Happily married, unhappily wedding planning

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Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem

Assalam alaikum wr wb, my friends, married and single and in-between.

It has occurred to me that weddings are a lot like filmmaking. Except one is a complete and utter waste of time and one isn’t.

Guess which one.

When planning both, you have a checklist that just keeps on giving. Once you cross one item off, ten items seem to sprout in its place. Until the day of the great event – or shoot – it would seem that ‘stuff’ just keeps needing to be done. And the only person to do it is you.

Even though of course, time and time again, everyone professes that they will help, in reality, it’s all you. The bride. Or the director.

Of course, there are obnoxious overbearing personalities in both scenarios. Meddlesome relatives and producers have so much in common.

Planning my wedding has thrown up challenges I didn’t expect to face. I never thought that I had any – I mean any! – expectations of my wedding at all. I wasn’t ever someone that spent hours in my girlhood dreaming about my wedding. Dreaming about the love of my life and our beautiful happy marriage, yes. Definitely not the wedding. Unless I’m telling jokes, I really don’t like being the center of attention.

But here I am, attacked on all sides with tradition, some verging on Shirk, some blatant shirk, and other people’s expectations, and I find myself becoming a bride-zilla.

I’ve worked hard on controlling my rather horrific temper. But lately my patience and my defenses have been weakened.

It is because Shaitan is using the element of surprise on me.

Going back to the filmmaking analogy I used earlier, my husband and I are both directors on this project. We agreed a long time ago on one thing – marriage is a test, a commitment, a responsibility, a fulfillment of half our deen but not for free. We need to work hard to protect it, as with all things that are precious

But we’ve recently discovered that we have been on different even conflicting spiritual quests. This has surprised and upset me a great deal.

Suffice to say, I’ve lost my temper far too many times at far too many people.

I have also learned some shocking things about myself. I think fun is wrong. I find it really hard to ask for what I want or even fight for what I want. Anger seems to be my default emotion. I find it really hard to conduct a constructive conversation.

My mother being ill has made planning this wedding all the more difficult. You see, I’m not very good at planning and secondly, I really don’t care very much about my wedding. I’d rather get it over with and be married already.

My mother however was the human organizer. And she has spent a good long time fantasizing about my wedding, so she has the enthusiasm to push through the mire. She should be the one at the helm of this project.

But she isn’t. It’s all me. And as much as I’m trying not to hate every minute of it, to try and have fun with this ridiculous process, I do hate it. I do hate what people become around family weddings. I do hate the lack of agency the bride is allowed to have at her own wedding. I hate the lack of respect for the couple’s wishes. I hate the obscene wastage of money and the arrogance.

In both a deen (religious) and dunya (worldly) sense, it would seem that my wedding is a bust.

Still, unlike when I was looking for a groom, I have lowered my expectations at least in the dunya sense. I’ve asked my hubby to fight some of my battles because he is better at confrontation.

All in all, I am celebrating my little successes. Being conscious of my blood boiling. Holding my tongue. Being conscious that I have much to work on and insha Allah and Alhamdulillah, the energy to work on it. Alhamdulillah, this attitude is definitely an improvement on spontaneous combustion.

Remember me in your prayers.

Peace, love and God’s protection,

The (almost happily married and) Happy Muslimah.

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