Why I Didn’t Want a Wedding

It’s no secret I’ve never wanted a wedding. For external reasons, including money, hating dancing in public and not wanting a day all about me, I have told anyone who would listen that I fully intend on eloping. It’s never gotten much deeper than that.

And then today, I spent the day packing up a good friend’s house. She and I have known each other for eight years. We’ve bonded, fought, laughed and argued our way through the various seasons of life we’ve both been through. Today, I was thinking how easy it’s become, being friends. I love her like a sister. We packed, ran errands, watched a movie. It was a good day.

Weddings are the things of fantasies. A woman wears a gorgeous gown, all eyes are on the groom as he looks at his bride. The room is full of all the people who love the bride and groom, people who have cheered on the relationship through its various ups and downs. At the center of the wedding is the couple but the celebration is really for all of us.

But of course, my mind drifted to another time in my life. One where I was impossible to know and hard to love. I was alone, drifting in emptiness. I went to parties I didn’t care for and shared conversations with people who couldn’t be bothered to share their story with me. I have no friends from that time in my life. Not one. Nobody stuck around. Nobody tried to fight through the wall I had built for myself. Nobody bothered.

They’re faces of people I see on Facebook but I have no emotional connection to any of them. And they don’t have any connection to me.

I spent all day with someone who loves me like family and I couldn’t stop thinking of the people I never got the chance to love, who never got the chance to love me. But I couldn’t help but feel grateful. Grateful for the friends who stuck around. The friends who tore down the wall I had built for myself. The friends who bothered.

I imagined what it would be like to be in a room full of people, all staring at me as I walk down the aisle in a dress I’ll never wear again. People who barely know me, because so few people have walked alongside me in my journey. It’s my living nightmare. The wedding becomes a question of who really loves me and who’s just here out of politeness. It feels false and artificial. Because a wedding is about everyone involved in the process of a relationship, not just the couple. 

I’ve been wrestling with this idea that someday, I’ll get to go back. Go back to that place where I wasn’t particularly loved and show them they were wrong. I’m enough, really enough. I replay it in my head all the time. They’re all in a room and I’m sharing the details of my life now, what this beautiful mess has become, and I finally have their approval. And somehow, in this fantasy, I’ve accomplished completeness. I’ve earned their respect. And they’ll all want to come to my wedding.  

But that fantasy hasn’t come true. It probably never will. What I have now has to be enough. Spending the day packing dishes into old boxes for my friend, I started to believe this could really be enough. And maybe I’ll have a wedding. Maybe I won’t. But it’ll be my choice.