Adam was clear from the start that he doesn't want to do a speech and he wants to say as little as possible in the ceremony. So when I looked at sample wedding ceremonies and saw that readings by the couple is customary, I knew all along that it was going to be a problem.
My first thought was if we stuck with someone else’s wedding ceremony wording instead of writing our own vows, that would be easier. But it’s not just the writing that is the issue; it’s speaking in front of people. So my next worry was that if he did it, he'd be more nervous the whole wedding ceremony. So to soften the blow I worked really hard to find something meaningful that was only 4 lines long. I wrote our wedding program over a year ago, and I’ve been very proud of it all this time. But a couple weeks ago I realized that it doesn't matter how short that reading is; if I ask him to do it he's still going to say no.
I thought I’d try to ease him into it, so in the week since he asked me to find a Justice of the Peace, I've been sharing bits of the program with him. It’s been tough going so slowly through it with him, but I tried very hard to be patient because I didn’t want to get into a fight over the readings issue.
So tonight after doing 2 parts, I continued my efforts to be patient and respect the fact that he didn’t want to talk about wedding stuff for a half hour. So I said, "Do you want to look at one more part, of leave it for the night?" But instead of saying, “Yeah, I’ve had enough,” he said “Let’s look at one more.”
But I couldn't do it.
I skipped over it to look at a part I felt like he'd be more open to. And he was! He liked the rose ceremony better than the idea of a sand ceremony. That part of the wedding talk went well. And that's when I realized there's never going to be a good time to bring this up. He doesn't want to do it and it doesn't matter if he's in a good mood, he's not going to suddenly "forget" that he doesn't want to. And do I REALLY want to try and force him to say some loving words that he doesn't want to say?
It would be better if he could just relax and enjoy our wedding ceremony and at the end say, "This really was nice; I'm glad we did it." Or something else sweet that he says that day, in his own words, just off the cuff some time after the ceremony once he's feeling relaxed and having a nice time. That would be much more meaningful and unforgettable than forcing him to say a few lines that I picked out for him in front of people. Like he said, he's already marrying me, and saying the vows in front of people. For someone with social anxiety, that's plenty. We have nothing to prove. People aren't going to be thinking, "What?! They didn't do any readings?! What a huge oversight!" Nah, they'll be happy that it's nearly time to eat, haha.
So I'm okay with it now. This WAS important to me, and suddenly it's not anymore. Maybe it's because we've gone over almost the whole wedding program script at this point and I'm happy that he's been fine with everything I've picked out so far; so I realized it was time for me to compromise. Or maybe it's because I am feeling more confident that this wedding will be beautiful so there's no reason to over complicate it. And this would have made things really complicated, created animosity, and I just don't need it. I would much rather keep Adam happy than have 100% of the prescribed wedding ceremony. So much so that I even went through the other readings and took out a few lines so that it would be even a little bit shorter. Not much. But Adam started to question the length of the ceremony so again, so why not. I kept all the sentiments I wanted, I just cut out the verbiage. I want to make this work for both of us.