Sunday, May 6, 2018

Weddings, Getting Married, and Being Undiagnosed Aspergers

HEY! I know, I know, I haven't written in a long time. 

But a question on another bloggers post has inspired me to write. I don't think I've written about this at all in the past, and it seems that maybe there isn't much out there written about weddings from a bride or groom who has Aspergers. So here I go.

I've been married almost 14 years! Even though it has been a while, and I might not remember specific details, I do remember and am affected by things that were happening around my wedding in very strong ways.

First, I have holes in my memory. There are things, times, places, details that I do not remember. When you have Aspergers, life can be overwhelming at times, even at happy times. Therefore your brain, in self preservation, will throw out details that you don't think you need to hold onto at the time. I wish it weren't that way, but it is. It is the only way to maintain a form of sanity!
ADVICE: Write things down. I know I had a bride's journal thing, and it's actually quite nice to look at some of the things that maybe we considered, the collection we used for bridesmaids dresses, stuff like that.

When it comes to the dress, start shopping AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If you really like a dress, ask if the shop can keep record of what you liked. If you're lucky (like I was) your dress will go on sale in a couple of months with a season change, and you can get the dress at a deep discount! I have yet to EVER see a dress like mine again - especially the neckline was beautiful and unique and unlike anything I'd seen before or since. Actually kinda frustrating I cant find another dress that style, I'd have bought a bigger size :P

I remember that not too many months before I got married, I kinda chopped my hair short. Like a bob or something. I'd always wanted to have long beautiful hair when I got married, and not only did I not plan that out very well, but my thought that it would grow back out was rediculous. AND because I had this curly haired vision of what I wanted, AND because my small town hairstyling shop was mostly for older ladies.... I ended up with this atrocious curly bob. I didn't think I would ever be the type of person who would be concerned with that, and yet, I am so annoyed with myself. I should have been MUCH more simple, even if I couldn't have the long curly hair I'd always wanted.. I shouldn't have even tried to have it curly at all! UGH! I'm so mad at myself. I wish I had just been able to let go of the curly hair dream especially since my hair wasnt long enough to make it work the way I wanted.
ADVICE: Don't cut your hair off anytime within a year of your marriage. Unless short hair is your thing. Let it grow, and have it trimmed right before you get married, and you can do almost anything at that point for hairstyles.

I remember that I loved the part of picking and choosing everything. And since we were broke and pretty much putting it all on with our own little money (or, rather, my husband's) we had a lot of people volunteer to do and make things for us as a gift. Like the flowers. So, I appreciate them, and they are beautiful and I have them on our shelf in our house. HOWEVER, what I said I wanted, what I had in my vision, and what I got were two different things. I wanted blue/maroon hydrangeas ONLY. ALONE. NO GREENERY, NO YELLOW. What I got was a few of those with yellows, whites and greenery, because "you have to have some green in there". Uh, no, actually, I don't "have to". Many brides don't! Why do I have to? Well, they all had a vision of what they thought it should look like and I had no control over that because they were making it for me for free. Sigh. My small town people had small town ideas and I had the internet and the ideas that I wanted. Stubborn people who didn't want to let me have what I wanted.
ADVICE: If you want something done a certain way, and you feel like someone isn't going to do what you want, don't just passively let them. Free isn't free if it follows you as regret into your whole life. I regret not standing up for myself and/or just plain rejecting the free help and doing it myself.

I wanted lavender. My husband (fiance) hated it. So we went with a maroon, which was... well.... gross. Gross is the word. If I had let go of the purple enough to go with something else in blue, or ANYTHING ELSE... I don't know - I don't remember how that conversation went.
ADVICE: Choose a classic color. Don't chooes the popular colors of the day. Black, blue, gray.. those colors dont typically go out of style. Red for Christmas weddings? Why not! But lavender, or maroon, was the wrong choice for a wedding at ANY time, even summer. It just did not work out in my long term mind. :P

I had a maid of honor living in another state, and unable to pick up her dress.. Then her dress ended up not having the top she wanted (that matched mine) so she had a top that matched another bridesmaids, and a third bridesmaid was different. Sigh.
ADVICE: having them choose their own style tops/skirts is nice and all, but if you're going for something specific, and someone can't get to a store to pick one up... it's going to end up messy.

AND one of those bridesmaids and I don't even really talk anymore, not because anything happened, but because distance and life and whatnot. There was another girl that came all the way across the state to come to the wedding, and unfortunately had to go all the way back home right after the ceremony... I wish I'd had her as a bridesmaid instead.
ADVICE: Don't think about who should be a bridesmaid based on silly things like "the areas of my life 'high school, college each year" - you don't have to organize your friends and your bridesmaids. I mean, I didn't, at the time I did feel close to all those girls. Today, however, I only regularly talk to one of them, my MOH doesnt ever speak to me anymore (I don't even know what I did, and I'm not the only one she's done that to), and I wished I'd chosen another girl I knew... All my friends were long distance ones at the time, but there were other options - even my SISTER... but we weren't really friends at the time. Tho her and a cousin came through at the last minute and sang a song for us for the ceremony, which was nice.

Food was a non issue. We had a lot of people again donating dishes for us, and a lot of people volunteer to take care of food. All we had to buy was sandwich meat (which was still one of the most expensive things in our entire wedding). AND my fiance ended up having to go pick it up the morning of the ceremony (I was oblivious because I was doing hair and whatnot).
ADVICE: outsource food. You don't have to pay someone to cater (unless you can afford it I guess), you can ask friends and family to just make a dish for a gift! It's actually a really fun idea and makes it really cheap and really simple. ;)

The previous year to getting married was a mess. I was trying to go my 3rd year of college. I had gone to a U of M school, then a state university, then a community college much closer to home. The first semester I was on campus, the 2nd I tried doing online courses. I was much too distracted, didn't have my own computer or internet, didn't end up buying many or even any of the books.. I can't even remember. I probably failed most of my courses. I don't even know. Sometime in the end of first semester, the place I was staying had a kid in charge while his dad lived in Florida. Despite my being in contact with him about payment, one weekend I returned and found he had moved all my things to the GARAGE. IN THE WINTER. It was a disaster. He literally just tossed everything, clothes and all, into a big pile in the dirty garage. I was devastated. Ruined my poster, my contacts (oh who cares, I hated them anyway, but I sure ripped him a new one, as did my in laws!)... 

I ended up moving in with some friends back home - my husbands best man. I was supposed to babysit their kids more often than I did, and probably clean house, but I was also distracted again with my upcoming marriage and probably said no too many times and I do feel bad about it.
 ADVICE FOR AN ASPIE: Take the year you plan your wedding OFF from any other big responsibilities like school. Your brain can only hold so much, and school on top of anxiety, making plans, etc. It will be too much, and something will give, and it will likely be school. At least it was in my experience.

I had my baby blanket all those years (I usually had it inside my pillowcase). I honestly do not know what happened to it between college and getting married. I don't know if I ever had it after I got married (we lived in a camper at my in laws for several months while we were waiting for our house to close). I've never seen it since. It haunts me. Seriously haunts me. I hate few things more than losing something without explanation. I almost just wish I knew what had happened to it because at least then I could be at peace that I know where it went. Heartbreaking.
ADVICE: If you have things that are special to you, box them away somewhere safe NOW. And, I mean somewhere genuinely safe, not in some persons storage camper/house/trailer. (Tho, maybe I had done that, there's a bit of a hoard going on at my in laws, and it could very well be there somewhere in some box that no one remembers about. There's just so much stuff that there is no way they could possibly know what it all is. Someday when they are dead and gone, if I run across it, I will be a little more than annoyed. Tho, they swear they knew where my stuff was all that time, and we've "looked" .... I'm not going to be convinced until I've seen it all. Heck, my parents house also has a bit of a hoard and it could possibly be there, but I've looked and not found it before, so I don't hold my breath.)

Oh - don't panic if you have to introduce someone to your husband and you cannot remember their name! I had been going through the whole line telling my husband everyone... and doing rather well. Got to one of my grandma's oldest brothers and I COMPLETELY BLANKED! It was just GONE. I know the guy really well - he was one of the great uncles and aunts that we saw quite often! And it was one I was embarrassed to have forgotten. But my brain was quite gone!
ADVICE: perhaps line up so that his parents are near you and your parents are near him and ask THEM to do introducing. That way, you can rest your brain about all the names and faces, and yet they all still get introduced.

Oh. My. Word. Photography.

Don't just let some family friend do it without seeing examples of their work. I probably could have told you the guy we had wasn't going to be adequate if I had seen his pictures. But I trusted my husband and his family, and it was FREE.
ADVICE: This is at least ONE area where you should never ever ever accept a free gift for your wedding. Unless you KNOW that the person is a pretty good photographer, have seen their work, and can prove they have done a good job for something in the past... This is NOT the time to save some money. Looking back, I would have gladly went and gotten a CREDIT CARD (and I DO NOT RECOMMEND DEBT) just so that I could have some good wedding pictures today.
See, we got married at a lake, facing the lake, which is beautiful in principle. In practice (and in pictures)? It was a nightmare. We are all washed out. The colors are dull, our faces are dark, and it was just no good for photography. A GOOD photographer, a professional photographer would have told me that turning around 180 degrees (or maybe even less) would provide a beautiful green lush background that would have made us stand out and look beautiful instead of being washed out. Although, most professional photographers would honestly have been able to do a better job of making sure we werent washed out too, whether it would have been a setting on their camera, or their bounce flashes or whatever. The mere availability of professional equipment can make the difference between horrible pictures and really good ones.

There are a precious few shots that are even good enough to make into an 8X10.

AND if you see that shot that you LOVE and it's someone else's picture, make sure you put your hands on it, and you get copies made YOURSELF instead of asking someone to do that for you. I had seen ONE picture of my husband as I was coming down the aisle. The shot I wanted. The shot that I ALWAYS make sure to get when I take wedding pictures. And I'm sure I told them to make me copies and I never saw it again. I should have put that thing in MY hand and made the copy myself. I can't even remember who it was that had the photo!

I still want to be able to fit in my dress and have really nice professional pictures taken. Maybe someday I will actually fit into my dress again. I didn't make it for my 10th, and I'm sure I won't for my 15th, but maybe the 20th will be right. :P 

I'm serious. If there is one thing you should make sure to truly invest in, it's photography. Everything else is eaten, broken and thrown away. But the photos last forever. At least, that's the intention.
Anyway, this is the kind of post where if you need something specific answered, please ask! I may remember more things than this, you just have to let me know what you want to know and I'll see if I can remember! I hope this post at least gives you a starting point to think about things surrounding your wedding if you have Aspergers. Try to relax, try to breathe and remember that with the exception of pictures, it doesn't last forever. It is just one day, and I don't advocate starting your new life together 20,000$ in debt like the average bride in the US. You do not have to have a huge expensive wedding. Our entire wedding was around 5000$, and most of that was the lunchmeat (most of which didn't get eaten, and I'm almost afraid it might still be in a hoard somewhere in a freezer ew).

Anyway, again, anything else you want to know? Just comment below!

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