Who is out there watching “Love Is Blind?” I see you. You know it’s a show that you love to hate and hate to love. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s essentially a reality show in which people get engaged without ever having seen each other—only having spoken to each other—and only meet for the first time after getting engaged. Then, they are married within weeks. Or they aren’t. Most couples take it as far as the aisle but, at that point, some say “I do” and some say “I don’t.” While the entire concept is, quite frankly, terrifying and probably really irresponsible, I did learn some things from the show. It’s such a heightened version of what people do experience on their wedding days. Some couples felt surprisingly calm (of course, none of them should since they don’t know each other) while others woke up practically with hives. I was able to accurately guess, just based on the way they started the day of their weddings, which couples would and wouldn’t wind up tying the knot.
How you feel on your wedding day says a lot, but we look at it in the wrong ways, I feel. It’s kind of alarming the way we normalize things like cold feet and butterflies. Or how we think it’s totally normal for the bride or groom to drink two bottles of champagne just to get the nerve to make it down the aisle. How about all the day-of drama? We see brides and grooms losing it over a small mistake, like the caterers delivered the wrong appetizers or the flower girl’s dress got a tiny stain on it. If one small thing like that could “ruin” the day for the betrothed parties, that’s not a great sign. Here’s how you should actually feel on your wedding day.
You woke up together
Unless you want for some ceremonious reason to go off and spend the night before the wedding apart, shouldn’t you wake up in the same place as your partner because you live together or already spend most nights together? It shouldn’t feel like you’ve had separate lives until this very moment and today, on your wedding day, are being delivered to your groom like some sort of exotic gift. Most of your moments leading up to the big day should have been together anyways.
Everyone is already family
You shouldn’t feel like you’re just now joining your partner’s family. At this point, it should feel like you’re already a part of their family and your partner is a part of yours. You shouldn’t feel like you have to hide stress or cover up any difficulties to your in-laws. They should be behind the scenes with you, knowing everything going on, as they already have been in your life for a while.
Really, they all know each other
When you look around, you should see a lot of people who are very familiar with each other. Friends, acquaintances, coworkers, extended family—most of your guests should already have had a few if not a lot of encounters. You and your partner’s lives should already be so intertwined by the day that you wed that it shouldn’t feel like you’re bringing a bunch of strangers together.
You’re running the show together
You shouldn’t feel alone when it comes to handling the logistics of the wedding day. Whether it’s dealing with a last-minute issue with the band or the caterer or the ring bearer, you shouldn’t feel like you’re in this alone while your partner is off blissfully getting drunk in his changing quarters. You should feel like you’re managing this day, together, as a team, just as you (hopefully) have already been doing with your lives for a while.
You’ve been living together for years
Even though some studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between couples who live together before marriage and those who divorce, a closer observation of the issue would show that the cohabitation didn’t cause the divorce. In general, it is important for couples to live together before—ya know—living together forever. Hopefully on the day of your wedding, you’re walking your dog together, loading your joint dishwasher, and enjoying a life you’ve already built together.
This is just a party
The wedding should just feel like a party. It should feel like just a little bow that ties together what was already the substantial and satisfying gift that is your relationship. It’s in no way the whole cake. It’s just the cherry on top. It should feel like a celebration of a union that’s already very strong and has been going on for a while. It shouldn’t feel like the beginning of a union.
And just a formality
In many ways, the wedding should just be a formality. You should very much feel comfortable with the idea that you were always going to spend forever with this person, wedding or no wedding. You’re really just doing it because it makes certain financial and logistical matters easier. Or maybe because you want your kids to have parents who are married.
It’s okay if something goes wrong
It shouldn’t be that big of a deal if there is a last-minute snafu. Wrong cake? Forgot your vows? Ring-bearing dog pooped in the aisle? These things should just make you laugh. You don’t feel you need to prove to anyone—and certainly not yourselves—that you have your act together as a couple. You’ve already been proving that for years.
You almost eloped many times
Honestly, this is such a simple formality and the idea of forever is something you’ve been comfortable with for such a long time, that you nearly eloped a few times. You passed a drive-by chapel in Vegas and said, “Should we?” a dozen times. The wedding is really for other people. But you would have been fine with just doing this thing in the reception area of an office in a strip mall.
There’s still no rush
If someone told you, right now, that for some reason, your wedding had to be postponed four months, you wouldn’t panic. You’d think it was a damn shame since people already booked hotel rooms and plane tickets. But you don’t feel like if you don’t lock it down today, you’ll lose your partner. You locked it down years ago.
But you also can’t wait
While there is no rush, because you settled into the idea of forever together years ago, you also can’t wait! You are genuinely excited to call your partner your husband. You feel like this wedding is a wonderfully fun party—a chance to bring all your loved ones together—that you earned by building such a strong relationship. And you’re excited to enjoy it. You by no means want to get it over with. You just want to get the fun started.
You’ve already been through a lot
So much. His long-term unemployment. A pregnancy scare. A fight you got in with his family, and got through. A long sex drought. That time his odd cousin moved in with you two for a month that became three months. You in no way feel that, just now, starting today, you start to experience challenges together. You’ve been experiencing challenges.
You couldn’t picture life without this person
You couldn’t because you’ve already lived so much life together. Thousands of mornings brushing your teeth side-by-side. Thousands of evenings making dinners together. Long car trips together. Everything. You’ve been together for so long that it’s hard to remember life without this person, let alone see any future without him.
If you drink, it’s because you’re partying
If you are drinking a lot on your wedding day, it’s not because you need to black out what’s happening. It’s not because you are nervous. It’s not because you are afraid. It’s honestly just because you A) aren’t worried about making a drunken mistake because this relationship is so solid and B) you’re just celebrating! You have all your besties around you so you want some champagne.
While it is momentous, the whole thing has been
Sure, the wedding day itself is momentous. But, you feel there are other things that have been far more momentous. The day you met—that was momentous. The day you signed your first lease together—that was a big deal. The day you confessed you had irritable bowel syndrome—that was something. There have been far more impactful moments that built the foundation of this love than any big party ever could.