I just discovered this essay yesterday when I was searching for a file on my computer.  I wrote it shortly after I became engaged eight years ago (lordie, how time flies!). It was published in a newspaper I was working for at the time. Reading it now, nearly a decade later,  brings me right back to the months prior to my wedding. A time when I was feeling both excited and lost – not really knowing how to mark this milestone in our lives in a way that was genuinely us.  Perhaps you are feeling some of these same feelings right now. Take heart. It will unfold as it is supposed to.

Oh God, I’m getting married!

 By Christina Friedrichsen

I’m getting married. I’ve even got the ring to prove it. I’ve worn it for five months now. It’s become part of me. Part of my identity.

Still, it hasn’t changed how I feel. It hasn’t changed the fact that I’m simply not looking forward to the Big Day. I can’t help it. Honest, I can’t.

It’s not that I don’t love the man dearly, or want to declare my unwavering, everlasting, huge love for him. It’s not that at all. It’s not that I’m uncertain about our union, or that I don’t believe in marriage. I do. I really do.

Truth is, the idea of a big, conventional wedding leaves me feeling a bit nauseous. I imagine myself in the traditional ghost white gown, the predictable lace veil, the garter, the something borrowed, the something new or however it goes, and I get a bit sick to my stomach. I imagine myself at the altar, with a bunch of eyes glaring my way, watching me shake in my boots, er heels, and quite honestly, I get the willies.

Unlike other girls, I never dreamed about showers of rainbow confetti or flower girls in frilly frocks. I never dreamed about chiming wedding bells, or limousines decked out in pink paper flowers. That doesn’t mean I’m not a romantic, or that I don’t love drama and symbolism, which is really what a wedding is all about.

It’s just that my idea of romance is different. Which leaves me in somewhat of a dilemma. It leaves both of us in a dilemma; my fiancé shares the same aversion towards a big, traditional wedding.

Saying our vows on the rugged plains of northern Scotland or inside a tiny, ancient church in Denmark, or Norway, or beside the Maritime seas is our idea of magic. We’ve also thought about a deserted beach somewhere in Hawaii, near a sleeping volcano, of course, or on a sunny shore in Greece.

But, the question remains. Are we doing the right thing?

If we plan a wedding faraway, it is likely several of those who we hold dear to our hearts will not be able to attend. Will we be doing them, as well as ourselves, a disservice?

Will we be filled with regret?

And they wonder why we haven’t started planning our Big Day.


We ended up scrapping the plan to have a destination wedding. Instead, we opted for an outdoor, at-home wedding with 50-guests and it couldn’t have been better. Not only did we have an amazing wedding, shortly after our “I do’s” I got a book contract to write Intimate Weddings. Life is full of beautiful surprises.