Written by Carly C.
My husband and I made a drastic decision before we got married: the week before we got married, exactly. Based on our religious tradition, a bride and groom shouldn’t see one another or speak to one another for an entire week before their wedding. I can hear you thinking, “What? But there’s so much to be done! What about last-minute wedding decisions? RSVP’s? Gifts? How on earth does it work to not speak to each other for an entire week before you spend the rest of your lives together?!”
I’ll tell you how it works.
It’s like coming home.
Yes, there were things that needed to be done, seating placements that needed to be arranged, last minute guests and cancellations, and details to be worked out with the venue. But all of the sudden, those didn’t matter. Our relationship, which had been mostly about wedding planning for the past several months, went back to being about our relationship: the future we’d have, the feelings we had about our upcoming commitment to each other and our relationship, and the anticipation of just getting to that very special day.
Instead of talking at each other about centerpieces and the band playlist, we wrote each other letters to read the day before our wedding, bought each other thoughtful gifts to exchange after the ceremony, and missed each other: a lot.
You see, during an engagement you might find that it’s difficult to view your fiancé in an “always-perfect” light. You will get on each other’s nerves, as you disagree about everything from the menu to the budget. You will have doubts. You might even think about calling off the whole shebang. Being engaged is not the best time of your life. It’s a bridge that’s difficult to cross over. It feels longer than it is, costs more than you want it to, and creates way more stress than you ever thought was possible. So why spend the entire engagement with your teeth bared at one another?
Taking space the week before our wedding allowed us to remember why we were doing this in the first place. It refocused our attention towards one another; away from the wedding and onto the marriage. And when we saw each other on our wedding day for the first time in a week that felt like a lifetime, it was like coming home.
When we touched each other after refraining from what felt like forever, it was like putting on a warm pair of slippers that you never want to take off, and when we embraced, like pulling up a warm blanket in front of the fire on a cold winter’s day. We weren’t concerned with how our centerpieces looked (they were pretty awful, actually), or how the band sounded, or what the food tasted like. We just wanted to stand there, in each other’s arms for the remainder of forever. We’d had a taste of our home that we were just beginning to build. And all it took was a week.