Re-reading my previous post makes me realise: the main thing that I hadn't expected was that I would become 'a bride', with all the connotations that involves. Not that brides have to put their hair up or spend 150 quid on shoes. But that's just what's happened for me.
Discussing this with friends at a hen do last weekend, a few engaged and recently-married ladies were talking with a girl who was yet to be engaged. She sounded like me of a year and a half ago: "I don't want the fuss, I don't want any of the traditions, I just want it really low key, I want to do it my way..."
Every single one of the engaged/married ladies said the same thing. They were like that too. They were embarrassed by being a 'bride to be' and they wanted to do it differently. Then they realised, that as Becca said in the comments to my last post, that the things that you want to reject are the things that make it a wedding. It took a while for me to realise that people love weddings and that I might love one too. Once we'd realised we wanted to have a wedding, not just the 'big party' that had been initially suggested, then there were some things that couldn't be rejected.
During the same conversation, I also posited the point that a wedding wasn't just your day. You were the reason for it, but it's also for everyone else. I'm still haunted by a comment from my mum in the early days, which made me feel like the most selfish bride to be in the world - everything I'd thought I was escaping by doing it another way.
Me: We aren't going to have cake. We're just going to have cheese.
Mum: [disappointment and huge sadness in her voice] No cake?
Me: Yes, you can have cheese, like a cake. It's really cool.
Mum: [sadly] But... people like cake...
Yes, and of course, the crucial detail. My mum doesn't like cheese. What was her daughter doing? How could I be so inconsiderate? I felt like the worst sort of bride, demanding that people bow to her will and do things HER WAY. You can fight for what you want. But it's a shame if that makes other people sad.
Another friend, due to be married in a month, said that now the initial fuss had died down, she was looking forward to getting married more than anything. And not just to getting married, but to being married and to celebrating it.
Anyway. Three and a half months to go, I'm finally embracing it.