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Jewish Journal

Thanks Anyway, But We’ll Plan Our Own Wedding

by Caroline Cobrin

April 15, 2009 | 3:02 am

<i>Caroline Cobrin and her fiancé Evan</i>

Caroline Cobrin and her fiancé Evan

One of the first things I learned about wedding planning is that it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. Oh, I knew it would take time, money, teamwork and a slew of help from my family and friends, but what I never took into account was just how political the entire process would become. Having never been a big fan of politics — personal or otherwise — I was less than thrilled at this discovery.

More than my fiancé and I joining our lives together — as if there needed to be more — it began to feel like we were putting together our own political party. Everyone had ideas, thoughts, tidbits, traditions or lack thereof to contribute. A band or a DJ? Flowers or other centerpieces? A Conservative rabbi or a Reform one?

After a few weeks of “they want this,” “they suggested that,” “he loved this idea,” “but she wanted that idea,” my fiancé and I made a command decision that has kept each of us happy, smiling and sane (for the most part) throughout this process. We decided that we were planning this wedding, the wedding was not planning us.

We promised each other — and made it breaking-the-glass clear — that we were the only two people who mattered in the entire process. This was going to be our day and we were going to celebrate it in our way. Not to say that we were rude when other people voiced opinions, or plugged our ears shut when we heard someone say, “What I would do….” We were just honest with ourselves and each other about our feelings and what things were or were not important to us.

We decided that if people raised an eyebrow at a DJ instead of a band, then raise an eyebrow ... we would be busy dancing. If someone looked at the centerpieces and wondered why we didn’t have flowers, they could wonder. We were not going to let other people’s opinions and ideas take over our special day.

So you won’t find me walking down the aisle to the usual wedding march, or the tried-and-true safe instrumental music. I’m picking a song that means something to me, and my fiancé is picking a song that means something to him.

My fiancé and I will not repeat vows; we are writing our own. I won’t have the veil on throughout the ceremony, I definitely will not be fasting the day of the wedding and we will not be separated from each other for a few days before. All of these traditions, though important to others, are not finding their way into our celebration.

The only thing that matters at the end of the day is that I will be married to him, my soul mate, best friend and absolute love of my life, and he will be married to me. Some people go through the wedding process and lose themselves in the color of the ribbon, the texture of the tablecloth and the scent of the roses, and they forget what it is that they are really doing. They are getting married, not just having a wedding. 

As I went to the post office this past weekend and dropped our invitations into the slot, I felt such a sense of accomplishment. Were the invitations individually crafted by a world-renowned calligrapher? Nope. They were personalized and ordered online, the labels were “mail merged” by yours truly and the entire process was done with a sense of love, commitment and happiness. Because at the end of the day a wedding is just one day of your life, while a marriage lasts forever. Our story began on July 15, 2007, and will be sealed in a ketubah (also purchased online) on May 31, 2009. As our invitations say, somewhere in the heart, deep in the soul, love finds a way to be forever….


Caroline Cobrin is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles and eagerly anticipating her wedding day. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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