Saturday night my fiancé and I had nightmares about our upcoming wedding. He and I both dreamed it was the day of the wedding, and we’d forgotten to plan the ceremony or write our vows.
In my version of the dream, I quickly put on my dress and walked up the aisle, unsure of what would happen. The next thing I knew, I was waking up alone in a hotel room with no memory of the ceremony or the reception. On the floor was my wedding dress, which I then realized had a plunging neckline and inappropriate slits up both thighs. This was probably worse than the dream I had a few weeks ago in which I’d forgotten to buy a wedding dress so I had to wear an over-sized tacky Christmas sweater instead.
When the real morning came and we woke from our stress dreams, we decided it was time to finish planning our ceremony. So we sat down to pick the readings and write our vows.
I’m a writer, and I’ve had a lot of practice writing various things: stories, emails, novels, research papers. But this was different. This handful of sentences — the promises I’m making for the rest of my life — is one of the most important things I’ll ever write. It was exciting. And a little scary.
I think we both dreamed about the wedding because we’re in the process of sorting out the RSVPs and forcing decisions from those who haven’t RSVP’ed yet. I’m looking forward to knowing the complete guest list because then I get to do the thing I’ve been excited about doing ever since we decided to have a wedding: the seating arrangements.
I know that sounds weird. But to a girl who likes order and control, assigning seats is so much fun. I have some ideas of people who don’t know each other yet, but who I think should be friends. I can seat them together and play matchmaker! I’m imagining conversations and the way personalities might mesh as I place people at various tables.
Maybe there’s a reason why this is fun for me besides the fact that I’m an organization freak. If you think about it, what is fiction writing besides putting characters together in various situations and imagining how they might interact? I’m playing friend-matchmaker for the night of my wedding, but as a writer I play matchmaker (and enemy-maker) every day with my characters. I get to put people together in awkward situations, fill them with alcohol, and force them to interact. (We can all agree that this sounds pretty similar to a wedding reception, right?) The only difference is that in fiction, these interactions often lead to some sort of conflict, and I’m hoping that our wedding will be mostly conflict-free.
After all, this wedding isn’t the climax of my story with Paul. It’s only just the beginning.