Naturally, as someone with anxiety and OCD, I spent a lot of time leading up to the wedding worried about all of the things that could go wrong.
Well, the Saturday of the wedding a lot of those worries came true and then some. For example, it POURED after I decided that we should get married outside (because surely the rain would hold out). The chuppah and multiple floral arrangements were completely destroyed and my hair had significantly fallen by the time of the service from the humidity. During the ceremony, the rabbi read the wrong traditional vows (not the ones we had chosen) and a baby babbled throughout, distracting me from our personalized vows. The cake looked nothing like the picture, and the DJ started our choreographed dance before we were ready so we started off balance.
But guess what? Even though many of my fears were realized, it was still a perfect weekend.
I am not going to lie to you and say that I did not get upset when some of these things occurred. I felt so many things that weekend... Happiness. Nostalgia. Lucky. Angry. Amused. Sad. Overwhelmed. Excited. Grateful. Anxious.
But the overarching feeling was love: love for Nathan, love for family, and love for friends. Even as the blunders piled up, nothing could ultimately overtake the overwhelming joy at the significance of the day.
My OCD and anxiety crept in of course, especially on Sunday. My anxious brain was doing what it normally does and I found myself very focused on the negative. I was frustrated and angry at myself for choices I had made that caused problems (like not calling for an indoor ceremony). I was also feeling guilt and self-loathing at the anger and frustration I had experienced on what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life.
My sister Linda (the maid of honor) really helped calm me down. With OCD, it is common to judge and doubt yourself for your thoughts and feelings. She reminded me that my feelings were all very natural and that overall the day was wonderful. She suggested that I make a list of all the fun, wonderful details from the day so that I would not forget them.
Watching the Royal Wedding early in the morning with my Mom, sister, and bridesmaid Katie... Being surprised by morning chocolate strawberries Nathan sent to the suite... eating chicken nuggets with my bridesmaids while we were all in curlers getting ready at the hotel... entering the ceremony with my dad and seeing everyone I love watching me walk down the aisle... Nathan and I getting our footing back and nailing our tango... Dancing with my sorority sisters.... Eating cake back in the suite with Nathan after the party. All of these moments are mine forever. (I also got some fun details I had missed by asking friends and relatives to share their favorite moments with me. I recommend all brides collect their own lists!)
|Nathan with his new wife, bro-in-law, and sis-in-law.|
|The spot we said our vows on Pearl Island.|
My advice to anxious brides is to remember that when the people you love are there, nothing can ruin your wedding. Enjoy every second of your wedding weekend. Love is the ultimate triumph. When you are marrying the right person, you get your fairytale. The logistics of the weekend will work out.
Focus on the positive and remember that some of those "errors" can ultimately lead to more beautiful memories. After all, if the rabbi had not read the wrong vows, we never would have had our moment on top of the lighthouse.