Wedding Season

From June 1-August 1, I know of 9 couples getting married, including J and myself. I know that’s normal—summer is high season for us brides (for good reason)—even so, I couldn’t help but feel like a poser as we began to plan a wedding for summer of 09.

Here’s why:
Length of time friends dated pre-proposal: 14 months-5 years
Length of time J and I date pre-proposal: 7 months
Total time they’ve spent together pre-wedding date: 21 months- 6 years
Total time we’ve spent together pre-wedding date: 14 months

Needless to say, when my family and I began to announce my engagement we got some surprised reactions:
“I knew you really liked him… but I didn’t know you like, wanted to marry him!”
“I didn’t even know she was dating anyone!”

I feel like I haven’t put the time in to be a legit bride. In our defense, all the other marrying couples met and started dating in college and will be marrying soon after one or both of them finish college, grad school or some sort of training required for their career … J and I started dating years after he finished school, and our wedding will fall 7 months after I graduated. When you start dating “the one” (yes, I said it) your sophomore year in college, you’re going to wait awhile to make things permanent… but for us, with J working as a teacher (love those summers off!) and me having many flexible jobs… it’s more like “well, if not then, when?”

Still, I had bridal guilt.

These brides-to-be had been reveling in their engagement for months, and then I get to be the annoying, copycat friend who swoops in and steals the thunder… “yes I know you’ve been dating and/or planning for 3/4/5 years and J and I started dating only months ago, but I’m gonna whip in and get married right before/after you…” My single friends kept counting the invitations they were anticipating for the May-August wedding fever, and I had to sheepishly inform them that they could put one more on that list… me.

Luckily there were no scornful brides, just lots of support, even from my friend who dated her guy for 5 years before beginning a yearlong engagement. And yes, our wedding date falls three weeks before hers …

If I were her, I would have punched me in the face.

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