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My first #Taylornovela as a married woman

I’m not gonna lie to y’all.

I was crying before, during, and after my bridal shower -- secretly of course.

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One thing I’ve been learning (the hard way) through therapy over the past few years is duality. This means that two (seemingly contradictory) things can coexist at the same time.

It's weird feeling such intense emotions that are both positive and negative throughout the day. That's duality.

At the wedding shower I felt really intense positive feelings like gratitude. Grateful to have found someone I legitimately want to be with in good and bad times. Grateful that he chooses me too. Grateful to have people show up for me that day. Grateful for my family to be in a financial place to even host something like this. These are all things I've prayed for for years. And now they're actually happening in real life.

I felt pride for seeing a vision come to life -- my mom did an amazing job putting this event together and it was literally so beautiful. Joy for seeing my mom so happy. Gratitude for the people who helped put this event together on an unexpectedly 100+ degree weather day.

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I also felt very intense negative feelings. Shame because my husband and I got into an argument just before this event and I felt like a hypocrite celebrating love when we weren't even on speaking terms. Sadness that some of the people I feel happiest around weren't there. Embarassment for enjoying something "over the top" that's designed 100% for me and me only. Guilt for wanting the spotlight and wanting to be celebrated when I don't feel deserving of that.

For context, I am already married and I'm planning our wedding with my husband. We got married at the justice of the peace exactly 6 months ago and had a small get-together with close family the next day. We wanted to make sure we could financially afford a wedding without going into debt or having to stop investing so we decided to get married first and think about a wedding after. We both agree that the marriage matters way more than an unnecessary wedding.

Shortly after our "elopement," we decided to create new income streams through Airbnb and allocate part of our savings toward a small destination wedding that's a fraction of the cost of a traditional American wedding.

It's really exciting and in many ways a dream come true. I love this man and we get to combine all the things we love as a couple: travel, family, new experiences, staying under budget.

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But with that dream also comes a lot of guilt.

Guilt for planning a(nother) wedding when it's not necessary. Guilt for asking friends and family to spend money on a trip that many wouldn't even consider going on outside of this event. Guilt for spending our own money on a wedding at all when that money could go towards assets or investments. Guilt for inviting people in our families out of their comfort zones. Guilt for wanting to be the center of attention and be celebrated.

People always say that wedding planning is hard. I disagree. Neither of us cares about napkin colors or flower types or which chairs we have. All the wedding logistics are straightforward and we've already paid it all off.

The hard part is dealing with the intense emotions that come with hosting a wedding. Figuring out how we want to share money with others. How we make decisions. How we handle conflict. How we sort through expectations + opinions of friends and family -- some of which are very real and some of which are just assumptions. (Hint: we have very different approaches for each of these things).

We both know it would've been easier to just not do a wedding at all because then we wouldn't have any of these conflicts or feelings of guilt because a lot of family members wouldn't have to consider leaving their comfort zones.

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Which brings me back to the bridal shower. Because of how beautiful everything was. how well they taylored it to me (pun intended lol), and how inconvenient I felt it was for some people to show up, there were a lot of intense emotions running through me all day. And I felt like I was only allowed to show the good emotions and that I needed to look happy all day.

Don't get me wrong, I was happy. Very much so.

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I tried to ignore + downplay the intense negative emotions I was also feeling all day. And it resulted in me crying in the bathroom while everyone else played games. And driving myself home alone so I could decompress without making anyone else feel uncomfortable. And asking for alone time that night so that I could journal, which has now turned into this blog post.

My new #1 personal goal for this year -- and in case you didn't know I have many goals across many categories so this is saying a lot -- is to be fully present and enjoy our wedding in August. If the bridal shower or wedding planning process is any indication, I know that it will take a lot of healing + reflection (& real conversations) to reach that goal.

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