Beginning of the End (And It’s a Happy Ending)

I think I’ve finally reached the point when I can finally get excited. The dates for prewedding events have been nailed down; the invitations for the wedding and prewedding events sent. Tasks have been delegated. The budget almost entirely finalized. In one month, my wedding planner will be taking over. Hallelujah! I really think this is the best point in the whole process. Up until this point, I felt like I was just faced with this behemoth task. But here I am two months away from the big day, and most of those tasks crossed out and complete, and I finally feel like I have a reprieve.

And I owe this reprieve to my Tamon, my family, my bridesmaids and even Tamon’s amazing groomsmen — our parents for coordinating the rehearsal dinner, my sister and bridesmaids for the bachelorette party and bridal shower and Tamon for EVERYTHING in between. And I’m not forgetting my brother who helped disassemble and transport the chuppah and pergola.

And a testament to their friendship, Eddie, Paul, Le and Le’s girlfriend Cassie came over on Saturday to help us set up the chuppah and pergola for the wedding reception. Saturday was a full day of construction; the boys had to reassemble and paint the chuppah and pergola that my dad designed with little to no assistance from me regarding their assembly (think IKEA furniture without the instructions). Most times, the boys were on their own, figuring out which beams matched up and which screws to insert. And after a one-hour detour, I personally learned a obvious fact about drill bits — that you don’t have to buy a new power tool for each bit (sigh). As I grew more progressively more frustrated throughout the day, to the extent in which I started scolding Tamon for every little thing, his friends defended him and calmed me down. After erecting the chuppah and pergola (turns out, surprise, surprise, Paul loves the word “erection”), we picked up sandwiches for a picnic in the park and played Telephone Pictionary for the rest of the afternoon.

I think my current excitement comes from the fact that I can start seeing my vision for this wedding come to life. The ceremony structures are up and I can start sewing the canopies for it (but that is a piece of cake). My dad did a good job so there isn’t much to fix except maybe have him add a stabilizing beam to the middle of the chuppah and some sandbags to the foot of the legs. Cassie finished painting the screen for the photo backdrop on Saturday and I just put the final flowers on the large emerald heart that I plan to mount in front of it.

Emerald Heart

Kamon’s wedding reception photo backdrop. So bootiful!

And the manager at NBC Seafood has been a dream to work with; he’s incredibly polite and accommodating whenever I’ve presented questions. The restaurant is providing a bunch of extras such as alcohol storage, tables and tablecloths for the check-in and dessert, cake-cutting knives, wine and champagne glasses, soft drinks and microphones.

In the whirlwind of wedding planning, I’ve almost forgotten the most important aspect of this wedding — the marriage. In fact, I was only reminded when we finally met with our officiant Pastor Mongens. The pastor is interesting in a lot of ways — he was Tamon’s pastor before Tamon’s dad passed away — and he studied family and marriage counselling in college. The pastor made us take three types of relationship tests before even meeting with us. The tests were secular and analytical; one of them compared Tamon’s and my answers to the answers of other couples so that we could get a sense of where we fell in this group. The analyses were really interesting and incredibly revealing about our personalities. I discovered that due to my family history, I tend to idealize my romantic relationships to the point of being overly enthusiastic. I used to think this was a good thing. But in fact, it’s bad! For instance, I tend to overestimate my abilities to communicate and resolve issues with my partner because of the belief that I’m going to be better than my parents — more specifically, that I’m going to have a better marriage than them. (I know, I didn’t want to believe this when I saw it on the analysis either. The nerve!) Pretty wow, huh? Another truth bomb the pastor dropped on us is this — it’s a whole new ballpark after marriage. Despite the fact that Tamon and I have been living together for a year now (Costco card, housing hunting and all!), we haven’t actually pulled the trigger on marriage. After June 21, @&*# gonna get real. There’s no backing out after that point.

In all seriousness, I think that’s why I want to consider this whole process the practice run. From the moment we got engaged, I began to think of my life as our life. And this wedding was always our wedding. Throughout all our trials over the past year, I always made sure to keep Tamon and myself invested in this wedding as our project. At first it was one way to get Tamon to help me. But once we nailed the language down, I could feel Tamon’s pride in this wedding growing. And I could feel my trust in him growing. Because in truth, everything I did for this wedding, and everything he did for me, was ours to treasure and reflect upon after June 21. Hence, our efforts go beyond just one special day.