What I Wish I Knew When I Got Married
11One Thing I Wish I Knew For My Wedding Man Repeller May 2017

The first and last time I wore synthetic hair was at my wedding. The makeup artist who painted my face insisted I wear fake eyelashes, so I listened. My mom insisted that if I was not going to style my hair in an up-do, I wear hair extensions. (She is typically a reasonable woman of taste, I am not sure what happened.)

Again, I listened.

When I looked in the mirror right before our ceremony, I thought I looked crazy but didn’t really care. Here I was, marrying this person I had loved unrequited for three years. It didn’t really matter what I looked like (BECAUSE I WON). At our grand reveal, he patted the floral wreath sitting on my head and said, “Cool.” I told him he had too much gel in his hair. He asked me if I was going to be comfortable, given all the gold chains that were wrapped around my neck. I asked why he had to shave today, of all days.

I don’t necessarily wish anything different about my wedding even though it was, frankly, my parents’ party (I was just invited). It looked nothing like the wedding I had seen in my head. That would have been a backyard dinner party with one long table to seat 75 people. A band would play bossanova music at the top of small hill twenty feet from the dinner table, which would be decorated by tea lights strung overhead. The floral arrangements would look DIY. We’d drink great white wine from Burgundy, or a California red, and as the sun set and it got dark, the smell of cut grass would waft on the breeze. During the silence before each speech — there would be TONS OF SPEECHES — a mass of crickets would sing as if a choir ushering in the start of summer. There would be no hair extensions or false lashes. Just self tanner, orange lipstick and probably lobsters clipped into my ears. But who really cares about the wedding anyway?

I mean that.

Who cares? As long as you are marrying your person, a wedding is simply foreplay. So these are things I’m both glad I knew and wish I knew.

0 One Thing I Wish I Knew For My Wedding Man Repeller May 2017

I’m glad I knew: That a wedding is simply foreplay; it genuinely reveals nothing about what your marriage will look like. Had I not been eager to get the thing over with so that I could just be married, I can see how minute details like the stupid floral arrangements, which were purple roses (vomit) even though I wanted them to be white peonies (out of season in June, but whatever), and the ugly-ass feather ornaments decorating the dance floor would have torn me apart. Those feathers turned out to be decent dancing props and frankly, I didn’t even actually notice the flowers until my mom said, “the purple roses turned out fine, right?”

I wish I knew: That what I was thinking when I walked down the aisle held no real value in the grand scheme of the event. I placed so much emphasis on creating this romantic moment — first with my parents (I would thank them using the most poetic prose I could muster while crying hysterically as if my grandest gesture of appreciation) and then my husband (we’d lock eyes and smirk as if we knew we were the luckiest people alive). In reality, my dad almost didn’t make it down the aisle because he was at the sushi bar. I almost didn’t notice because I had a piece of raw salmon struck between my molars, which my mom was picking out with her pinky nail. When they handed me over to Abie, my dad said “Good luck” as if he really needed it. Abie responded, “I’ll take all the luck I can get,” as if he really needed it. That was that.

One Thing I Wish I Knew For My Wedding Man Repeller May 2017

I’m glad I knew: That getting married when I was 23 meant that because I was still a shell of a human, I would have to grow up a lot. Because I was married, this growth would happen next to another person.

I wish I knew: That I’d still have to do the actual growing up myself. That my husband couldn’t grow for me, or make traversing my 20s any less harrowing.

I’m glad I knew: How to distinguish the illusion of cold feet from genuinely believing that I was not supposed to get married. Before the wedding, I asked my friend’s older sister why no one ever talks about how scary this is. How you decide you’re going to spend your life with, effectively, a stranger. To throw yourself a party to celebrate even though what you should be doing is running a background check. But she said, and this is so true, that after you marry, you forget how scared and anxious you were. It just goes away. You know it’s just the illusion of cold feet when the inner trenches of your gut still tells you to do it. Take this from someone who cried on the first night of her honeymoon because she missed her mom.

1 Thing I Wish I Knew For My Wedding Man Repeller May 2017

I wish I knew: After you get married, you never really get to be your parents’ kid again. You become someone’s partner. The keeper of this partner. If you like being your parents’ kid, take advantage of it. Just the same way we’re told that no matter how long you’ve been with your person, a switch just flips after you get married, that’s true of your relationship with your parents, too. It’s almost like whatever you give to your partner is taken from what you had given to your parents. Which is beautiful, but sometimes I feel like I get so caught up in accelerating to the next level that I forget to appreciate the level I’m on.

I’m glad I knew: That spending your wedding day with your people (family, friends, etc) is really the best part. I got to the hotel at which I would marry at 10 a.m. to be met by my best friend, who had iced coffee for me at 10:30. We basically ate string cheese and smoked salmon all day while my mother ran around with rollers in her hair yelling in Farsi and my dad walked up and down the halls from his hotel room to mine in just underwear and an open button-down.

I wish I knew: Not to wear so many fucking necklaces around my neck! It took Abie and me a joint 95 minutes to get them off my neck at the end of the night. By the time we were done, it was 5 a.m. We didn’t have sex until the following morning, and my wedding band kept poking him so I took it off. I left it in the hotel room by accident and never saw it again. But that’s okay, you know, because, a ring is just a ring. It doesn’t actually mean much.

Photos from Leandra and Abie’s wedding. 

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  • Martyna

    “How to distinguish the illusion of cold feet from genuinely believing that I was not supposed to get married.” <<< more detail on that, please?

    I'm one of the freaks, who doesn't want to get married. I'm engaged btw, though I don't think an engagement means anything. I don't even wear the ring.
    The guy is perfect husband material. Is this cold feet? Does it mean he's not the one? My friend recently freaked me out – she said "When he's the one, you'll want to get married and you'll want babies". And I would like to pass on both, please and thank you.

    • Cristina

      I never wanted or saw myself getting married and I never wanted kids. I’m married, and I still don’t want kids. I wish I had some romantic revelation for you, but in the end it was simple. I could spend all day, multiple days in a row with him and he didn’t annoy me. As for kids, if we have one, he’s going to shoulder most of that responsibility haha.

      • Leandra Medine

        Also, it was very easy, right? I find that when I speak to couples, the ones who say “I had no idea love could be this easy”
        (different from complicated or complex!) are usually the ones who end up together longer term.

        • Cristina

          So easy! I think that’s why doubt never crossed my mind. It’s funny, I actually say that to a lot of people. When I compare this relationship to my past ones, I never realized THIS is how easy love is and this is how easy it should be! Our dating life eased right into our marriage life.

        • Chelsey Cook

          This. This. THIS. A few months ago I ended an 8+ year relationship after realizing how hard every single bit of it had become. One of the biggest things that put it into perspective for me was talking to the people in my life who had the kind of romantic relationship I envisioned for myself. Every person I talked to said some version of “when its the right person its not going to be that hard”.

          • Cristina

            I ended a 6 year one before I got married! So crazy. I thought this was just my life. This is just how it was. Then I met my now husband, dated for a year, married 6 months after that and I can’t even imagine anything else!

          • Chelsey Cook

            Thats exactly how I felt, “this is just how it is”. Thank you for sharing that!

        • Marie-Eve

          So much of our culture (literary fiction, movies, tv shows, etc.) focuses on a very complicated idea of love. Ugh, Romeo & Juliet anyone? The Notebook? There’s this idea that to be true, love has to be SO dramatic. It really annoys me. I think it sets many couples up for failure.

          • Jeanie

            YES!!! They make love seem so dramatic then make marriage seem so awful. Maybe it’s because it’s based on lust only? Or the false expectation that everything has to sync up without communication? Me and my husband are best friends and get along so easily. I wish more people know what a real healthy relationship looks like so they don’t stay in bad ones thinking it’s just “passionate.”

        • BarbieBush

          definitely. I was like omg i don’t hate him and it has been awhile… Always had some sort of struggle with people before over like, movie choice, politics, we are v different in those areas but it isn’t a fight or issue. Everything is easy we just do what we want and usually its the same thing.

      • Eve

        I disagree —not as much with the children part though one could argue that romantic love between a man and a woman naturally lends itself to procreation— however, if you want to be with someone for the rest of your life and theirs you do want to be married to them seeing as that’s what marriage is, committing yourself to someone for life. Maybe our idea of marriage is too centered on weddings which are not the same as marriage (which I love this article for pointing out). Sure you can love your significant other without wanting a wedding but let’s not redefine marriage as a fancy ring and floral arrangements. Marriage is more than that, I don’t see how someone could claim to want to be with me “forever” but not want marriage,—it’s the same thing.

    • That’s quite a … strange statement to make (“When he’s the one..:”) … I mean, we were both scared to get married, mostly because we didn’t want our cherished relationship to suffer after having got the documents. It didn’t, but how can you know? And why risk when marriage is an option so many people decline? Also, while I wish I had a few lives to spend with my husband, I am quite content I don’t have to split myself up between him and any children. Strange but true.

    • Leandra Medine

      hmmmm, it’s hard to say — i definitely did not want kids for the first like, 2 years that we were married, but then out of nowhere i couldn’t stop imagining what it would feel like to carry his children, which i think is what happens when the love between a couple hits a ceiling but wants to accelterate further — sort of like being told you can only do ten push ups even though you know you’re capable of 100, easy. on the topic of cold feet: i paced back and forth mentally for weeks leading up to my wedding, intellectually trying to understand whether i genuinely believed in the institution, or was just riding the wave of what i had grown up seeing, and whether i could really love someone forever. in spite of all the cogitating, though, i never actually thought that i wasn’t going to go through with it. my gut/open heart was never confused. mind and body are at such insane odds because one operates only on feel and the other is always pursuing understanding and trying to protect you (ostensibly from yourself). what i am learning (literally, like right now) is that feel usually trumps intellectual reasoning.

      • Martyna

        You guys are giving me so much to think about. That’s why I love MR. Thank you for sharing, Leandra.

    • Marie-Eve

      Not everyone wants to have children. If you don’t, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love your partner. Also, not everyone wants to or has to get married. Some people know they want to be together for the rest of their life, but they’re just not down with the tradition of marriage. It’s OK. Build your own traditions with your own person / people.

      • Martyna

        “it doesn’t mean that you don’t love your partner” – this hit me right on the head. Love the reply! Thank you.

    • s

      I am curious why you said yes to being engaged? You could have said, I don’t want to get married but I love you and want to be with you. It probably meant something to him otherwise he could have just not bought a ring and said he wants to be with you without marriage. I am just genuinely curious.

      • Martyna

        It went like this:
        Him: should we get engaged sometime?
        Me: I don’t think it means anything.
        Him: Aren’t you going to be upset that your girlfriends got a ring and you didn’t?
        Me: I’m always up for a good ring.

        So we picked a ring and he put it on my finger over a cup of coffee 🙂
        Good observation though!

        • prairie dogs

          Yes! I have to say my favorite part about marriage was picking out dresses and having my husband pick out a very cool ring!

    • prairie dogs

      Fwiw, marriage felt like it changed nothing in my relationship–together for 11 years, married for 3 or 4 (see? I can’t even remember). Marriage does not legitimize the love of a couple! Neither does having children!

      I love Leandra’s comment about her choice to pursue pregnancy being a result of escalated love with her husband– that’s beautiful. BUT– that might not be how it goes down for you, and if you and your partner are both okay with no kids and/or no official marriage, then you’re good!

      People project a lot of emotion onto other people’s weddings and marriages. Don’t worry too much about the optics, just focus on you and your dude. 🙂

    • Adardame

      I fell in love one time. I desperately wanted to get married and have his babies. It didn’t work out, though.

  • Micah Lpez

    That point you made about weddings being simply foreplay felt really profound, I always thought weddings much like graduations, baby showers etc, being more about performance rather that celebration of an event or a new step in life. We often spend all the time leading up imaging this giant climax or euphoria that happens when said event occurs rather than thinking about what exactly we’re celebrating. This moment when we realize ‘this is it’ but it never really happens dose it.( i’m projecting at this point) The day sort of seems like another day in the grand scheme of things. #makeflowercrownschicagain

  • Áine Hegarty

    This is really heartwarming. You two are a beautiful couple. It is really endearing that you cried on your honeymoon because you missed your mom. It’s so nice to see that you truly seem to be exactly yourself in the relationship. It is also interesting that you got married at what is now considered a young age to get married (maybe that’s just me). I wonder what it would be like to have that kind of support going through life right off the bat.

  • Gosh, I wish the foreplay wasn’t so expensive! Haha

    I’m approaching the age where this stuff is really going to matter, and I loved your advice!

    I do think it’s really interesting how the idea of “consummating” the marriage has changed so much over the years. I’ve read stories of couples who just ordered a pizza and fell asleep together after they exhausted themselves shedding their finery. That is so something I would do.

    • Millie Lammoreaux

      We definitely came back to our apartment, ate leftovers, snuggled our cat, and passed the hell out. We were exhausted, yet over-stimulated, and (happily) ready for the day to end!

    • Abby

      We stayed out with our friends at the after party til last call, swung by McDonald’s, went home and opened envelopes so we could take the cash on our honeymoon, and then fell asleep.

      • Kiks

        We had all of our siblings & their partners staying in a giant old house with us. The whole gang stumbled home from the reception, had a nightcap on the porch, and then passed out. The following night we slept on twin beds in my parents’ house. Marriage was finally consummated two nights later in our hotel room in Rome, and it was spectacular.

    • KK

      Never let anyone tell you what you “have” to do (ha) on your wedding night. I ate leftover cake in the bath while he sat on the bed and read me all the cards people gave us. Wouldn’t change a thing.

      • Leandra Medine

        I love this

  • Marie-Eve

    That was a beautiful read, thank you! So much love for your partner and for your parents transpire in that text! <3

    It's also really interesting for me to read, as newlywed in Montreal,Canada, as it's sooo different from our cultural landscape and relationship to marriage here.

    "How you decide you’re going to spend your life with, effectively, a stranger."
    "no matter how long you’ve been with your person, a switch just flips after you get married"
    That is so far from how I felt! I'd been with my partner for 8 years, we were living together and had already bought a condo together when we got married. For us, it was really a celebration of us, our love, what we'd been sharing and growing together already, and an amazing time to be with "our people" as you beautifully put it. What other time is there when everyone HAS to show up? All the people you love are there in the same place at the same time? We absolutely adored and enjoyed that part.

    But I don't feel any switch has been flipped.

    • Millie Lammoreaux

      My experience is similar to yours. My now-husband and I lived together for nearly a decade before getting married. After the wedding, people would say “how’s married life?” and we’d laugh and say “the same as unmarried life!” I think this had to do with age, but also our lack of religion. We’re agnostic, and a friend officiated our wedding, so there was nothing very ceremonial or ritualistic about our marriage. For us it was very much about having a big party with our loved ones, getting dressed up, and celebrating our deep love for each other.

      • Marie-Eve

        Yes, that’s a very good point: we’re also not religious people.
        A few colleagues have also asked me how was married life and my answer was the same as yours! 😉

      • Marie-Eve

        Also, I’d like to add that as an atheist, one of the best things I see in religion is the sense of community that can arise from it.

        Which is one of the reason why it’s important for me to have these kinds of parties and events, even if they’re slightly different and not religious in nature.

        I think it’s important to take a break from the madness of daily life and do something, slightly mad as well, but completely out of the everyday, to reflect and celebrate.

        For example, when my sister was born, my parents didn’t have a baptism, but they did host a “welcoming party” with family and a few friends.

    • prairie dogs

      You’re speaking to my experience so much. Not a thing feels different– in fact we still do our taxes separately, even, because we’re both freelancers and it’s just less complicated! I found it so odd when family members indicated that they recognized our relationship as more “real” than they had before. So archaic.

  • Thanks so much for sharing this, Leandra. I actually had a somewhat similar experience when I got married just after turning 24. During the wedding planning process I was more like your mom, completely wrapped up in the details. We were supposed to get married outside at my parent’s house is Louisiana, but on the day of the wedding the whole city flooded, so everything I planned was changed and moved 3 hours before our wedding. My husband and I are both pretty happy with how it all worked out, though, bc it reminded us of the bigger picture 🙂 Being with my husband and closest family members is all I needed… and dancing. Weddings must have dancing IMO.

  • Jeanie

    I wish I knew how people’s perception of me would change. I haven’t figured out why exactly, but friends started acting different with me. I didn’t realize a wedding can reveal so much about friendships. For better or for worst, I notice people see me a little differently. Marriage changes your identity, even if you personally don’t change one bit.

    • Sarah

      this is so true and unexpected. it started from when i told friends we were engaged, by the time the wedding came around i only invited half the friends i thought i would of.

    • prairie dogs

      I also found this unexpected and surprising! It was kind of disturbing to me to see marriage legitimized our relationship in the eyes of both ou families. Nevermind the two cross country moves and 6 years of cohabitation before we got hitched…nope, we only became a real couple after we had a party and signed some papers and had a judge say a few words for us. So weird!

    • Allison

      I had a similar experience, but with work, not personal life. I expect it is because we were older when we got married (I was 36, he was 40), but it kind of pissed me off. It was like all of a sudden I could be taken seriously. Like my master’s degree and 15 YEARS of experience don’t mean anything – I’m married so I must be OK now!
      And my husband had a similar experience too, which is weird. Now he is buddies with the owners of his company, gets invited to things outside of work, etc. I think it’s unintentional, but people do perceive you differently once you are married.

      • Jeanie

        Ugh, that IS frustrating! I do my best not to unintentionally put single vs married people in different categories.

    • Do you find it’s mostly men or women (or I guess, people who may want to date you and those who wouldn’t)?

      For example, I’ve noticed that a LOT of my male friends are less likely to reach out and be platonically-friendly ever since I’ve become engaged. It’s weird since like, we never had a “thing,” we had such great times together, and I never felt like it was a date/they were looking for something. 🙁

      • Jeanie

        I WAS thinking about female friends, but you’re probably right about that too! Maybe they WERE into you that way. Or…. I hope it’s not that they’re thinking your husband might get jealous, or something along the lines of “you belong to another man now,” this friendship is now inappropriate. I know a guy who totally thinks that way. It better not be that 🙁

  • Maureen Krezel French

    visions of 16 candles danced in my head. and because I was envisioning a comma where there was not…I was picturing you smoking salmon…ya know, like a cigarette….That is a lovely recollection of you wedding. And i just love the fact that you too, feel there’s more to it all than a party and a dress. Happy Anniversary!!!!

  • Audra

    I love this! I got married at 24 and we are both still in our twenties and growing together. There are definitely some hard parts about growing up with another person, but overall it’s been really fun and natural and now I can’t imagine doing it another way.

    I also had cold feet and had to sit down to stop hyperventilating right before walking down the aisle. I was worried that it was a bad sign at the time, but now I think it’s a normal reaction to a very hyped up life event.

    • A Local Honey

      I cried in the bathroom with my moh and told her I didn’t want to get married 20 minutes before walking down the aisle. I can laugh about it now, but it was genuinely the scariest moment of my adult life! She told me to pull it together, we did a shot, and I gladly took my husband’s name that day. Girlfriends are just the very best gift!

  • Hannah Nichols

    so good. I got married at 23 too, and all of these things echo my thoughts so perfectly.

    Except for the crying on my honeymoon part.

  • BarbieBush

    I live in Pennsylvania and we have the option to “self-unite” which means you can just sign a paper and have two witnesses sign and then u hitched. I am pretty committed to this idea with my partner. I really can’t think of an aspect of the traditional wedding that I will regret not having.

    • prairie dogs

      I attended a PA wedding like this and it was AMAZING.

  • Mary

    I’m 27 and just got married, even though I never wanted to be married – we did it for the entirely unsexy purpose of easing taxes and inheritance after we bought a house together. My POV was always that, while yes, I love him like whoa and always want to be with him, I never needed any bonding ceremony to accomplish that – we’d stay together because we wanted to, not because I had some sacrament or ring!

    I took a half day at work, met him at the courthouse. I’m so happy we did it like this, it was so intimate. So real. It was just my BF and me, saying yes, I do love you and yes, I will be with you forever. No audience, no performance, no expectations. No drama over who gets to be part of the bridal party. No debt from a salmon or steak entree. No hysterics over seating arrangements or centerpieces not being QUITE right.

    For weeks after people asked if there would be a ceremony or reception, and I was always so happy to say no, we’re married, and that’s that.

    I wish I knew: that being married is NBD. My mom told me but I didn’t believe her – I was too punk and antiestablishment to ever want to be bound to ANY man. I didn’t even tell anyone at work why I was taking a half day! What a wienie.

    I’m glad I knew: that my family would love and support me no matter what. I don’t know what I’d’ve done if I had felt like I HAD to have the wedding because some hypothetical great-aunt would have been soooooo disappointed if I hadn’t.

    • Jen

      “No audience, no performance, no expectations. No drama over who gets to be part of the bridal party.” I’d love to give you a round of applause for this.

      I too, opted out of the big ceremony and, instead, wed my BF on a beach in Maui with only the random person officiating as witness. The reactions we got from people, after announcing our quickie marriage, ranged from shocked resignation, to open-mouthed disbelief, to the ever-condesending remarks like “Oh, you’re sooo lucky, I wish I had done that.”

      My family is too dysfunctional to care if I had a ceremony or not and his seemed slightly disappointed, but accepting. 10 years later and I don’t regret a thing!

      • Sugar Bones

        I am so guilty of that comment! Will you please tell me why you find it condescending?

        We had planned a low key court house wedding and got caught up in family expectations and ended up with a wedding we didn’t really want. It was beautiful, but not what we had planned together. I really wish we had stuck to our guns and will always think with longing about the small, intimate ceremony we didn’t have. I don’t know about other people who make that comment, but that’s where mine is coming from. I didn’t realize it could be insulting! I’d love your perspective.

        • Jen

          I viewed it as condescending from people who I knew were disingenuous in saying it. I think a lot of people we told were genuinely befuddled that: (1) It wasn’t a shotgun wedding, (2) We actually WANTED to elope, or (3) That we were able to make this decision wholly independent of our family’s desires and/or wishes to see us get married. I also think they didn’t know what else to say so it came out like “Wow, I’m so jealous,” when I knew damn well they thought we were crazy. If someone was genuinely happy for us, I wouldn’t take offense at the comment though.

          • nora walker

            My husband and I eloped in Maui too!! Last November over Thanksgiving and we get the same reactions. I’m still so so happy with our choice in so many ways and you’re not alone 🙂

          • Sugar Bones

            Oooooooooooh I see! It’s hard for me to understand why anyone *wouldn’t* be jealous, so I forgot to factor in jerks. It sounds lovely, and I’m glad you have such happy memories of your ceremony!

  • jessnation

    I love your reflections on marriage because you put into words exactly how I feel. I got married at 24, and really mourned that change in relationship with my mom. I thought maybe I was weird, but it’s comforting to know I’m not the only one!

  • <3 I'm 24 and getting married in 50-ish days and this was such a nice read! I totally, 100% am behind you on not caring that much about the wedding itself… I'm this first of my friends to get married (he's 30, so a little behind his group) and I totally feel like I "won" and just can't wait to get married to him.

    We're also having a big shabang to please my parents and I'm fine with that, but I really just want to be over it! We got our marriage license & rings early and it's so tempting not to just run out and get married, but we don't because it would break our parents' hearts.

    I'd REALLY love to read something by you about the kinds of growing up you had to do since Abie is also older, right? I feel like I'm pretty good at adulting but every day there's something new 🙂

    Sidenote: You should read "How Dr. Eric Kandel, Neuroscientist, Spends His Sunday" because it features the most ADORABLE old couple who've been married for 60 years.

  • Rachael

    I can relate to so much of this, especially the part about understanding cold feet! Just over a year ago, at age 21, I got married to a 31 year old. Most of my friends told me I was crazy and way too young to get married. I knew that the logical common sense decision would be to wait until I was older, but for the first time in my life I didn’t care what the logical decision was. I just knew that I was completely in love and that I wanted to be married to this man. Basically, I’m glad I knew how to listen to my heart because each day with him just keeps getting better.

    And the part about never really being your parents kid again – so true! Your relationships with other people really do change, not just your parents. Friends start to see you differently too. You’re no longer boyfriend and girlfriend, you’re “the married ones.”

  • Madison

    This is so honest and so much of it resonates with me. Thank you for writing and sharing this.

  • CityMaus

    Leandra, this might be an unpopular opinion, but you sound like a brat. You look beautiful in your wedding pictures and you know it. If you wanted the intimate outdoor wedding you dreamed of, then you should have planned it. Someone who runs her own company is capable of that. Why all the whining and regret? It’s not the attitude I expect from Man Repeller.

    • tiabarbara

      Have you ever been caught up in a whirlwind and then landed in OZ? Agreed for the sake of simplicity and then realised far too late that you’ve been driven the ultimate distance away from what you wanted? It happens, man, regardless of someone’s position in life (i.e. independent entrepreneur or lowly office sheeple). We are all capable of getting caught up in the storm and thinking that riding it out is smarter than fighting against it.

      • kes

        ugh so true. i’m a few months out from my wedding and i frankly have no idea if it’s even what i want. weddings seem to have their own inertia. it’s weird.

    • Teresa

      Please remember that just because Leandra is an Internet persona does not mean that she does not have feelings. I wouldn’t call a stranger a brat in real life (she is a stranger, even though we may feel like we know her because she liberally shares her thoughts and feelings) and therefore I try to apply that rule to the Internet. Kindness, always.

    • Delphine Gintz

      Hum this is exactly what MR is to me : who cares if she looked beautiful or not, she wasn’t feeling the whole look that’s all And how can you tell someone how she should react to her own wedding on her own blog posts? lmao

    • Pandora Sykes

      That, right there, is why people are afraid to be vulnerable on the internet. Because responses like that don’t allow for fallibility.

  • Catherine Pierce

    Please write a wedding prep book! You will help Western humanity.

    Heck, I got married at 22 and it was not fun learning that this event was not all about meeeeeeee. It’s fine now in hindsight, of course. Weddings are mostly about parents and guests…aside from the life altering moment of exchanging of vows.
    Also, the wedding business is borderline….so many words could be used… manipulative. Let’s go with that. Now, let me explain. I feel they use your state of bewildered bliss and your mother’s stress by stating that the most important part of any wedding is what they are trying to sell. On my wedding day, I noticed a lot of styles crept in just because they were pushed by sales people who were not even there.

    I’m glad I knew: The advise my teacher gave me when I was engaged. She eased my nerves of marrying at such a young age by reminding me that I would be growing with someone whom I respected and who respected me.

    I wish I knew then: Wash your hands after self-tanner! I know, I know! I “knew” this…but forgot…guess who rocked orange hands that day?

    I’m glad I knew: The wedding is only a few hours. Smile and get through it. You will rarely see half the people there again and now you will get to see more of the person you really care about.

    I wish I knew then: Leave your little sister or best friend a mixed cd and an invite to something when you get back from your honeymoon.

  • Teresa

    Perhaps for your anniversary you could throw a party celebrating the love you guys have developed and it could be that fantasy wedding you didn’t get.

  • Joella Almeida

    Absolutely loved reading this and I run through so many of these notions in my head. I love you Leandra.

  • ankerr

    Really great article, one thing i wonder is the part about not being your parents kid anymore also has to do with the age gou got married. I really didnt have a change in my relationship with my parents but i was 34 & had already moved to a different place than my early 20s.

    My friends are still talking about our wedding 3 (i think) years later because it was an all day party with the people who mattered the most to us. It was joyful which is all that mattered

  • alexia

    ohh so true! I got married last year, planned the whole big thing and to be really honest I just think it was a big waste of time. I’m sure some people are glad to prepare that and have the big expensive ring, the big expensive dress and the big expensive venue… But I found the thing completely exhausting and artificial.

    I wish I hadn’t gone through all that trouble frankly, I just have better things to do with my time and my money (sorry for the romantics here!).

    I’m still glad I’m married though, we just bought a house and we’re so happy. Everyday life as a couple is so much more meaningful than the wedding itself!

  • Basil

    Ever since I went to my cousin’s wedding when I was about 8 I’ve been a huge fan, and wanted one – fancy dress! Lots of dancing! Awesome food! For our wedding, it was in another country and my father in law had retired, so he organised most of it and that was great. It was amazing – I loved it so much I want to have another one but I realised that I was doing the right thing marrying my husband, when in the weeks before I couldn’t care less about the wedding itself. I would have happily worn a garbage bag and got married on the pavement, as long as I married him

    I also kind of see why it’s a big deal for parents – you expend so much effort and time raising a child, and there’s no real celebration of that. Having a wedding can be kind of a “look at us! We raised someone to adult and independence!” Party for them, so I don’t begrudge it (and look forward to organising my own kid’s weddings)

  • K

    When I was younger I always thought I wanted to be married one day – though I could never really imagine myself being or getting married to any of my boyfriends. Now I’m 43 years old and single. I’ve never even been close to getting married (or engaged) and I don’t think I ever will, because it’s just “not me”. (Do I really think that or am I trying to convince myself – I honestly don’t know.) There were times though, especially since I moved to a country where by law you can’t even live together when you’re not married, when I felt kind of incomplete or at least socially awkward being single or not married. I still do feel like that sometimes even today. I find it strange how important marriage and proper weddings have become compared to let’s say 20-30 years ago when marriage was considered boring and old-fashioned. Today being married (with kids ideally) can increase your social status (at least that’s what I feel). You don’t even get invited to certain company events if you’re not married, because you can’t show up as a single or with your (temporary – that’s what everyone thinks, no?) partner when everyone else brings their spouse.

    • Senka

      Great observation. I feel that couple of decades ago it was all a bit more liberal, and optional whereas now society became much more focused on the whole marriage, family, traditional values. It might have to do with political and sociological changes, but it’s pretty obvious.

      • Eve

        I’m young so I can’t really know but is that true? Marriage rates are down and cohabitation rates are up so I don’t think it’s true that marriage is taken more seriously now. If anything I think it’s taken less serious and because of that people who value marriage are more vocal about it’s significance which may be confusing people to perceive marriage as more culturally relevant than it is.

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  • Luana

    im actually going getting married the next year, so thank you so much, i’m trying to not freak out and thinking this is my party, not about my parents <3 love ya!

  • Pandora Sykes

    Your mum could LEGIT be going to the Oscars in that – bra-vo Laura

  • Amy

    I know this wasn’t meant to be an all funny piece but I just had to share that when you said your wedding band was poking Abie, I had visions of the actual music ensemble at your wedding taking turns at poking. Hilarious.

  • Lucy Allen

    This is the best. Thank you for writing this and sharing it with your readers. I got married a couple of years ago and I can relate so much. I was the kind of girl who knew what she wanted her wedding to look like. However, I never realized how much I would hate wedding planning and because of that I allowed my family to influence most of my decisions. For example when I look at pictures, I don’t look like myself and I wish I had taken more time to look for a dress that felt like me. I also got cold feet and I think it was simply from the stress of planning the wedding.

    I sometimes catch myself wishing I could do it all over. But I remind myself that our culture has pushed this idea that your wedding day will be “the best day of your life”. And like most ideals, it doesn’t always work out the same for everyone. I loved my wedding day. I loved being surrounded by our friends and family. However, I don’t know if I would say it was “the best day of my life”. My husband and I have been together for almost 8 years and we had a lot of good days. For example we had one day on our honeymoon when we took a boat ride around the entire island of Capri, and I looked at my husband and said “I’m awful for saying this but this is the best day of my life”.

  • sammitch

    I also got married at 23. We had a small courthouse ceremony with our parents, and then his parents threw a party in our honor in their backyard. Really agree with “it was, frankly, my parents’ party (I was just invited).”

    I wore a dress I got off Etsy for $50 to the courthouse. I tried to wear a nice dress to the party, but I immediately spilled my drink on it and changed into a bikini and cutoffs.

    The strangest thing about getting married, I guess especially at 23, were all the questions about “why” I was doing it. I’d get this question from even close friends–as if they couldn’t understand that we could be doing it just for us, for love. I ended up telling a lot of people that we did it so I could get on his insurance, just so they’d stop asking such an insulting thing!

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  • MMR

    Leandra, this is such a beautiful and real piece. It really touched me… as a recently married 27 year old your words encompassed my feelings exactly. Thank you.

  • Love Leandra. Seeing her wedding dress I understand her sense of style a bit better!!

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  • Nina

    Hahaha sounds exactly like an Indian wedding. The only thing missing is the drunk ass uncle who dances like Bollywood on steroids after one too many whiskies. Oh and the bitchy vibes from the relatives who only wish you ill 😂

  • Manuela Giraldo

    Is Sex and the city inspired by this woman’s life?

  • clairmk

    is that emily weiss i spot ?!?!