The Waiting Game

As you may have gathered, we are in a holding pattern.

We filed the paperwork for Bean and I to move to America back in October.

It’s six months later and we haven’t heard anything. Whenever we do, it will only be for the government to authorise medical exams, interviews and Phase II of this long process.

Some days it’s easy to get on with our normal lives, knowing eventually this will all come to fruition.

Some days it is a crippling albatross which impedes even the smallest rays of hopeful productivity.

And one of my repeated hurdles is wedding planning.


When we filed for this visa, we decided to wait and get married in America. When it comes, it will give Bean permission to come to America with the express intention of getting married and then settling permanently.

Lots of people ask why we didn’t get married first and then file to emigrate.

We could have. We thought about it. But on top of logistical reasons, we wanted a fresh start. This way around, getting married feels like the first step of our new life there rather than the last act of our old life here.

At the time it seemed romantic. Now it sometimes blindly optimistic.

To plan a wedding from 5,000 miles away was always going to be a big job. When we don’t have any control over when that wedding might be, the task is quite possibly the 13th circle of organisational hell for this colour-coded, neatly logical, party-planning Nazi.

So now, while we wait and wait and check the mail a hundred times, we are constantly (lovingly, excitedly and kindly) asked from all sides about wedding plans we don’t have and can’t make.

On a good day it’s a nice thing to distract us.

On bad day it’s like pouring salt in a wound.


Boy. This turned into a downer, huh?

I started out with upbeat intentions. Honestly.

To show where we are at. To tell you how excited I am. To share the hope and dreams we have about the whole shebang.

I guess it’s all getting to me more than I realised. But let’s put aside the doldrums for today.


In all of this waiting and uncertainty, I’ve been thinking this morning about what is and isn’t possible.

It is not possible to set a date. Without knowing when Bean’ll be allowed in the country, or when we’ll even get our documents back from the government means I cannot book venues, plan licenses, or buy plane tickets.

It is not possible to plan the day. It could be a matter of weeks or a matter of months until we are confident about when and how our wedding will play out. The hotel Bean wants to go to might be booked up by the time we get clearance. The evening barbecue and bonfire I had in mind will not fly in unseasonable weather.

Anyway, my point is the stuff is unknowable.

And you know what?

Secretly, when I’m being my zen self,  that is a remarkable relief.

It would be too easy to be caught up in hair dos and napkin rings and worrying about the weather.

None of that matters. Not really.

The day we are granted leave to go to America and make our vows more than just lazy Sunday morning daydreams… that day will be the perfect day for a wedding. No matter where we sleep. Or what he wears. Or if it rains.

This limbo, for all its bumps, reminds me of my priorities.

And thankfully, it reminds me there are lots of things we can do while we wait. Some things remain constant through all of this.

We can still plan our ceremony. What will be said and how it will feel. Our vows and promises will be the same no matter where we stand.

We can still buy our rings. And when the day finally arrives, at least we’ll have the most important part of the outfit in the bag.

And probably most importantly, we can still make plans for our life on the other side of the ‘I Do’s.

You know, that whole marriage and immigration-to-start-a-new-life bit? That is the whole bloody point.

When I step back and really look, everything else melts into white noise.

Nothing about the linens and decor of this moveable feast matter half as much as the foundations we’re laying. And they deserve far more of my time and care than any social event, no matter how beautiful, meaningful or emotional.

At the end of the day, we’ll still be married with our whole lives ahead of us.

Whoa Nelly.

Wait a minute.

A Confession:

When I read sentences like that they always sound sad. At the end of the day, we’ll still be married.

As if I’m settling. As if it is lesser. Oh well, the wedding didn’t matter anyway… resigned, moan-y crap.

But that’s not what I mean at all.

What I mean is that the beauty and meaning of this whole business come from somewhere intangible.

Let’s face it, even if for some wildly unlikely reason we only get 12 hours between receiving the proper government stamps and saying our vows, it’ll still be a beautiful, emotional, meaningful event.

I mean come on. We have beautiful, meaningful exchanges when we get caught in the rain or lost on country roads. I have no doubt about the Awesomeness of our wedding, whatever day it lands on.

And it will be magical, even if it has less catering and more jetlag than anticipated.

Whatever shape it takes, it will be an event where we commit to those uncertain, unpredictable, messy, unknowable lives which feel distant and hazy, but are vibrantly real in the most profound ways.


And when it is right, it will be just right.

And when it is now, we wait.


PS ~ the photo at the top of this post is from the magic lens of The Nichols, an amazing husband-and-wife team of photographers.

If you know anyone getting married in Texas, or, you know, anyone rich enough to fly in photographers, you should hire them. They totally rock.

2 Responses to “The Waiting Game”
  1. D says:

    Great post.Thanks a lot


  2. Anika says:

    Oh, Sara bara, how incredibly frustrating. Stuck on hold for this huge life event because of stupid bureaucracy, your life plans not being on your own timeline. It sucks, it well and truly sucks.

    Just know I’m happy to help with ANY and all wedding planning on this side of the pond. I’ve been told I’m quite good at it 🙂


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