I am a huge advocate for following your heart and going with your gut instinct. I believe life is way too short to be doing things that make you unhappy. In this highly judgmental society, we are way too often pushed and pulled in different directions to make friends, family, and even strangers happy. What we don’t realize is, it is making us (generally speaking) unhappy.
It’s easier said than done, I get it. You want to be liked by everyone, you don’t want to disappoint your family, or let down your friends. Reality check, it’s going to happen no matter how hard you try to please everyone. And in the end the only one who will be hurt the most is you. It took me quite a while to fully understand this concept but once I accepted myself and started living for me, it became pretty easy. And since then, I live life by my own rules and I’ve never been happier.
As you probably already know, Mark and I decided to cancel the wedding we were planning for over the last year and get married in our favorite city instead. Of course, everyone invited already knew and we informed them with all of the details, but for everyone else it came as quite the surprise. We immediately got asked a million questions, the most common one being “why?”. And then it was usually followed up with a “I’m so sorry you had to cancel the wedding.”. First off, stop apologizing. We understand you mean well, but we aren’t sad or upset with the outcome. We didn’t have to cancel the wedding, that was our decision we made. And secondly, we cancelled the wedding because we were following our hearts. We weren’t happy with our original plans, so we made a choice to do what made us happy! And that’s the damn truth.
Why My Husband and I
Cancelled Our Wedding
I would like to preface this blog post by saying this was not written to upset, anger, or confuse anyone. I decided to write this post not only for myself, but to answer the lingering questions so many of you have.
Anyone who has planned a wedding, got married, or is still in the process, you know all of the emotions that come along for the ride. Stress, happiness, indecisiveness, maybe a little anger, bittersweet moments, joy, love…basically every emotion you could possibly feel. Mark and I were over the moon happy to plan our dream wedding and share it with everyone we loved. However, it didn’t always feel like it was reciprocated back to us.
Early 2017, we made a decision to have our wedding in the middle of Glacier National Park, Montana instead of back home on the East Coast. It was like my forest wedding dreams were coming true. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but, if I’m being honest, Mark and I were paying for this whole wedding ourselves (Mark even got a second job specifically for the wedding. S/o to my man!!!). We couldn’t comfortably afford to be flying back to the East Coast to plan a wedding. So, we broke the news to all of our friends and family and couldn’t wait to have them see the place that we now call home. The response when we told everyone the news wasn’t quite what we expected. Almost half of our guest list panicked as to how they were going to get here, how long they would have to stay, upset they had to rearrange their family vacation, etc etc etc. There was more concern than there was excitement. And again, this is in no way calling anyone out or complaining. This is our story.
The wedding wasn’t until several months away so we figured they would come around and get more excited as the date got closer. So, on we went. We booked the most beautiful venue, found a photographer, dj, and even someone to bake us a gluten free, dairy free, egg free wedding cake! We were on a freaking roll!
Everything was going great until in a blink of an eye, it wasn’t. It started with our photographer/graphic designer. We had gotten our engagement photos done in August and were eager to get them back and create our Save The Dates (which we wanted to send out by end of October). November rolls around and we still don’t have our engagement photos (only about 50 of the 200 promised) and we had no Save The Dates even designed! Trying to remain calm we let this little bump in the road pass us by. Unfortunately, that should have been a bright red flag and we didn’t see it. Once the holiday’s passed and we were in the New Year we thought things would change. We were wrong. We didn’t get our Save The Dates mailed until mid December. February comes along and nothing has changed. No engagement photos or no plan to create our invites in the foreseeable future. Not to mention all of the meetings that were planned but then cancelled several times or rearranged only to be again, cancelled.
In the meantime, while all this was going on, we found out a few of Mark’s groomsmen couldn’t make it. No biggie. Easy fix.
I would say at this point we were tossing around the idea to cancel the wedding but still didn’t convince ourselves to actually do it. We had many discussions about it and I shed a lot of tears, lol. Questions started to pop up like, “why are we doing this if no one cares?”, “why are we going to spend all of this hard earned money for no appreciation?”, “are we even going to enjoy this day knowing it’s just the two of us planning and preparing the whole thing?”.
I distinctly remember the night we decided to follow through with the big wedding. I cried a lot that night but I couldn’t let go of the vision I had in my head of me walking down the aisle and seeing Mark. So, again, on we went! That next day I made our registry, we fired our photographer, and went to go look at wedding bands!
The universe decided to throw yet another test our way.
Long story short, Mark got my engagement ring custom made from Zales back home in PA. Part of the diamond bond/insurance plan is I must get it cleaned and inspected every six months. But of course, the only Zales in Montana closed down for good. This put us in a difficult spot when it came time to get my ring cleaned and inspected. We went to Kays and almost had to buy an entire new engagement ring (luckily we didn’t).
That same day, all of Mark’s groomsmen, except one, called and said they couldn’t make it. At that point I had already cancelled the wedding in my head. So, impromptu, within that hour, we cancelled our wedding and planned to have our big day while we were in Chicago!
Now, why did we pick Chicago? Not only did we have a trip planned for March, it is our absolute favorite city. It’s like a second home to us and I fall in love with it every time we go. I’m not going to go into too much detail about how we planned the BEST day ever in just a few short weeks, but I will say this… We have our wonderful friends who live in Chicago to thank. Without them this wouldn’t have been able to happen. They opened up their home to us, showed us around the city, and made are wedding day better than I ever expected. My best friend and her fiancé also flew into the city for the weekend and I couldn’t have asked anything more from them. I’m just so grateful.
So, even though I gave you the long answer of why we cancelled our wedding, the short answer is because our hearts just weren’t in it anymore. We constantly felt like we were only going through with it to please our friends and family, and well, society.
I think when it comes to weddings society expects this grand finale of a fairytale wedding, but that’s not always the reality of it. There’s this unseen pressure that is put on newly engaged couples to seal the deal with this elaborate show. But for who? Friends and family shouldn’t care how you get married or what it looks it. What happened to the love between the married couple being the most important thing instead of the decorations, dress, and after party? To me, it seems like we’re putting on this so called “wedding” for society and not for ourselves. If social media or cameras didn’t exist would you still have the wedding that’s saved on your Pinterest board? And don’t even get me started about the money.
Weddings are supposed to be about sharing the love between two people with friends and family and I think society has ruined that for us. Yes, I understand some people stick to the traditional path and practice certain religious views. I also realize some couples are fortunate enough to have their weddings paid for, lessening some of the stress. This post isn’t a wedding bashing post. I’m sharing this because I don’t think I need to explain every detail to people as to why we didn’t have the “big” wedding.
I’m calling bullsh*t on this fairytale plan society has created and will continue to march to the beat of my own drum. And I don’t think I should be questioned for it.
So, while I could write out word for word on why we decided to cancel our big wedding (because it wasn’t an easy decision either), I don’t feel like I need to explain myself to everyone. Again, for those of you who are wedding planning, or already have gone through it, you know the amount of stress that comes with it. Mark and I didn’t believe the stress and chaos (that we endured) was worth our happiness, so we changed our plans. Simple as that! No matter what society, or friends and family say, at the end of the day you have to go with what’s going to make YOU happy. Society will forget about you in a day anyways and move onto judging someone else’s life. Moral of the story: follow your f*cking heart.
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