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An Open Letter to the Brides of Spring 2020, From a Milspouse with a Cancelled Wedding

To the brides filled with uncertainty. To those who are cancelling showers and parties and celebrations. To the brides having that dreaded conversation trying to figure this out:

On New Year’s Eve, I got engaged. Everyone was surprised, excited. Cameron left four days later for basic training, and my mom and I went to work on planning the perfect wedding, around the military and budgets and family’s schedule. We spent hours. 

Then I found my dress. We got in the car with my friends and family and we drove for an hour and a half to find the perfect dress. I tried on dress after dress, and I remember feeling the gravity of a day all about myself and cameron, and celebrating the life we got to have together and our marriage. With just the ladies who had come with me to find my dress, I remember just how special it felt to have people gathered together, just for celebrating he and I.

Then was the venue. We found one we loved but was too small. Then we found THE one and got our date lined up. August 26 (I’ll never forget that day). Here’s where we would have the food, here’s where the seating would be, would there be enough? How many of our loved ones would come to celebrate us, and would we have to have enough seats and food? 

Invitation lists, bridesmaids dresses, menus, showers, travel plans. I could go on. 

Cut to May 22, where cam & I sat in a courthouse in Florida, by ourselves, without our parents. Without anyone there to encourage us. Without the loved ones we planned on. We were married by a stranger, then cameron went to work that afternoon. 

When we were planning for my wedding, we double checked everything. We sent the date around, double checked. We checked with cam’s recruiter, double checked. Checked the venue, got the dress alteration schedule, catering.

We were so careful, but it didn’t matter.

So, brides of spring 2020, I will tell you it is true, it is the marriage, not the wedding & your marriage is a covenant between you, your spouse and God, which no one can break, regardless of who watches you make that covenant. It is true your grand wedding day won’t make your marriage any happier. But I will also tell you something that people who have never had to make those calls cancelling their own wedding can’t, this is painful. And you have every right to feel that pain. 

Your wedding is the one day you will have that is just for celebrating you and your spouse. It is the only time in your life where people will gather just for you. You only get one wedding day, and there is no shame in wanting your loved ones there to celebrate with you. I felt hidden and alone. I felt like my wedding was taken from me (it was!). It felt like my One Big Day was robbed and it was everyone’s afterthought. I just wanted my friends and family to get dressed up and spend the evening with my family and I. 

Watching your friends happily enjoy their weddings will make you jealous. And you’ll feel really nasty for it, and you’ll feel shame. You’ll catch yourself eyeing your would-be venue. You’ll feel it when you see your wedding dress in your closet. That doesn’t make you selfish, it makes you hurt.

Let me tell you, the world is scary right now. And people probably don’t understand the gravity in your world of having your day taken from you. And you probably feel selfish in feeling this way, I know I did! 

A lot of people won’t understand the hurt you’re feeling, which is the whole problem. And you probably won’t feel like the hurt your feeling is valid in comparison to what’s happening in the world. Yes, it’s true it could be so much worse. And we are all so blessed and fortunate to just be healthy and safe right now. 

 But, to the brides, I see you. What you’re feeling is valid. He is still God, and He is still good, even through the heartbreak.

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