“A broad spectrum of things alive.”

Life has a truth to it, and it’s complicated—it’s love and it’s hatred. Love and hatred don’t take turns; they exist side by side at the same time. And one’s duty, one’s obligation every day, is to choose to follow the nobler one. And if the nobler one is something one can’t pursue, then the lesser, the ignoble one, is what is left. It’s there. It’s present. There are things that make us choose, on certain days, on certain nights, the opposite of love, in all its variations. But I want to acknowledge that with love and hate it’s not simply one or the other. It’s at least two, three, four, five different emotions existing at once, side by side, a broad spectrum of things alive. -Jamaica Kincaid

This beautiful backyard wedding cost over $36,000. Wowzers. I mention this because seeing the budget helped me see my own wedding in rather clearer perspective; not that I think mine will be objectively “better” or “worse” (words that should never be applied in a comparative sense to different couples’ weddings), but because it made me think: there is no perfect solution to any problem.

A wedding is not a problem per se, but it ignites a dizzying chain of problems. Is it expensive enough? Cheap enough? Local enough? Exotic enough? Pre-fab, or handmade? Intimate, or inclusive? Everyone has an opinion. And women are held responsible both for the making and execution of weddings, and thus women usually find themselves in a very uncomfortable but familiar place: that of a rock and a hard place.

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