I recently fled screaming, internally, from a wedding dress shop. Don’t worry, I haven’t ditched my fiancée, changed the locks and started an affair with a swarthy gentleman by the name of Pablo. I’ve never even seriously considered it.
As soon as I stepped through the door I knew something was wrong. I could tell from the shivers down my spine as corsets, trains, veils and tiaras were discussed that this was a mistake. I’d killed my inner princess in a power-struggle years ago and my wedding day didn’t seem like the right time to reanimate her mutilated corpse.
The visit was finally declared over when, with me stood in an – admittedly very nice – white dress, my friend uttered these inspired words: ‘It’s nice, but you look like you’re going to a fancy dress party as a bride.’ Surprised at her own outburst she went on to insist I would be the belle of the fancy dress ball, but nevertheless she’d hit upon an important point. Not only did I feel like I was being dressed by a blank-faced robot woman (I was) but that I was being jammed into a cut-out of a bride that didn’t fit. It pinched in all the wrong places.
Are you also struggling to get your over-sized foot into that glass slipper? Step away for a second and ask yourself if you actually want the risk of cut feet and horrific stains on that white dress.
We’re all different in our own special way, aren’t we? Instead of shoving yourself into a ready-made wedding, use your big day to celebrate you as a couple, albeit a more beautiful, polished you.
It’s not all about the bride, or the groom for that matter
Unless you’re marrying a cardboard cut-out, which isn’t a horrible idea, your husband (or wife) to-be will have something to contribute. Don’t only involve them when you can’t decide between two choices of napkin. Presumably they love you and have some amazing ideas that will be both idiotic and inspired.
Having a BBQ instead of a sit down meal? Yes. Selling burgers to your guests? No. These were both actual suggestions from the future Mr Leveque, which proves that not all ideas are good ideas.
Planning can be quality time spent together, use it wisely. Plan from bed. Go on dates to try out cake. Hold hands as you listen to unsuitable bands. You know you’re doing well when everyone around you collapses into nausea-induced comas.
Image by Mysi
Plan to Fail
The quicker you accept it’s not going to be perfect the better. There probably won’t be a huge cataclysmic disaster (like this and this) but there are bound to be some minor niggles. In fact if you expect them, they won’t even cause a delay, let alone a complete derail, of the wedding train. You won’t notice on the day if the glasses don’t match the theme, as you’ll be swept along on a wave of lovely love.
Money, indeed, can’t buy you love
I’m not saying that expensive weddings are any less meaningful than DIY budget ones, just that that a large budget is going to be no substitute for some careful thought about what will make it the almost-perfect day for you. That may be a Broadway-scale homage to your favourite musical, complete with dancing girls, or a Doctor Who theme with cardboard Daleks.
It’s difficult to say this without sounding like a Clinton Card’s insert but your wedding plans should reflect your personalities and your relationship, whatever brand of weird and wonderful that is.
I don’t like cake
My mother: What kind of cake are you going to have?
Me: I’m not sure we’re having a cake.
Me: I don’t eat cake. I don’t like cake.
Mother: But what will you cut when you cut the cake?
Years ago I overheard a bride-to-be discussing her wedding make-up. She informed her nodding friend that it was difficult getting used to looking like a Russian prostitute when she hardly ever wears make-up in real-life. She then uttered the saddest thing I’ve ever heard come out of woman’s mouth: ‘it’s what people do, isn’t it?’ My refusal to accept this much-spoken mantra led to the confusing conversation with my mother.
Thankfully the internet is a wonderful place where individuals are celebrated. Websites such as offbeat bride are a great collection of people making their weddings personal and unique. Just because you want it to be individual, doesn’t mean you can’t steal someone else’s idea and claim it as your own. Just don’t invite them to the do, and they’ll never find out.
Whatever you want, whatever you’ve dreamed of, my advice would be to continually question why.
Don’t we need to invite Great Aunt Polly and anyone she’s ever met? Why?
Shouldn’t I have a legion of bridesmaids? Why?
Remember, the answer ‘because that’s just what people do,’ is simply not good enough.
Featured article image by Image by Mysi