Wedding Wednesday- Experiencing Yourself as Spectacle (and pretty flowers!)

by - Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I can't find this one either! Which is like my favorite bouquet of all time.
I couldn't figure out why wedding stuff has been making me feel shy lately, but I think dress shopping with my mom helped me figure it out. I couldn't help, standing there with nothing on while the cute little girl tried to stuff a spangled puff ball into a plastic bag, if the bodily humiliation required of dress-buying is some sort of prep course it heteronormative ridiculousness. Is buying a dress like childbirth, but prettier? I am not a prudish person, by any means, but it does make an interesting day when you seem to be flashing a lot of lady strangers so you can come out and have a crowd discuss your various curves.  It makes you realize, all of the sudden, that choosing to have a wedding is to concede your own image to a spectacle. 

This was only more clear when we took our engagement pictures the day before. Much like I would never knock the bridal store ladies (they were mostly really really nice), I don't want this to come off as a freezerburn of First Blush. Chris and Rachel were both ridiculously awesome, and even in their exhaustion, they made the whole thing mostly pretty fun. The boy and I are actually excted to see the pictures, because they were so creative and I think they will be really cool. But, we had to kiss a lot. And look lovingly into eachother's eyes.  I am sure this is a prerequisite of the whole engagement picture deal, but I feel extremely exposed when I have to show I like the boy in public.

But the whole thing makes me realize that the public proclamation of commitment really is just that, public. It requires a level of openness that is not casual or cursory at all, so perhaps these early experiences let you know that you are laying your heart out on a big scale. It is also comforting to see that, in general, even though I immediately feel uncomfortable with being openly lovey (or naked) by the end I don't really care. We've lived off in our own California bubble long enough to often forget we still function in larger groups as well. We really did have fun with the photographers, and we got to get a good sense of their personalities and friendship as well, which I really loved.

I am not sure any of this makes sense, but I am suspicious that my insistence on a "family" theme is also an insistence on it not just being about us. Certainly I still believe in the value of not having a "spotlight" day, but I also think there is something to these tiny realizations that we can push it of as much as we would like, but to some extent the day is going to expose you, your loyalties, your relationships, your "curves," and whatever else.

It's a hang up we will have to get over, and I feel like the boy has a better time with it than I do. I figure I can see how awkward I am when we see engagement pictures. On the other hand, this week has been a wedding heavy week with no actual decisions, so I have a lot I had to say and am simultaneously really sick of wedding stuff. I figure there should be another (really long) lull after this where no big decisions come up until late in the fall. I like that we gave ourselves enough time that we never have to push through when we are burnt out, so it stays pretty enjoyable. I'll let you know if that is actually true later on.

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