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Celebrate the Wedding That Wasn't on Nearly Beloved Day
The letterpress invitation came with a strange pang of jealousy—Rachel was my first friend to be getting married. I was happy for her, and a little surprised—we were all so young still!—and taken with the romance of it. A month or so later, a sheepish email followed. They had amicably decided not to go through with it after all. They just weren’t ready to be married. Eep! I didn’t know the fiancé, didn’t know what to say. Maybe this was sad news, or maybe secretly great news? Maybe it meant I got a refund on the Crate and Barrel salad bowl?
Happy events we know how to celebrate. Weddings, new babies, Bar Mitzvahs. Got it. There’s a whole infrastructure in place: what to wear, what to say, what favors to dispense. But when it comes to the bummer times, it’s easy to feel a little lost. Recently people have begun throwing Divorce Parties, so why not a Nearly Beloved Day?
Jen Girdish writes for Good about how she celebrated her cancelled wedding day, jumping off the train of a bad relationship. She found that after all the wedding planning and emotional drama, her friends and family “weren’t exhausted. They wanted to party.” It was then that Girdish considered “the idea that my social obligations to my cancelled engagement were not over. Was I expected to do something on the day I was supposed to get married?” Her friends had suggestions: close-call games like Dodgeball or limbo; a party with a wedding dress on a crucifix. (Read the essay for the sweet way they celebrated that day, and Girdish’s real life happily-ever-after.) In the end, she was relieved she’d escaped the failing relationship before going through with the wedding—Kim Kardashian, are you listening? —and happy to be celebrating her new life.
As for my friend Rachel, a few years ago I attended her wedding. It was a lovely affair in a forest, one of those parties were everyone seems happy, sure of a good thing happening. The groom was the same man she’d almost married years earlier. The time was finally right.
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