Recently my first friend got engaged. Of course I’ve seen classmates from my high school get married, I’ve watched in instagram photos and uploaded Facebook albums, ivory dresses, long tulle veils, decorative photos of two rings in a bed of moss, and in what seems like just the blink of an eye later photos of ultrasounds and baby showers and big pregnant bellies. All the while it all felt surreal, those weren’t MY people, those people were far off, removed, it was as if I knew them in another life. Then my friend texted me a photo of shiny diamond on her ring finger and I realized…it’s happening now! I know I’m 24 and it was bound to start but I can’t help but panic a little (not for my friend, I’m happy for her) but rather for myself.
In just the course of a month it feels as if I’ve fallen asleep and awoke to find myself in a non-stop wedding planning party. Between my Mother’s upcoming wedding this summer, my close friend’s wedding on the same day, a job in the bridal industry and a Pinterest feed that seems to believe I should want to be pinning photos of vintage diamonds and floral arrangement ideas…I feel confused. I’m more in love than I’ve ever been but I’m just not ready yet.
Perhaps its because I live in a family that has no issue with me living with a boyfriend out of wedlock, I feel no rush. Though I enjoy the idea of a glittery princess ring on my finger to snap photos of for my instagram thread, the idea of a perfectly staged social media image isn’t alluring enough. The daydream of walking down the aisle to Jordan makes my heart beat faster and my head spin, we tell each other we want to share forever on a nightly basis curled beneath our white frilly comforter and princess canopy bed. I can’t picture the dress though, I can’t begin to imagine a venue.
Maybe it’s because I can’t decide if I want to elope in the french countryside (or Paris), throw a fabulous city rooftop bash, or an intimate forested boho affair. Maybe if the idea of so many wedding traditions didn’t make me cringe, maybe if I didn’t get anxiety with the thought of large crowds expecting me to spend time with them, maybe if I didn’t have such expensive taste…maybe then I would be ready. If could picture it all seamlessly, all expenses paid, without the fear of a drunken relative making a scene, would I be ready then?
I don’t feel grown up enough, not mentally and it makes me wonder how others know they are. Is there an
“A-HA” moment that confirms you’re grown enough, is there a point where you stop overanalyzing everything, is it a milestone you hit? Perhaps it’s simply that we each have our own standards of what it means to be married, to be “adult enough” to commit our lives to another. Rather than just a commitment of love, I feel like I must have so much more before I can feel as if I am more than a rash child rushing into a life-changing decision.
This post isn’t to bash anyone who is married, or who is getting married, but rather to serve as an internal reflection. Societally speaking, I can’t help but wonder what makes some so ready to wed at 19, without ever paying a single bill on their own, without a secure job or a steady income, while others seem to demand more than just love. I guess that is what it comes down to for me, in order to feel ready for marriage I’ve come to believe I need more than love, more than trust, more than commitment.
The timeline for each of our lives is drastically different from that of the next person. Helping brides plan their weddings each day has helped to reaffirm the notion that there isn’t a “right way” or a “correct time”. We all face different demands in relationships, different must-haves, and must-dos prior to tying the knot. So tell me, what do you personally feel you need prior to marriage (love, a stable job, to own a house, a college degree, etc)? Do you crave a sense of “self-actualization” before you can marry?