It’s going to be a bright fall day with the leaves slowly turning to shades of amber and rust. Five of my closest female friends will stand beside me in elegant cranberry gowns holding rich bouquets of calla lilies and roses. My sweeping gown adorned with intricate beading will twinkle as I walk down the aisle on the arm of my father, ready in both mind and spirit to say “I do” to my groom.
I’ve replayed this plotline in my head countless times, ever since the days of “Pretty Pretty Princess” games and dress-up. Even before my very own Mr. Right entered my life when I joined CatholicMatch, the details of my wedding day always unfolded clearly in my mind. For many members of CatholicMatch, thoughts of a future wedding are still top of mind, even when a future spouse has yet to step on to the scene.
A recent CatholicMatch poll shows that more than 45 percent of members envision their wedding day. Thirty eight percent say they have a few ideas in mind, while 7 percent say they have a detailed plan in mind. On the other end of the spectrum, 30 percent of the 1,463 respondents responded with, “No way! Who would plan a wedding without a spouse in mind?”
These results show a broad spectrum of thoughts on wedding planning during dating years, but even more telling are the demographics behind the results. Nearly 45 percent of those who said they had a few ideas in mind for their future wedding day were women, and more than half are in the 18- to 25-year-old age range.
It’s the younger women who are most likely to have detailed wedding visions, and as a not-yet engaged woman who fits in that age bracket, I have to say, I’m not surprised. Women, in general, are more likely to aspire for the white ball gown, the beautiful flowers and the striking venue — and to make that happen, months or even years of planning have to occur. I would guess that the majority of men would rather skip a lengthy and perhaps stressful engagement and opt for a simple ceremony and reception a few months down the road to avoid those decisions.
And it’s in our early 20s that females assume that our years of dreaming, hoping and planning will finally come into play. With college degrees, first jobs and goals for the future, we subconsciously plan for an engagement and wedding. But life doesn’t always go as planned, which may explain why many older members do not envision their future wedding day.
“I’m not sure what I’m looking for,” Monica-429294 commented on the poll. “At one time I had planned out what my wedding would be, but now life happened, two husbands happened and having cancer two times happened, so I don’t know now.”
For other members, the frustrations of many years of dating threaten the hope for marriage.
“I can’t even find women to talk to, so why bother dreaming about a wedding day that most likely will never happen?” commented Derick-484028.
I, too, have wrestled with the notion that perhaps my dream wedding will never become a reality, but my experience on CatholicMatch changed my life completely. I now trust that my call to marriage will one day come to fruition. I may be a part of that female demographic who is dutifully outlining a plan for a perfect wedding day, but I know that the true preparation I need is not related to a timeline, a vendor or a budget. Single, dating or engaged, we need to prepare for a holy marriage, and that goes beyond any wedding day vision.
CatholicMatchers, do you envision your wedding day? Do you think it’s impractical or imprudent to think about your wedding as a single person?