Airs of indifference and being “too cool” for this wedding stuff

Guest post by Monica J
Too cool

I have this idea that I should be embarrassed about wanting a wedding. It's mostly because of a combination of a few things… I'm notoriously cheap. I'm a raging feminist. I spent most of my youth and adolescence swearing that I'd never get married for personal/political reasons (because the personal is political, right?). And, frankly, I don't like to call attention to myself.

I don't mind being in the spotlight, but getting married feels a bit like forcing everyone to give me things, do things for me, pay attention to me and my love because we're special snowflakes. That's the sort of thing I normally avoid.

And so I keep pretending to care less than I do. Insisting that my dress isn't a big deal — I'll still get to get married, even if I don't look pretty doing it. If our retired-baker friend has plans and we don't get a cake, that'll be okay, since we can always get a sheet cake from the grocery story. Flowers? Who needs 'em?

It reminds me of when I was a senior in high school, and I wanted desperately to go to the prom. I wanted the fancy date, and the limo, and the poofy dress, and the flowers, and the whole deal — but I didn't want anyone to know I wanted that. See, I was disaffected and surly, and knew that nobody was going to ask me (because there are some girls that just don't get asked to prom). And so I had to pretend not to care so as to maintain my adolescent pride. I convinced a bunch of my friends to go, because “we had nothing else to do that night,” but not because we were excited. We did the whole thing, all while pretending we didn't want to. We got our hair and nails done professionally, rented out a trolley to carry us there, and had a good time, while pretending that we were above it all.

I remember prom dress shopping with my mom as an ordeal, and she remembers it as one of the worst days we've ever spent together. We have a generally very good relationship, but I have a history of being an absolute pain in the ass while clothes shopping, and getting something as fraught as a prom dress was a nightmare. I guess that's why my mom originally didn't want to go wedding dress shopping with me.

But you know what? She did go shopping with me, and we had a great time, and we found me THE dress. I had my moment of numen, and knew that this was the one for me. And I wasn't embarrassed about it at all, which was the best part.

When I went dress shopping with my mom, I was able to go to every dress store in the mall (which is a lot) and still admit that I hadn't found the dress. There were a few that were good enough, and I emphasized to my mother that I would be okay in one of those. But she insisted that “okay” was not good enough for my wedding day — I needed to feel great. I needed to really love it.

So we drove the forty minutes out of our way, and I found my dress at a department store, in the prom section. We went to all the dress stores in that mall, too, after, just in case. But I knew.

And I felt great about it. And it felt good to be that excited, to have permission — and to have given myself permission — to care deeply about something as inane as a pretty dress.

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Comments on Airs of indifference and being “too cool” for this wedding stuff

  1. I also feel this way. Most of my family thinks this wedding is not me….but its mostly because I am usually practical and very much the black sheep. The combination lead them to believe for a long time I would not only have a “big” wedding but that I wouldn’t even get married. And this feeling, very outspoken to me and my fiance, has me wondering is this really what I want? Do they know me better than I know myself? I keep acting like nothing matters but it does, not because of what I want for me but what I want my family to experience FROM me. That and I just would feel like I am ruining their image of who they make me out to be. Most of the time I wanna quit because things are getting tough and people are acting up and I am putting more into this than all the people in my party combined. And I think, to hell, I am just gonna do it, because if I don’t I may regret and if I end up hating it I’ll get over it because in the end I tried.

  2. “When I went dress shopping with my mom, I was able to go to every dress store in the mall (which is a lot) and still admit that I hadn’t found the dress. ”

    teeheehee I feel like I could have written that same sentence. love it!

  3. I reckon whatever works for you – run with it!

    I’m a groom and am loving the wedding planning, even though its not a very ‘manly’ thing to say – who cares! I’m a creative person and I dig writing, making things, design and decorating, and event coordination. The wedding allows me to play with all of those things with lots of sub-projects along the way.

    At the end of the day the critical thing is having YOUR wedding, not your parents wedding, not your grandparents wedding, not your church’s wedding, not society’s wedding. Your wedding. Embrace it. Love it.

    • By brother and sister-in-law had some serious reversal of gender roles when it came to being bride and groom. Ultimately I think my groom and I will be fairly equally invested in the wedding planning, just with different parts. I’ll still end up doing more of the “research”y type stuff, but AFTER discussing what he wants out of whatever the topic is, and when I come to him with 3-5 options where I’ve narrowed it down within OUR chosen parameters as far as I can, I know he’s going to be right there with me making final decisions. I’d be surprised if he isn’t dress shopping with me. And I love that about him.

    • Thank you. I am so scared and my wedding is in a year and 4 months. We really don’t have the finances to do it so I’m starting to think frugal and that it just won’t be the way I want it. I was raised that what I want doesn’t matter. I didn’t go to the prom, acted as if I didn’t want to go because no one cared about me going or my coming of age. My first marriage my family was invited but didn’t come to “the wedding”. It was sort of a shotgun wedding and afterwards we hung out in a one room apartment with friends drinking Schlitz and Wild Irish Rose with bags of chips. I REALLY want the whole venue or at least an everlasting wedding, I deserve it too! But I’ve even thought about eloping. I appreciate your comment, “At the end of the day the critical thing is having YOUR wedding, not your parents wedding, not your grandparents wedding, not your church’s wedding, not society’s wedding. Your wedding. Embrace it. Love it.” I am going to try to change my thinking from here on in. The money will come I hope. 😉

  4. You and I could have been “disaffected and surly” friends in high school. And as much as I loved having a wedding, there were times when I pulled back my anxiety and excitement too much. Yeah, I don’t need to flip my shit over a certain color of flowers, but neither do I need to suppress my glee at my Up-themed guest book. I had a really hard time not pretending that all this was beneath me. Love this post!

  5. OMG!! i felt the same way- i was and still am totally radical in my politics and never thought i would get married- but i REFUSED to go to prom!!! but did have 2 dates for a Saddie Hawkins dance. and you know what- NOW i am a freaking WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER- lol!!! (and an offbeat vendor) and I LOVE IT! lol

  6. This was a refreshing read! And exactly how I feel! If I had it my way, future-Mr.Peached and I would go to the court house next month and then have a picnic with our immediate family. HE is the one that wants the big blow-out wedding. I think it comes across that I think I’m too cool to want a typical wedding, but honestly, I just don’t like big groups of people and/or being the center of attention. I feel weird that all these people are going to have to do stuff for me or feel compelled to give me things. But I compromised with FH and agreed to a medium-sized wedding. And ya know, at first, I still wasn’t too thrilled about the concept. But now I find myself torn between telling my MoH about a great centerpiece idea I had and reminding myself that centerpieces don’t truly matter. Who IS this girl, who suddenly cares about what flowers are in her bouquet and what type of favor she wants to give out? Maybe, maybe, I do kind of care about having a nice wedding after all.

  7. I’ve doing the whole ‘too cool for weddings’ thing, which is bad because I’m sure I’ll end up regretting not doing a whole bunch of really ‘uncool’ things post-wedding. For instance, at the moment, I’m thinking that posed photography isn’t cool but in a year’s time I’ll probably wish I had done a couple of such shots…So thanks for writing this post. It’s a much needed slap in the face.

  8. “I have this idea that I should be embarrassed about wanting a wedding. ” – I could have written this myself. As with you, it is a combination of things making me feel this way. I’m cheap, don’t want to be paid attention to all night, feel like I don’t deserve it, etc. We also have a couple of friends who insist on making comments about how weddings are stupid and a big waste of money.

    But…I really want to have the big day. I want to stand up their with FH and celebrate that we’ve been together for 7 years and hopefully 70 more. It hasn’t been easy and we’ve made it through a lot and dammit we deserve to have a day to enjoy it.

  9. I was the same disaffected, never-going-be-be-asked-out-by-anyone type in high school as well, but around prom I had the same revelation you just had for your wedding: I can allow myself to like things and get excited about things even if they aren’t part of my current “image”. I couldn’t convince any of my friends to go to prom (apparently they truly did not care or want to go), so I curled my hair and wore a really fun girly dress and ridiculously high heels (I’d worn heels maybe… once before that?) and went by myself. I was the only person there without a date. Sigh. But still, I felt awesome and gorgeous and needed that confidence booster. 🙂

  10. Wow, this really resonated with me. Thank you Monica J for expressing beautifully the way I felt for months leading up to my wedding (which was last Saturday). I kept worrying that my friends or family would think we were frivolous , or that my dress was too princess-y, or that we were trying too hard. Every step of the way I had to check in with myself and confirm that we were doing exactly what we wanted for this day, and that whatever it was it was significant and worth embracing because we created it. If I could do it over again I wouldn’t change a single thing. I think that going through that process and recognizing it for what it was proved to be a very powerful exercise for me.

  11. This!! When we first picked our venue, they told us that they offer a horse-and-carriage package where the bride gets trotted up to the ceremony site, wedding happens, and then after the ceremony the bride and groom get escorted away in the carriage and have a glass of champagne together. And both Fiancé and I were like “LAME. SO LAME.” But there was this little annoying princess voice inside me that was like “actually, no, pretty. So pretty.” And I hated that voice so much. You’re a rock star, not some Disney princess clone, I kept saying.

    But seriously, I got a bad case of the it’s-so-pretties. And I wanted it. And now we’re doing it. Not only for the romance factor, and for my only real “I’M A FUCKING PRINCESS, BITCHES” moment of the day, but also, it will give us a few much-needed moments of peace for us to enjoy on our own after becoming husband and wife. And that’s actually pretty awesome.

  12. Total agree! I’m going to echo many of the other commentators here and say….I could have written this! And I have a couple of friends who were “too cool” for their own weddings for various reasons and now their regret seems to come up every time I talk about my wedding. Sometimes it makes me feel like I shouldn’t have the things they didn’t have or risk losing face and looking like the “bridezilla” that we’re all terrified lurks inside us. How refreshing to be reminded that simply being excited about the things that really make you happy is OKAY. And maybe it even keeps you grounded more than repeatedly telling yourself these things shouldn’t matter. They should….and do!

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