How “all about the bride” is not about the bride at all

Guest post by EMedKC
Photo by Wild About You Photography

I first noticed it when my best friend got married.

She was super-invested in the wedding, the gathering of friends, the party, the fun — but not the details, and really not the planning. It's not her style. And yet, at her rehearsal, the chaplain said, “We will all stay here until we get things right and, most importantly, the bride is happy.”

“The Bride” shrugged as if to say “I'm not the one you need to please,” and the chaplain looked almost offended.

Later that evening, I referred to her as “the bride.” She sighed and said “I can't wait until next week when I can just be me again.” I never called her “the bride” again, but I didn't really get it.

Now I'm “the bride.” Now I get it.

I knew going into wedding planning that there would be a lot of cooks in the kitchen, so to speak, and that my fiance and I would have to fight for what we wanted. Don't get me wrong, I have an “it takes a village” mentality toward weddings, and I am delighted to compromise, sacrifice, and juggle to make a large number of people happy. But we knew there would be a few things where we just couldn't compromise and would have to put our collective foot down. I offered, early on, to be the bad guy in these situations, since I could just say “I'm the bride, and this is what I want.”

Turns out, no one cares if I'm the bride unless I want what “the bride” is supposed to want in their minds. “I” have been erased from the process.

Let me give you some examples…

We are having two children (niece and nephew) in our ceremony, and I have learned that I have family members who believe that children are a distraction in a ceremony because “they take attention away from the bride, and it's the bride's day.” “I'm the bride!” I protest, “and I want children in my wedding.” I am met with blank stares.

Or how about the time I said I'd be more comfortable doing my own makeup? “Oh, but you must have it done professionally, all eyes will be on you! It's all about you.” “Yeah, and I can do my own makeup better than some professionals and want to look like myself.” “But you're the bride, you have to get your makeup done!”

Or “we are going to have boardgames at the wedding.” “But, this is your day, why would you want anything to distract from that?” “Because I love board games and will want to play them.” “No, everyone wants to watch you dance. It's your day!”

In short, “my day” (a phrase I hate anyway since it takes at least two to get married) is being morphed into something that has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with other people's preconceptions of what a bride wants.

I'm not surprised that people balk at the more creative, anti-Wedding Industry Complex ideas. But when it gets to the point that I tell them what I — the bride — wants, and they say “but the bride can't want that,” then it's clearly not about me.

It's about pretending to put me — put any woman — on a pedestal while we're actually being stuffed into a box. It can only be about “me” when I conform to what others want. God forbid, apparently, that I be a smart, independent, creative woman with ideas of my own.

I'm not surprised by this from some professionals — some think it's their job to sell me what they think I should want. But I am horrified by how many of my loved ones — particularly the self-described offbeat ones — used “all about the bride” to erase me. It's unintentional many times, but it's still there.

And that is not okay.

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Comments on How “all about the bride” is not about the bride at all

  1. Love this. I think you very eloquently expressed a very important point. One size does not fit all – and it shouldn’t. Every person gets to decide what’s best for them. And I believe that wedding planning is a good time to practice asserting that.

  2. This is such a great post. The title “bride” sometimes seems to take on a life of its own, having little or nothing to do with the person the title has been ascribed to. Sometimes you just want to look at those people (even the well-meaning ones) and ask, “do you HEAR yourself?!” Kudos to you for bringing attention to this and reminding us that WE need to define what “bride” means to each of us and how big of a role that title should be playing in our lives.

    On a side note….is the picture at the top from a featured wedding on OBB? I can’t seem to find it..and I want to see more! Those wings are fabulous.

  3. This is exactly what happened to me when my family forced me into having a church wedding. I did it to make them happy but really the entire process made me miserable.

  4. This couldn’t be more true, and so well written. I’ve known all along my family and I would have different ideas of how I should have my wedding, especially having just gone through my brother’s wedding planning a year ago. I wasn’t quite expecting people to insist I didn’t really know what I wanted, though. Nor was I was quite expecting a reaction of “What?! But you have to!!” when I told an aunt I didn’t think I wanted to have a Maid of Honor. No, I don’t have to actually.

  5. “Turns out, no one cares if I’m the bride unless I want what “the bride” is supposed to want in their minds.”

    I’ve felt exactly the same way. I haven’t felt catered to during this process like I expected all brides were catered to. Instead I find myself adjusting to confirm to society’s/their standards.

    On a lighter note: board games at your wedding sounds like a blast! My partner had the same idea. How are you planning to set them up?

    • We have a table next to the door of our reception venue. On one side of the table we have a basket full of flip flops that says “feet hurt? Try these magic flip flops, they make you dance!” We have a basket on the other side of the table full of games (checkers, candy land, ticket to ride, Jenga, etc) that says “don’t like to dance? Find a friend and play some games!” We then have a smaller basket labeled “kids only” full of coloring books and toys for the little ones.

  6. I think the only time that I ever referred to myself as “the bride” was when cutting the line in the photobooth at my wedding. and really I think I just yelled “bridal cuts” as I jumped into it.

    Side note, games at weddings are AMAZING. People will legit play them and enjoy them and remember your wedding as “that awesome one where I played Cards Against Humanity”

    • People still talk about the epic game of Cards Against Humanity at our wedding. At the end of the night (1am) we had to kick out the people playing Cards.

  7. I absolutely agree, and I’ve been facing a lot of similar issues. I think you nailed it: Whatever the bride (because WIC still assumes a bride marrying a groom) wants is the most important thing, BUT the bride is supposed to want the things the WIC thinks she should want.

    I’ve been dealing with this a lot because I’m not wearing a white dress. There are all these options I’m supposed to have (fabrics, styles, embellishments, accessories), and I’m supposed to feel gorgeous and amazing, etc. But for me, that means wearing a color that makes me feel gorgeous and amazing. And for a lot of people, that was just not okay, even though they kept talking about how important it was to appease the bride.

    Same thing happened when I didn’t want a bridal shower.

  8. I just discovered some of this last night when I was going over some details with my mom. Before I knew it, about 15 people were suddenly being invited even though I’d never met them, I was once again chastised/attempted guilting over my venue choice (too far from the bride’s family…even though it happens to be where FH and I currently live), and apparently I’m just being too nice and soft-hearted when it comes to menu (accomodating vegetarians, since my MoH is one, but “they can just eat the side dishes or a large salad”) and not wanting to drive between ceremony and reception… which is as much for my and FH’s convenience as anyone else’s.

  9. Yes times a million! I’ve just been ‘the bride’ and I lost count of the number of times someone would say ‘it’s all about you’ or ‘it’s what the bride needs’ and I would look at them and think ‘the bride needs to be left the fuck alone because she’s also got a bunch of other stuff on besides this wedding, which, by the way, involves marrying a second, equally important person who is also able to speak, listen, communicate and have an opinion…and, oh, right, your question? No, I doubt very much this bride is going to regret not having a videographer/first dance/flower centrepieces’. And yet, I still knew that they really cared, and they did want it to go well, and they did it out of love. It was just a bit misguided.

    “But I am horrified by how many of my loved ones — particularly the self-described offbeat ones — used “all about the bride” to erase me. It’s unintentional many times, but it’s still there.”

    I love this post because it absolutely hits the nail on the head when it comes to the idea of the bride’s day. It took a lot of soul-searching and upset before it hit me that (especially where parents are contributing) the ceremony can be almost totally for the couple, but all the trappings? People might say it’s for the bride, but really, it’s often what the bride and groom are doing to ensure that they can celebrate the expectations of their parents/loved ones. OBB is wonderful in that more couples here are much more willing to say ‘fuck it’ to tradition and expectations, but we all still have to manage the expectations of parents and siblings and friends that only truly emerge when the word ‘wedding’ comes up.

  10. My wedding is this weekend and so I can relate to this post based on how many texts and emails I’ve gotten saying “Three more days! AREN’T YOU EXCITED?!?!?!?!” I’m actually pretty mellow, but I respond with “YES OMGGGGGG” because otherwise it’s kind of a letdown for them.

    • I can totally relate to this. I’m 50 days away from my wedding and every time someone comes to me and says: “OMG it’s so close!!!” I really just want to look at them and say: “Please leave me alone.” But I have to sound really excited and happy about everything. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy… I’m so looking foward to the ceremony and reception. But at this moment I’m so tired of all the family drama, stress and crisis about the very small things that I really just want everything to be over as soon as possible. It’s sad, I know.

    • Oh god this.

      I’m two weeks out and I’ve been getting the “Only x more days! I’m so excited!!! You excited???” thing about 3 times a day for the last fortnight and its just getting worse.

      Sorry, I’m not really at all excited, it mostly makes me think of all the things I still want to get done. I smile and make squee noises for their benefit, but really every time someone does that I feel a slightly stronger urge to puke on their shoes.

      I’m glad you’re looking forward to it, personally I’m really really really fucking busy, but thanks for making me think about it yet again during that brief time I was probably thinking of a different thing altogether!

      Edit: I’m very much looking forward to approximately 7pm THAT DAY when what’s done is done and I can let go of what’s unfinished,get the GOOD part underway, and just BE THERE IN THE MOMENT, but right now the intervening two weeks are looming MUCH larger.

  11. So true! This happened to my friend. She didn’t want anyone to watch her get dressed which I totally understand but her bridesmaids argued with her because they were “supposed to” watch the bride dress. So the bm’s watched her dress while she felt uncomfortable.
    It really does take something of your identity away from you. Instead of getting what you want, you get what you’re supposed to want.

    • Since when? I thought the ‘usual’ way was for the bride to have her hair and makeup done then go to somewhere private to get dressed (maybe with one other person to help if it’s a big dress) and then come out for a big overall reveal.
      I feel so bad for your friend. This is what I find ridiculous all these ‘must haves’ and ‘supposed tos’ seem to be someones complete fantasy…

  12. Yes yes yes. I am there. RIGHT THERE. The wedding is 10 days away, and people are stressing out about all kinds of things that I just could not care less about. And they seem shocked when I don’t really have an opinion about it.

  13. I feel like the whole “pedistal vs box” thing is spot-flippin’-on. I can’t contain my ainxiety whenever anyone says “on your day all eyes will be on you” or “its your day! its all about you” (threatening/ intimidating/ unrealistic much?). Marriage is hard work for two people and all this talk of the wedding being “my day” feels like people are really saying “enjoy this one day- Your Day. BECAUSE after Your Day- all the days are about him and making him happy and none will be yours ever ever again.” Like I’ll no longer be anything but Mrs. Jon Hislastname, total erasure.

  14. The first time I got called ‘the bride’ was in the statement ‘we’ll have to figure out how to get the bride … there’, like I was an inanimate object who wasn’t capable of getting herself somewhere 20 minutes away from her house. I just about exploded with rage, which dramatically reduced the chances of it happening again. In this case it was just from not thinking, but it still wasn’t something I wanted to continue at my expense.

    • This is an interesting observation I’ve seen but never paid attention to before — how brides are referred to as objects, in third person, and not even directly spoken to! “How are we going to get THE BRIDE there?” instead of “KATIE, how were YOU planning to get there?” Like a woman is not only incapable of doing things herself (so we have to talk around instead of directly to her) but also no longer herself in aspects of weddingdom but has this replacement identity (so we don’t refer to her by her name but by a classification).

      It kind of disgusts me, actually. Makes me think that if I get married one day I will insist that people don’t ever refer to me as “the bride”, but by my name.

  15. Yes! The bride, as the bride, is supposed to want a set list of things, and people don’t know what to do if we don’t. When we were planning, many people assumed that I was caving in to all the offbeat stuff because my husband wanted it, and I just love him so much!

    Example: I was talking to a friend about what a pain in the ass individually scanning and cropping Marvel cards for our escort cards and table markers was, and she says, “Well, I guess the groom needs to have some things his way! Without him, you wouldn’t get to have a wedding!” Excuse me? The Marvel cards were my idea, thanks. Just because I was the bride didn’t mean I needed to have everything embossed with doves and hearts and shit. Also, it was OUR DAY.

    Most people definitely take the brides actual identity away by labelling her as such, and it sucks. Your post nailed it.

  16. At the end of the day, it’s all about keeping it real and doing what you both want. Love the pic btw.

  17. I read this, and I started to cry. It was everything I’ve been feeling and I felt strangely exhilarated that I’m not alone. I then read it again. And then again. And then I called Mr. Star over, read it to him, and with every single sentence you wrote that I read to him, he kept nodding and nodding and looking relieved because someone out there, someone in the world gets it.

    We have both endured so much crap from people for this thing, and it’s ten and a half months away. We’ve both been told we’re catering too much to the other person’s side, and that they’re running the show and calling the shots. I get it worse because I’m “the bride”. And when you say how shocking it is from friends and family, I just start crying again to reread it because, holy tuna-swimming-mackerel is that such an unexpected traumatic experience.

    People keep saying to me, “Just do what you want and tell people who don’t agree with you that it’s not about them!” and variations thereof, but they always assume it’s somehow not them that’s the problem, it’s all those *other* people. Example: my mother keeps telling me that we’ll simplify this thing, we’ll pare back, and if people get their feelings hurt, then they get their feelings hurt…as if there’s nothing hard at all about watching someone I care about have their feeling hurt. Of course it doesn’t work with things she wants; when I try to point out that she has fifty blood relatives I “have to” invite and she won’t let me “pare back” that number….it hurts her feelings. She has told me several times (after I’ve disagreed with her on something) that she thinks we maybe shouldn’t even get married, if we can’t “figure this out”. No, momma, he and I can figure this out just fine. You’re the one who can’t figure. I haven’t seen some of my cousins since my sister’s funeral. I don’t want to have to consider their feelings in wedding invitations.

    Every single decision I make causes someone to tell me I don’t want that. It’s never the same person who hates it, and if I change my mind on a topic in order to compromise on it, I’m told all over again what a bad decision it is. It literally does not matter what the topic is or what my position on it happens to be, I tell people about it and *someone* has a problem with it.

    I’ve already possibly lost one friendship over it. It makes me sick to think about, and is the reason I’m writing this at three in the morning. This person kept telling me over and over and over that if anyone had a problem with what I wanted, they could go %$@* themselves. I had a problem with something she did. We’re not speaking now. In my exhaustion on the topic, all I can really come up with as a response is, “well, there’s one less person who’s going to have feelings at me.”

    I could go on forever about all the times that people have been deeply hurtful and weirdly possessive about this wedding. I cry all the time, and have started to just stop telling people what I’m planning or what I’d like. It does not make a difference, in terms of amount of hurt feelings, and at least they’re all uniformly pissed off, which is a nice change of pace.

    Thank you so much for this piece. I’d ask you to marry me, but we’re already marrying other people, and you’re far too insightful and eloquent to deserve anything as awful as another dang-nabbity wedding.

    • Oh *hugs*.

      I’m sorry you are dealing with all of that. I wish I had a solution other than what you’re already doing.

      We have kept everything MASSIVELY close to the chest for many of the same reasons. Can’t argue my decisions if you don’t know what they are, right?

    • Oh dear! People who understand! Chicky, you aren’t alone! Our wedding is this weekend and i can’t wait for the damn thing to be over.
      I blew up at my FH last week because he was the last straw in a very large pile of people wanting things that other people don’t want… I just got to the point of feeling like nobody gives a crap about me or what I want.
      Everyone says hang in there, and I would like to say much easier said than done, but wrecking relationships and being miserable over something that’s supposed to be beautiful and happy isn’t with it. Eloping is always an option. I seriously regret not having done so -it was what I wanted and got talked out of :p

    • Oh I just want to come and give you a hug. I really really hope things look up for you. I know it may not help right now, but at the end of the day you will be married to the most important person in your life.

  18. I have never been married, but was engaged once and went through all the motions of preparing for the big day (luckily I realised that my partner at the time and I were not suited, months before the day). My ex and I are both rather off beat, some things were mutual and others weren’t. I recall having conversations with my grandmother regarding what I wanted my wedding to be like (my grandmother is one of the most loving, sweetest people I’ve ever known) and all was good until I mentioned my dress.

    I wanted to wear red and had bought a second hand formal dress, that I had planned to customise myself. I was smitten with it and had everything in my head as to how it would look. My normally unjudging grandmother was horrified, she said, “But you can wear a red dress anytime, a bride should wear white”. I pointed out that I didn’t qualify for the virginal white anyway, but she berated me about it till I agreed to try on white dresses.

    I also wanted my mother to give me away, as we have a very strong relationship, whereas my relationship with my father had been really strained (at best) for many years. Of course she had something to say about that, even resorting to making me feel guilty for the way I wanted to be given away, stating that I was being disrespectful to my father.

    I was rather young at the time and the decisions I wanted to make then, would be different now, but also different is my ability to stick up for what I want. I will be more than happy if my loved ones want to contribute to my special day (if it ever happens), but it will be on my terms this time, not on everyone else’s idea of what my wedding should be.

  19. I am so glad you wrote this article. My first ‘bridal melt down’ this weekend was because of all of the issues you mentioned in the article, and I did a really poor job of explaining how and why I felt as I did. I just forwarded your article to my fiancé and he wrote back that he finally understands where I’m coming from- thank you so much.

  20. I’m experiencing about 50% of this right now. I had similar ideas, like doing my own makeup and having board games at the reception, that were met with dismay and confusion. When I put my foot down and said that’s what we wanted, they said “ok, you’re the bride,” but it also came with the exhasperated eye rolls that said “well this is a bad idea.” there shouldn’t be a right and wrong when it comes to a wedding, it’s just what the couple wants their day to be like.

  21. So my planning experience consisted of my in-laws balking at my less traditional ideas. My MIL insisted that we get married in their church or at least by their minister. When I said that I have never been to church and I (“the bride”) would not feel comfortable, she dismissed my feelings (that was a pretty good sign that pulling “the bride” card would not win me any arguments). When we decided to not have a wedding party (after drama with our Best Man), my FIL said that he had never been to a wedding without a wedding party and that people would think it was weird (even though getting a new Best Man late in the game would cause us more drama). When my MIL found out that we were having board games as our centerpieces (YAY! for board games) she said that people like taking the centerpieces home so people might get the wrong idea and take our board games. I told her that most people have common sense and would know that board games are not to take home (I’m pretty sure she was upset that we weren’t having pretty flowers, instead of the board games which represented us as a couple). The day after our wedding my FIL apologized repeatedly that he never danced with me (after “The Dances” I didn’t see the dance floor the rest of the night as I am not a dancer and I wanted to visit with our guests). I told him that it’s ok since I don’t really like dancing (I may have avoided dancing with him on purpose because it’s what I wanted as “the bride”).

  22. Yes to all this. Thankfully I havn’t had too many of these problems but my mom has balked at a couple things. I wanted a red dress, she has never seen a bride in a red dress. We are having a Halloween wedding and using my collection of Living Dead Dolls as centerpieces, she cant wrap her mind around that one at all. My niece painted us the most amazing guest book painting with a skeleton bride and groom, she thinks its creepy. I had a fight with my brother about having his daughter as my flower girl because it she was in the wedding she couldnt go trick or treating. This one still bugs the hell out of me, Ive even had a couple people I invited say they dont know if they can make it because they want to take their kids trick or treating! Really?! Granted I know kids love trick or treating but………Im only getting married once, we are having a costume contest and a candy bar so all they miss out on is going door to door for the candy.

    • Maybe you can let the kids go first? Or arrange some sort of game with special treats for them?
      But i guess the question is how do the KIDS feel about missing out on the door-to-door treating? You mentioned that you and your BIL are fighting but nothing about the little girl and kinda dismissed how even the other kids might feel about missing trick or treating.

    • Wow, that’s pretty lame that your brother would allow your niece to miss your wedding over trick or treating. You are family, and its your wedding! He (as well as your other guests) can always explain to her that she will get even better candy at your wedding and she can wear her costume. Are the parents forgetting they are the parent? Its one year out of how many years those kids will go trick or treating.

    • So … I know you aren’t looking for suggestions, and I know you already plan to have a candy bar, but maybe you could have the trick or treating experience AT the wedding (if you’re planning on having a lot of kids). In addition to the dolls, have a different kind of candy at each table. Kids go table to table to collect all the different kinds. Just a thought. I know my kid seemed perfectly content trick or treating from booth to booth at our farmer’s market and its a similar idea.

    • My dad had a “Hallo-Wedding” as they called it, the Saturday before Halloween a few years ago. It was an absolute blast, there was candy everywhere, and everyone wore costumes (my Dad and his wife were Gomez and Morticia Addams; my step-mom has the perfect stick straight, black hair for it). It was a blast and we almost didn’t even go trick or treating a few days later because of the Halloween festivities at the wedding.
      I’m sorry you have people in your life who are making you feel bad for such a fun and wonderful idea for your celebration.

  23. Our engagement has been mostly sunshine, smiles and loving family. There have been 3 dramas, money (with my fiancé saying we don’t need to feed our guests, at all), the guest list which ties in with money too, and THIS.
    My aunt had a pretty offbeat wedding. The guests were asked to dress up and Arawen married the Joker. So I thought she’d be up for all of our offbeat ideas. Nope. She keeps being concerned The Bride is being controlled by her mum and the awesome, lindy bop, mismatch, flowery bridesmaids dresses were forced on her by her sisters, the bridesmaids. Um no. I gave them some instructions and they found them. We all love the dresses (even my fiancé who hates flowery prints) so whats the issue? Oh but does THE BRIDE have what she wants, will she not be outshone? I don’t know but Katie and her groom are happy with their wedding choices.

  24. I have a slightly different POV on this as a groom. I completely agree.. AND. All this madness about brides and how they’re supposed to act, what they’re supposed to do, is so much pressure. Grooms get off easy in that sense, but also lose out when it’s all about what other people pressure the bride to do. I went with my fiancee to pick out her dress – people were shocked, but we had no regrets, it was the absolutely the best way for US. We basically fired Mom from her wedding planning duties once we saw where it was going – she wanted us to have the dream wedding she didn’t get to have. But that wasn’t the wedding WE wanted.

    I’ll just leave this: there’s a saying that goes something like, “your marriage, THEIR wedding” (“they” being parents, etc, basically everybody else). F that. It’s 2014, people. If you want a white wedding or you want to dress up as aliens, do it.

  25. I wonder how erased the grooms feel. This always rubbed the wrong way. Is it because the bride tends to be more involved in the details that we tend to leave out the groom? Isn’t he getting married too?

  26. IMO it’s a 2-way street. The presumption (in USA at least) has been that it IS all about the bride (or the parents) and what they want. The guy isn’t supposed to really care except about the bachelor party, and so many men just check out, especially if anything gets difficult. But I don’t blame the brides either. It’s up to men to own that they do care and to jump in, which I personally see becoming more accepted.

    That said, I went to a bridal show (not an “engagement show” BTW) and while my fiancee got the swag bag, the “I’m the Bride” sticker and 99.9% of the booths, I got nothing – and there was only one booth that was in any way directed to men (bespoke bowties). Props to everybody who’s doing something to change this pathetic tradition.

  27. I remember how horrified my mother was when she saw friends playing Magic and Munchkin at my reception. I pointed out that just about every one there was a gamer, they were having fun and mingling, and *I* had asked folks with decks to bring them (I provided the Fluxx deck.)

    11 years later, she still brings it up on occasion. The way I figure it, the hubby and I were already spread pretty thin, trying to grab some chat time with everyone there (I never got a chance to eat) and the friendly “distraction” of groups, meant that from one felt slighted if it took a while for us to spend a few minutes with them.

    “My day” took over the next week, on the honeymoon.

  28. I have been helping for years on weddings. With that I have seen how family’s can get over involed and overwhelm the bride and groom. From what I have learned from the many many wedding is to stand up for the couple. If people start badgering them I would step in saying this is what they want. At my wedding witch was to be out side my maid of honor didn’t even bat an eye when she told me the grass was wet and she would not rune her shoe out there so I need to sit down and shut up. So sence then it is what the happy couple want and to hell with everyone else. Because it is there day.

  29. *So I realized I have more passion than I first thought, so please bear with me while I vent a bit. =)*

    I got married about 2 weeks ago. The reactions are amazing when as “the bride” your wants are different from “the norm”.

    Hubby is agnostic, I grew up Catholic but I’m not active in the church anymore. Many of our friends are atheist/agnostic/not practicing, and some family members are rather devout; so, we put in this line for the ceremony:
    “The world is filled with different faiths and beliefs – many of which are represented here this afternoon. I ask each of you to take a moment of silence, and in accordance with your own beliefs, wish strength, joy, peace, and undying love upon this union.”
    Our officiant was a family friend and my mom approached him at the rehearsal dinner, in front of me, asking if we could put God in the ceremony. Um, what?! The one time “She’s the bride, it’s her day” was a sweet, sweet sound. After I told her about the line, and she was free to pray or wish in way she wanted, she still pushed it. I was floored. Let’s go ahead and alienate the groom, shall we? I mean it’s not about him, anyway…

    And, since when can’t a grown man pick out his own clothes? When we came across a suit store that was giving away gift certificates for their wedding services, we checked them out. For the price of renting a tux, Hubby could get a 2-piece suit, tailoring included, and he gets to keep it forever. We were talking to the store manager and he kept asking me what I thought about suit colors, fabrics, shirt styles, ties… He was hell bent on selling us this off-white shirt to coordinate with my dress, but all Hubby wanted was a shirt full of checks and plaids in our wedding colors. I wanted to be like “Dude, I just spent hours figuring out all the pieces to my own outfit; I don’t have the brain power to figure his out too!” The store manager wouldn’t let it go until I said it was fine, I didn’t care what Hubby picked out. I wanted Hubby to feel good about what he was wearing and not like a dressed up puppet version of himself.

    People seem to forget that marriage is about TWO people, not just one. There are things that the brides are going to care more about than the groom; that’s just life. But for the wedding industry to seemingly not consider the man’s opinion about anything is, well, wrong. I mean, I’m not marrying myself! There is going to be another person there with me, sharing my day. That’s the whole reason for the event; to celebrate the love between TWO people.

    The part of this article that hit home the most with me was about doing my own danged makeup and hair. As the day crept closer I realized our budget was going to come up short, so I decided to take my hair and make up money and apply it elsewhere; I would study YouTube and figure out how to do it all myself. I didn’t say anything to my bridesmaids because I didn’t actually think it was relevant. I checked with the hairstylist to make sure she would still come over and do the hair for my girls, even though I wasn’t going to get mine done. About a week ahead of time I finalized my own hair and make up styles, got Hubby’s approval because his was really the only one I cared about, and was pretty pleased with myself. It looked exactly like I wanted. When, the week of, my out-of-town bridesmaid asked me what time I was getting my hair done so she could plan her day around me, I told her I wasn’t; my budget said no to professional hair services and I was good with that. You would have thought I told her I was going to use rotten eggs as my headpiece. She offered to pay and kept pushing me to say yes until I finally said I would think about it so I could end the conversation. I eventually caved the morning of the wedding; I was starting to get stressed out about all the things I had to do and what little time I had to them in, and my girls talked me in to it. It turned out pretty, but it wasn’t what I wanted. It was parted opposite of my natural part and the whole thing weird the rest of the day. I let their peer pressure get to me and I still regret it.

    I found strength in my Hubby to stand my ground. His was the only opinion I actually started asked for (except for MOH; she was my lady-rock and Hubby was my man-rock; always supportive and never judgmental). Between them I was able to pretty effectively weed out what was worth compromising on and what wasn’t.

  30. Someone had to say this. It needed to be said. I don’t know how to express this to my loved ones. I was told “it sounds bad but a scavenger hunt for the kids at a Halloween wedding isn’t a good idea. The adults are going to want to party and drink and won’t want to chase kids around trying to figure out those clues”….this makes me sad..

  31. Yeah I totally get this and it’s partly what I’m experiencing.

    I hate the sentence “… but it is your day and you do what you like” because it is almost always preceded or followed by overbearing advice about how to get things done which is so frustrating. All I’ve been thinking lately is actually no this really isn’t my day.

    What I’m finding hardest right now is reconciling cultural differences. My fiancé is half Swedish so a lot of their customs are different. I’m totally cool with that. What I’m not so cool with is said traditions making it into the wedding but it still being me who has to try and sort it all! It’s not my tradition! I don’t know about it! My fiancé has asked a couple to be the “Host Couple”. It’s kinda like having the best man and his wife on an even footing I guess. It’s cool to include but I’m really getting fed up of his dad asking me to make a list of their duties on the day! I’m just like I have no idea. >.<

    I've been doing it all on my own ask the way through which I haven't minded but it's annoying that after a year of his parents disinterest they suddenly want to know about every detail – but not to help, cos they have far too busy lives for that. As if I don't!

    Eh I guess I just feel frustrated. I feel the same about it getting closer. 6 weeks to go and I mostly feel dread because I have so much to do… Does anyone else get so stressed they Bury their head in the sand?!

  32. Exactly. I’m getting married in two months, and my fiance and I are a very low maintenance couple. Our original vision was a non-Wedding dress and backyard BBQ reception, among other things. His mother–a lovely woman–pushed against our burgers plan pretty hard, and when she offered to pay for a caterer (so we wouldn’t be flipping burgers) we accepted, but we’ve had to fight pretty hard for a lot of the elements we wanted to keep: like no speeches, no father-daugher dance, having an activity area for the kids, having boardgames, an ice cream sundae bar, an open mic and showing a classic film on the wall. Our friends and my family have heard all of this and said, “That’s so you”, but we’ve had our fair share of detractors because this isn’t much like a “wedding”. I call BS on that. The same goes for what “The Bride” wants. When I said I was going to make my own bouquet, wear flats and a “non-wedding” dress, blank stares like I was crazy. It takes work, but at the end of the day, I’m thrilled with my simple little wedding. And I’ve worked on my diplomacy skills to boot.

  33. This week I got the form from the church about flowers and it only said “Name of Bride” at the top. So naturally I questioned this (as I have been the entire time we have been planning) and the @&?£* church secretary tried to play it off as a feminist move – “Given that the groom gets his name read first in the banns and the ceremony we wanted to make sure the bride gets her moment in the sun as she’ll be doing all the organisation anyway!”. Great, so rather than using my name first somewhere else or even starting to challenge the church on their antiquated paperwork, you decided that I get the honour of planning the whole wedding by myself?!? Grrrrrrr

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