wedding, otherwise you get so full that you miss out on all the awesome food.
So all in all, I can honestly say that the ideal marriage for me would be to go to city hall, get take-out from all my favourite restaurants, go home, eat my face off, and then chill in my daisy onesie. The idea of doing all the work isn’t worth the struggle for me. But that’s just me and maybe I’m saying this because I’m single so, who knows maybe I will change my mind.
Nothing is a guarantee for happiness. Everything is temporary and the only constant is change. But I truly do believe that if we are aware of why do we what we do, we are bound to make decisions that are meaningful, even if we have to ask difficult questions. Marriage is no exception.