I don't remember daydreaming about my wedding when I was young. I played Barbies and sometimes there was a wedding, but that was their wedding, not mine. Daydreaming, planning and even fantasizing about my wedding didn't come until I was 19. I had a boyfriend 5,000 miles away who I wouldn't see for another year and I had been indoctrinated with the wedding culture of Provo, Utah. Not marriage, mind you. Wedding. And so I continued, looking in magazines, at blogs, through wedding photographers' websites and wedding albums of friends and strangers on Facebook. I did this even as I was breaking up with that boy, as I fell in and out of love with another boy, and another. And another. I daydreamed and planned when I was all alone, not a prospect within 50 miles (both figurative and literal). And I continue to do that to this day, finding the mistakes others have made and vowing not to have it happen to me. "My cake will be perfect. Not too big, not too small. My dress will fit perfectly. The weather will be amazing. My photographer, no matter what it costs, will be outstanding," and on and on it goes.

But what I did not consider, or rather, what I did not allow myself to think about until recently, was marriage. About the after-party. And the after-after party. And the hangover. And the squabbles and fights and tears. All I saw was smiling wedding photos hung on sunny walls in an apartment so cozy and inviting. But before, that apartment wasn't mine. Heck, I'm not sure those photos even had me in them. I was playing Barbies in my head; It was their marriage, not mine.

Until, like I said, recently. Recently when I pondered on what it might be like to be a wife. To endure the hum-drum life. Until recently when I allowed myself to realize that with marriage doesn't come a transformation into someone else — I'm still me. I still have all my ratty clothes, my messy hair, my mood swings and snotty humor. I allowed myself to realize that I'll be the one in the wedding photos, and who knows how sunny those walls will be?

I guess I should have prefaced this with what my subsequent thoughts on marriage were. It wasn't just thoughts of, "Oh hey, marriage is about more than the wedding and let's consider wife-dom." It was, "What if I marry the wrong person? What if that person is the right one but then changes? What about fights and hurt feelings? What about sex? What about trust? Broken trust? What about all those things that can be controlled, and yet I cannot control them?"

So, you see, when I daydream and when I play(ed) Barbies, I was disconnected. It was their wedding, their marriage, and as such, they (whoever "they" are) did not/do not possess my insecurities. My lack of trust. My doubts about others. About myself. "They" could handle anything, or, more than likely, wouldn't have to handle much at all, because marriage is perfect when it's not my own.


  1. True dat. Marriage is just like everything in life. Crazy and based on faith. :)

  2. I love this post! I think in the church we focus so much on temple marriage that people forget that is not the end...you haven't made it yet. Really it's just the beginning. I remember realizing that I needed to prepare to become a good wife rather than the prefect bride long before I was married...which definitely helped ease the transition in to marriage. Marriage is wonderful...and a lot of work..which I think is why it's wonderful! This is a great post!

  3. It wasn't till after I actually got married that I started thinking about things I would have liked to do at my wedding. Truth is, I was so busy during the 5/6 months Tyler and I were engaged that I gave my mother and future mother-in-law carte blanche in planning everything. I chose the place we'd get married, and my wedding colors, my dress, and my fiance. Truth is, all that wedding stuff doesn't really matter (I think).

    What does matter is all of the points you bring up at the end of your post. It matters that you get married in the temple. And it matters who you choose to be your companion for the rest of eternity. And I think it's okay to have doubts about marriage (and yourself), so long as you are willing to work through those doubts and find faith instead.

    And the thing that has surprised me the most about marriage (and now motherhood) is that I'm still me. I'm the same Karen I've always been (although I've matured--I hope--in lots of ways). But that's also what's so great! Tyler is still Tyler and I'm still me and we're still best buds but we're also husband and wife, and we're trying to build our lives and family together. It's hard work, but it's so worth it. Especially when you have a companion whom you love and trust absolutely.

    (Sidenote: All those happy wedding pictures on FB? I was so sick that day. Tyler actually gave me a blessing before we went into the temple to get married so I could have the strength to get through the day. My point: not all the happy wedding pictures you see are the happy moments they seem to be.)

    And, oh hi, by the way. I read your blog sometimes. 'Cause I think you're pretty cool.

  4. you forgot to add something about kids. haha. The long grueling sleepless hours of the night, the mountains of dirty diapers, and don't forget the throw up. Haha. Just kidding, there are good things too. I just can't think of them right now. I kid, I kid. Someday those bright sunny photos of you and your husband on the wall will get you through the toughest of times. I will write on the year book of your life, "have a good summer. Never Change." (oh, and "Call me"). Love ya sis.