Craig and I had a small engagement party last night with our bridal party, a few mutual friends and our families. We went to the horse races in Grand Prairie and rented a suite for everyone to enjoy the races and then the Cross Canadian Ragweed concert afterwards. The only people that were missing was my middle brother Michael who lives in Maine and my Matron of Honor Amy who also lives in Maine (but not with my brother...that would be weird).
Although the evening turned out great - everyone had a fun time watching the races, talking with one another and eating the delicious food - I started out the day not too happy. At 3:30 I was still lying in bed without any make-up or even a shower telling Craig to go to our engagement party alone without me. I just had a great deal of anxiety about the whole situation. I'm not the type of girl that gets really excited and giddy about wedding planning or celebrating - I'm more meticulous and coordinated in my general approach to life and I'm more concerned about planning and making sure everything is right rather than excited about the whole process and being a "bride."
And surprisingly...it's very difficult for me to be the center of attention. My bridesmaid Kate provided a very funny anecdote about me last night upon seeing a picture of me about to go to my first dance class. In Kate's words "Laura was very precise and exact in her movements on stage, but you could tell she wasn't enjoying it." It made me giggle, but at the same time, I think it provides great insight into my personality. I was always so comfortable on the court playing sports in front of people, but not in a dance recital-type atmosphere. I guess it was the whole "seeing your audience staring back at you" thing that bothered me. During a basketball game, I was just one of ten players all mixed up on the court and I was too focused on playing the game than noticing the crowd.
I just don't want people to be disappointed in me as a bride. I'm not going to be the type that oohs and ahs over everything bridal and I'm also not going to do things according to what's considered proper. I have always been independent and done things my own way - regardless of the potential outcome, and I plan on creating our wedding with the same attitude.
I just want to be Craig's wife and at the end of the day, yes...I want it to be beautiful and memorable, but I also don't want to have the wedding run my life because if that's what happens, I won't focus on what happens AFTER the wedding - the marriage.
And by the way...at this time (9:19 pm) in nine months, Craig and I will be dancing, drinking and eating at our wedding!
BUT. Despite all my fears (that everyone wouldn't get along or have a good time) and my anxieties (about being the center of attention or a bad bride)...everything turned out great. Craig did a fantastic job of setting up a wonderful evening for our bridal party and families. I don't think any great fortunes were made, but hopefully it was a memorable evening otherwise. I think the funniest thing was when my five year old nephew was so intently cheering for a certain horse because if that horse "gets first, second or third my mommy wins money!" I don't think of it as teaching the wicked habit of gambling, but instead a proper lesson on chance and probablity. Perhaps the most delightful treat of the night was Craig's Uncle Tim, his dad's younger brother, driving into town from Abilene for the evening to take pictures of the event! Uncle Tim is a freelance photographer that lends his talent and skills to documenting local events around Abilene and is currently moving towards weddings and senior portraits. We were really blessed to have him there and also have such great records of our evening!