On Fairytales and Happily Ever Afters

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I can’t remember the first time I thought about my wedding, but I’m sure that means that it was a really long time ago. Maybe it was the first time I saw Cinderella and she got her happily ever after. Maybe it was the first time I saw a wedding in a church. Who knows, really? I do know that I have been planning my wedding for as long as I can remember. I think lots of girls do. I know that some girls don’t even really think about their weddings when they’re little, but I always did – and I still do. 

When I was little, my family lived in Charlotte, North Carolina – about two hours from Asheville. Located in Asheville, there is a huge mansion built by the Vanderbilt family called The Biltmore House. I don’t remember the first time I visited, but I do know that ever since then, I knew it would be the place I would get married someday.

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I do remember a particular visit when there was a wedding happening on the front lawn. It was gorgeous – curtains draped across beautiful columns, a purple carpet running down the aisle, and the bride looked exactly like a princess. That’s what I wanted.

As I got older, my little princess, fairy tale dreams never strayed far from Biltmore. Every time we were in the area, we had to go back. I constantly looked at pictures of the house, set perfectly in the stunning Carolina mountains. I even wrote a research paper on the estate when I was in middle school.

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My parents recently moved back to Charlotte when I moved to Ann Arbor. This past summer, I forced my family to visit the estate at least three or four times. When I was home for Christmas break, I made my dad bring me. The Christmas decorations were still up in front of the house, and we stood across the lawn, waiting for the sun to set and the lights to come on. I was half-jokingly telling him all the details of my future wedding. This would go here and that would go there. He turned to me and said “You know, you have to like actually find a guy first, Syd.” I laughed it off. “Details, details. That’s part of the dream, Daddy.” 

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The guy was never really something more than a blur in a black suit. It was part of the dream. You know, it would just fall into place, right? It made me think a little bit. In every other sense, I consider myself a pretty mature individual. I focus on my studies and participate in “grown up” things in my free time (does working and eating dinner I cook for myself count as grown up?), but at the end of the day, you can find me crying in my room on Pinterest looking at pictures of weddings in the Gardens of Biltmore, narrowing down my dress options, picking out my flower arrangements, just like a little girl again without a care in the world (at least not about boys)

More importantly, I am okay with that. I’m okay with waiting for a fairytale, and I think more people should be.

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