The triple-emotional-whammy wedding

weddingDo you get emotional at weddings? Enveloped in the flood of love, joy and hope it is hard not to be. You are caught up in the palpable adoration between the happy couple. Maybe the nuptials remind you of how elated you felt at your wedding(s), immersed in the endorphins from being in love. Or perhaps the proceedings evoke memories of the grief you felt at the eventual loss of your love.

I haven’t been to a wedding in the six years since my marriage dissolved, so I’m not sure what I’ll feel at one I’ll attend in a few weeks. In the past, I’ve become emotional because of the strong feelings of love that are typically present.

So my first emotional whammy is that I’ll be at a wedding, period. I have no idea if I’ll be overwhelmed by the joy and hope of the betrothed and their families. I’m hoping I won’t be triggered by the fact that my own romantic fantasies of forever love went unrealized.

The second emotional whammy is that I’ve known the young groom since he was a baby. His parents, my ex and I were close friends. They live a few blocks away and it was common for one of us to drop in or borrow something regularly. Their family and my ex carpooled weekly to the same church. We often had dinner at each other’s homes. We went on vacation together several times. I saw this young man and his brother grow up, shared in their celebrations and their troubling times. We hired them for yard work when they wanted spending money. The boys were like nephews and I have great fondness toward the groom and his brother. It will be emotional for me to see this young man enter this rite of passage to marry his long-time love.

And the third whammy is just a bit too surreal. My ex will officiate the ceremony. He is legally licensed to do so, although he never completed his ordination. This will be the first time I’ve seen him in five years. Will it be difficult to hear him talk about the sanctity of marriage, knowing that he didn’t hold himself to that standard? Or the vow of commitment, knowing he violated that one too? I am over him and not bitter, but will it be difficult to hear him speak of values that I know he, himself, didn’t act on? The hostess has said he will be seated at my table, along with a few other friends who know each other, as none of us know anyone else at the reception.

To do my utmost to take care of myself, I have invited a dear and doting friend to be my date. He has been apprised of my probable emotionality and that I will, no doubt, need to lean on him. He has enthusiastically agreed to take on this task. Plus he dresses up really well and is a great dancer!

While I usually consider myself a strong woman, I think it helps to know when you may be especially vulnerable and pre-plan ways to make sure you are taken care of. And with this triple whammy wedding, I will need all the support I can muster!

Are you emotional at weddings or other events? If so, how do you take care of yourself?

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3 responses to “The triple-emotional-whammy wedding”

  1. Anna Avatar

    DG, you are great to plan ahead knowing that this wedding will be emotional. I would have a really hard time sitting there smiling and saying nothing in your circumstance. But yes its best to be prepared and nice that your date will be tuned into your emotions. I think I have become a cynic over the years and see weddings as a bit of irony. Its a good opportunity for a party………thats all I see them as really. Vows and true committments are made in people’s hearts. Some of the closest, happiest and loyal couples I know never “got married”. And only time will tell if a couple are truly “married” together or going through the motions. So no, I don’t get emotional at weddings. I do get emotional at funerals when you see people (some old, some young) losing their life time companion. Yep, I guess I am cynical until time has proven the true committment.

  2. Mitsy Avatar

    I’m one who has never liked weddings. Didn’t matter if I was seeing someone, was engaged or unattached. I dislike the emotional fanfare that often winds up in divorce court a few years down the road if not before. Not all marriages end in divorce but the circus-type ceremonies I have sat through in years past make me want to only attend those that I can’t get out of. I’m always pleased if there are no sappy songs being played during the ceremony. I have attended a few that were not overly sappy or drawn out. I have had a good time at some of the receptions I’ve attended afterwards but don’t care for most of the actual wedding itself. I have the same feelings about funerals and so do my own family members. We attend visitations when appropriate but otherwise don’t go to many funerals. Weddings don’t rank much higher in that respect. I do what is expected but opt out of most wedding showers, and other added events that I don’t enjoy and would rather not attend.

  3. Fawn Avatar

    Dear DG- I commend you for your bravery… in spite of being a strong woman and overcoming the past, it is still a brave act to sally forth and attend the wedding. I too have been divorced for 6 years, and have raised my two daughters on my own who are now in college. Last May in my act of bravery, I accepted an invitation by my eldest daughter after her graduation ceremony from the University to go to dinner with her and her father with his new wife. My ex and I have not spoken since our divorce proceedings, and to support my daughter after her graduation from college, I attended. Since I have not seen him these past years, I was a little fearful at first, but once I saw him, how he had changed (and not for the best) and his failure to look me in the face and his immediate departure as soon as dinner was over (leaving me to pay for my daughters and friends meals) I know I had indeed made the right decision to attend. Empowerment is wonderful!