Want to know the difference? Look no further than my favorite movie, Father of the Bride (yes, I love many films, but Father of the Bride has a special place in my heart. I have the whole thing memorized. For realz.)
I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. A boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say "I do." I was wrong. That's getting married. A wedding is an entirely different proposition. I know. I've just been through one. Not my own. My daughter's. Annie Banks-MacKenzie. That's her married name. MacKenzie. I'll be honest with you. When I bought this house seventeen years ago, it cost me less than this blessed event in which Annie Banks became Annie Banks-MacKenzie. I'm told that one day I'll look back on all this with great affection and nostalgia. I hope so. You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. An adorable little girl who looks up to you and adores you in a way you could never imagine. I remember how her little hand used to fit inside mine. How she used to sit in my lap and lean her head against my chest. She said that I was her hero. Then the day comes when she wants to get her ears pierced and she wants you to drop her off a block before the movie theater. Next thing you know she's wearing eye shadow and high heels. From that moment on, you're in a constant state of panic. You worry about her going out with the wrong kind of guys, the kind of guys who only want one thing--and you know exactly what that one thing is because it's the same thing you wanted when you were their age. Then she gets a little older and you quit worrying about her meeting the wrong guy and you worry about her meeting the right guy. And that's the biggest fear of all because then you lose her. And before you know it, you're sitting all alone in a big, empty house, wearing rice on your tux, wondering what happened to your life. It was just six months ago that it happened here. Just six months ago that the storm broke.
I imagine that future books will feel a lot more like getting married. I'll write the book, do the edits, squee over the final copy, but debuting is like a wedding.
It is stressful.
You constantly second guess everything.
You spend more time at the post office than at home.
Everyone keeps asking if you are excited.
You alternate between wanting to frolic through fields, glowing, and needing to sob hysterically.
You are painfully aware that you are losing sleep, worrying constantly, and working every single second for one.single.day.
You want to "enjoy the moment," you just don't know how.
You feel like you should lose 10 lbs.
You brainstorm favors that are inexpensive but tasteful, even though you know no one wants them.
You eat too much ice cream and drink too much wine.
Everyone wants to throw you a party, take you to dinner, call you up on the phone.
You keep thinking, "I'll only do this once!"
Unlike a wedding, there's no beach vacation after. Although hopefully there will be cake and champagne. And maybe if I'm lucky dancing in the moonlight.