It’s over. The wedding. My daughter and her new husband tied the knot last Saturday in a whirlwind weekend of near perfection.
The loving couple has been preparing for this for over a year. They were kind enough to allow me to enjoy an active role in the process.
I am a planner by nature; my daughter inherited the planning gene. An upcoming wedding is pretty much the epitome of joy for planful persons like us. We dove into the process with gung ho glee.
This daughter-mother duo had to-do lists. And lists of our lists. And sometimes lists of the secondary lists, or lists of each other’s lists. We even learned to take photos of our lists so we wouldn’t have to worry about the unlikely (but horrifying) possibility of misplacing or losing one.
There were spreadsheets of invitations sent, wedding registry items, meal choices and anything else we thought might fit on a spreadsheet. We created the décor. Chose napkin colors. Designed programs and invites. Perused the web looking for dresses and cake flavors. Secured something old, new, borrowed and even blue.
We had meetings with florists, musicians, the pastor and other nuptial aficionados. We scheduled dates for showers and bridal parties and myriad other wedding-related events. It consumed our days for months; each one was a 24-hour planning opportunity and we were in our glory.
We welcomed our roles as wedding plan warriors. No job, no detail was too big or too small. We took on daunting tasks and embraced the insignificant. From tulle and flowers at the church to cupcakes in our freezer, we had it covered from veil to bustle to garter.
It occupied our time and creative energy and became a priority over other regular mundane and menial activities. Weeds overtook the garden. Decluttering the basement could wait. We had important things to do. We had a wedding to plan!
At first, it seemed the date was eons in the future. We counted down: the number of months until the wedding. Then the weeks. And then we were counting the days.
From time to time my husband expressed bewilderment at our vigor and busyness. As we got nearer to the date, our preparedness took on a new level of frenzy and he was even more perplexed. “You’ve been planning for months,” he said. “It seems like you should be done by now.”
He didn’t understand the universal law of prepping for a big event: the closer you get, the more the activity level amplifies. Then we drafted him into service. For the two days prior to the ceremony we kept him busy 24/7 and his steadfast and faithful hands-on experience converted him to the cause.
And then the big day came. And went. And now it’s over.
And I’m not sure what to do.
Oh, there’s a certain amount of residual clean up to occupy me for a short while. But I’m so used to being terribly busy with the notion of planning for the Very Big Day that regular life is going to feel peculiar for a while. My daughter forgot a few things here at home and seeing her shoes or a jacket or her half-filled coffee cup from the morning before the wedding feels peculiar as well because soon they will be gone. She moved away during college, but this is different and permanent and it feels that way.
But I’ll adapt. We all do. This will soon be our new normal. And before long I’ll find things to plot and plan. Like weeding the garden and cleaning out the basement with my newest planning partner and convert.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.