At our engagement party, my rather dry-humored uncle said one thing to my fiancé:
“Man, Paige never wanted to get married. Good luck!”
He was right, though. I never wanted to. I had never even thought about a wedding before I actually had a ring on my finger. I had no idea what I even wanted that day to look like until everyone started berating me with that wonderful question of “Have you set a date yet?”
No. We hadn’t. It had been a month. Most girls plan their whole life for this. I had a month to let it sink in, but somehow everyone assumed I would be so excited that I would have just jumped into every single detail. But I didn’t want to. In my head, standing in front of a crowd of people watching me have an extremely intimate moment with my now fiancé seemed less than pleasing. Having people stare as we awkwardly dance and kiss alone in the middle of the dance floor was all too weird for me. And taking off a garter with his teeth under my dress as everyone cheered? Seriously? Not my thing.
This may not sit well with a lot of people, and that’s fine. But I think traditional weddings are bullshit. To me, it’s an entire industry that has made way too much money off of girls thinking all these tiny details on the day of are more important than the actual signing of the marriage certificate. And trust me on that, I was a wedding videographer in a previous life—ironic, right?
Fast forward one year, and everything I hated was coming true. We had a venue at $100 a head, a videographer, a photographer, a photo booth, a DJ, an open bar, a cocktail hour, the signage, the hashtag, all of it. And I felt like I was getting lost in it all.
But I had him. That’s all I cared about. Yet I found myself wishing that somehow I could go back to the day he got on one knee and just said, “You down for the courthouse and a huge party with friends after?” Damn, would that have made everything easier.
But life doesn’t go as planned. And two weeks before the wedding, I had the delightful opportunity to learn that cancelling a wedding is more stressful than planning one. When you book a venue, you book it a year in advance. And to be brutally honest, NO ONE knows what their life is going to be like a year from that moment. For us, life got turned upside down. Suddenly, a wedding seemed like the last thing we needed on our plate.
And while I never thought about a wedding, I knew damn well that the stress we felt was NOT how a wedding was supposed to feel. That walking down that aisle and the morning of (and frankly even the week before) should feel like pure bliss.
But when you’re adults, have demanding careers, a full schedule, and a hectic life, shit happens. And just like that, we realized that cancelling the wedding was far better for both of us than having to deal with walking down the aisle unhappy, not exactly with each other, but in life at the moment.
You know what… it’s that life happens, not shit. Life. It gets in the way a lot. But when we cancelled the wedding, I wasn’t going to let what I thought was “life” get in the way anymore. I had been so consumed in the planning of a wedding and compromising my former life to live in his that I had stopped doing everything I loved. I had totally lost myself.
So I did what I do everytime I need to clear my head. I booked a trip. But I knew I needed somewhere so far out of my comfort zone that I wouldn’t be able to think about anything else.
I’ve never been married. But I almost was, once. Instead, I left for Morocco.