Women are known to be catty. And manipulative. And crazy. While the majority of us are completely sane, compassionate, and wonderful, there definitely is a population of loons that we all need to look out for. Weddings bring out the terrible traits far more than any other event or time in a woman’s life.
Little girls are taught that their wedding day is their day. While this is somewhat true-they are the center of attention for the day-they do not, in fact, own that date. I have been married for 2 years now. Thank God. If I had to do the whole wedding planning and wedding scene over again, there would be a lot of dead bodies to hide. I do feel for my friends who are now starting to catch up to me with their nuptials. So ladies, this one is for you.
1. You do not own anything: You do not own the date, or the colors, or the theme. You may have some really clever ideas about some real out there theme or some neat favors. But you don’t own June 18th. This is your special event-your special time… not your day.
2. There are like a bazillion brides getting married this year. And next year. And the year after that. You can’t get it in your head that you’re the only bride in the world. I know you want to feel special-and you should! This is a very special time in your life! But you’re not alone. And you’re not the only one to be doing this.
3. That being said, Be nice to other brides. You are more or less in the same boat. No one died and made you queen. At expos, in conversation, and in general, be pleasant and polite. You might make a friend, or more importantly, keep a friend from it. It might make you feel better that someone else is going through the same craziness and stresses that you are. It is nice to have someone to relate to.
4. Everyone has a different love story. When meeting other brides or when friends turn into fellow brides, don’t judge their love. You may have been with hubby for 6 years while your fellow bride has only been with hers for 9 months. That’s ok. They are entitled to marriage just like you are. Love is love, my friend. They might have had different circumstances (i.e. they were in a different point in their life when they met each other) that allowed them a quicker way down the aisle. Don’t discount them.
5. Please, please, please- Be mindful of other people’s time and money. You can get married in Maui, on the top of a mountain, or at the most chic restaurant Boston has to offer. If you’ve got the money to burn, go for it! But if you want everyone to have matching Louboutins, to bring you to Aruba for your bachelorette, and you only register for Tiffany’s, you’re dreaming. People want to celebrate with you and they want to give you gifts. Now if you’re anything like me (normal 😉 of course), you’ve got friends and relatives that might hit every income level. Make sure you give a little consideration to everyone involved so to not burden or embarrass anyone.
5. Register for that mixer. And for those little things, too. When I was registering, I actually got embarrassed when the woman at the stores kept trying to get me to register for big ticket items. A $200+ knife set? Puh-leez. I couldn’t do that to anyone. A $350+ mixer?? Oh, no way! But yes, yes way! Sometimes people are generous or they would like to go in on a big item with family or friends. I got both the knife set and the mixer. Also, don’t forget to register for items that are smaller like spatulas and baking accessories. People that don’t have a heck of a lot to give can buy these things for you and still feel like you are getting what you want. On the same note, register at a couple of different places. It is the worst when you only have one store to choose from. Do 2 or 3, a lower-end/box store, a mid-range department store, and a more upscale store would be great. You’ll get some great gifts and people of all incomes can find something for you.
6. Back to the date thing. Like I said before, you don’t own the date. You also don’t own the month or the season. If you have a friend or a family member that is engaged and trying to pick a date, don’t shit on them because they want a summer wedding, too. The only time this becomes an issue is if your fellow bride is a family member and family will need to travel far to get there. This kind of happened to me. My hubby’s cousin got engaged two months before we did. I thought I was being nice and let her pick her date before I picked mine (why? I don’t know.). So after a while, she finally picked May. I wanted June ideally so I thought it would be fine. Nope. She picked the end of May and their family threw a fit because their family apparently would not come to both weddings. (Mind you, they were all local and travel was not an issue but I could see this being an issue if family needed to travel say from Virginia to Maine twice in a 30 day period). I was really bummed but I picked the end of August so that it wasn’t scorching hot and it gave their family enough time to recouperate for another wedding. Moral of the story? Hubby’s cousin and her fiance broke up and their wedding never happened. It would have been fine if we hadn’t placed a considerable amount of money down as a non-refundable deposit for our venue.
If you want a summer wedding-have a summer wedding. If you want a beach themed wedding, have a beach themed wedding. One thing you have to remember is that even if you are family, the other side (spouse’s side) is going to be different at each wedding. And you probably have different friends as well. And if you’re friends, you probably have different family. So even if your weddings are almost identical, No One Will Know… Or Care. Uncle Bob has no idea what a sand ceremony is and is probably only thinking of when dinner is going to be served… so relax!
7. Your wedding, your opinion, your decision. While you may not own anything here (date, colors, theme, etc), it is your event and your time as a couple to celebrate and be celebrated. Most people only have one shot for this thing so make sure you are out to please yourself. Personally, I got some great advice from a friend before planning my wedding. “Don’t listen to anyone else. Just smile and do what you want anyways”. I felt like my hands were
shackled tied when it came to most things so I didn’t follow her advice as much as I should have. It really is the best advice. People have opinions about everything and especially with weddings, they aren’t afraid to share them. Women especially have it in their head that what they say should matter. Maybe their wedding wasn’t the greatest or because they did something 20 years ago one way, you should too. Smile, be polite, and graciously thank them for their input. Then go do what you want anyways (as long as it doesn’t endanger anyone and you’re not doing it out of spite).
- If you have always dreamed of having a summer wedding but your sister says it is too hot, maybe it will be warm but if that is what you want-book that July wedding.
- Your mother-in-law wants to invite her 2nd cousins but you don’t have the room? Explain to her that you don’t have the room to invite them but you would love it if they could come to a party down the road and celebrate then. This may not go over well and your MIL might threaten not to come to the wedding (don’t do us any favors). If this is the case, too bad. Because her 2nd cousins might not even show up.*
- Your own mom doesn’t want a certain theme because it isn’t her thing. Explain that it is important to you and that you’d like to do it that way.**
Of course, these are all WAY easier said than done but in the end, who is going to remember this day as such a big part of their lives. YOU. They had their fun (usually) and now it is your turn.
Ultimately, you’re the bride and you’re in charge. Don’t ask anyone’s permission to do something for your own wedding.
All I am asking is please be mindful of others (brides included) and at the same time make your wedding YOURS. Be nice and do your own thing ladies. Weddings turn people into territorial bitches. Don’t let this happen to you-everyone deserves their own special time. Your wedding will be lovely, and so will you, so go enjoy it 🙂
*Personal experience. I had 5 seats to fill after being bullied into inviting people I had never even met. This meant hubby’s friends and mine couldn’t be invited. How embarrassing to call the day of the wedding to see if people are available to come?? After being completely mortified, my mother invited some co-workers who ended up coming and having a GREAT time.
**My parents graciously and generously helped out with the cost of the reception. Other brides who have this generosity may feel like they have to do everything their benefactors say. While this is true, be respectful and see what you can compromise on. If you’re paying for the wedding yourself do whatever you want. Your time, your money, your decision.