This week, I’ve discovered a TV channel in the UK that shows Bridezillas, a reality show from the US that follows two high maintenance brides per week in the run up to their wedding. A guilty pleasure of mine since I first discovered it about 10 years ago, now I’m planning my own wedding it’s less a chance to laugh at the over the top antics (No, love – your wedding isn’t going to rival William and Kate’s, and yes, ordering a wedding dress from Paris the week before your wedding was an incredibly stupid idea, even with express shipping) and more a chance to think “Ah well, I could be worse”. It’s for this reason that I occasionally make The Boy watch a scene or two.
Before we got engaged, I blithely assumed I’d be able to steamroll my way through the preparations, doing exactly what I pleased, when I pleased, caring not one jot for the views of those around me (except for maybe The Boy).
But when you get married, everyone has an opinion, and they’re all convinced theirs is the one you should listen to (at this stage, I think even our cat would be getting involved in the planning process if we asked). It turns out, weddings are a veritable minefield of family politics, fragile egos, and friends with long-forgotten-but-just-remembered feuds. I’ve found myself getting pulled in all sorts of directions (and that’s before I’ve even started on the table plan).
And that’s where my inner bridezilla actually comes in handy.
Don’t get me wrong, some of the things I’ve said and thought in the past few months have been very, very uncool. For example, while shopping for my sister’s maid of honour dress last week, I actually said the words “Yes, but will she upstage me in that?”. Before you judge me too harshly, you should know that my sister is a good seven inches taller and two dress sizes smaller than me, and so gorgeous that one friend who was trying to be kind (she will remain nameless and has probably forgotten she ever said this) once uttered the words “Well, you’re not that far behind her are you? Plus, she makes more of an effort”, so my fears of being upstaged aren’t, perhaps, unfounded.
And, in my defence: she got the dress.
But back to the benefits:
Example one: this week, I have been experimenting with centrepieces. I sent pictures to a few people, basically looking for reasurrance (I am NOT the craftiest of craftswomen). Some sent back small suggestions, and after considering them, I left the centrepieces exactly as they were. I like them, The Boy likes them, done.
Example two: The Boy hasn’t yet started shopping for his suit, and keeps making jokes about waiting until the January sales (at least, I hope for the sake of his health that he’s joking). My inner bridezilla reminded him this is the only thing he really has to do himself, and invited him to start looking for suits much, much sooner than that (through the medium of email, with links to 20 suits he might like). He’s going shopping next weekend.
And finally, example three: a few people have asked over the past few weeks what our first dance will be to. When I say we’re not sure we’re having one (The Boy isn’t keen), they either look at me like I’m mad, or assume I’m joking, so I’ve taken to repeating myself firmly and pointing out that it’s The Boy’s wedding as much as it’s mine, and if he doesn’t want to dance, then I’m not going to make him (essentially, my feelings are the opposite of the opening lyrics to The Safety Dance).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, with so many people making their voices heard when you plan a big family wedding, it’s important to remember what you want. Obviously I don’t mean demand to get your own way and hold your breath until you turn blue if it’s not forthcoming, but if you don’t want giant vases of flowers as your centrepieces as someone suggests, say so. If that same someone suggests you invite Great Auntie Mabel, who you haven’t seen since you were five (and who doesn’t even know you have a fiance) at the expense of a good friend who you see all the time, it’s ok to decline. And if someone who you’ve never met before bossily demands to know why you aren’t getting married in a church, it’s absolutely fine to say confidently and unapologetically, “Because we don’t want to, thanks”.
So, while I have no intention of threatening to punch an old lady if and when she refuses to move her car fast enough when my party bus gets stuck and needs to turn around on the morning of my wedding (partly because I can’t think of anything worse than being in a party bus on the morning of my wedding), breaking The Boy’s X-Box when he won’t make favours with me, or screaming at my bridesmaids when I’ve turned up to dinner 90 minutes late and they had the nerve to order dinner before I arrive (all actual situations in Bridezillas, I kid you not), maybe occasionally letting my inner bridezilla take over isn’t the worst thing in the world.
*Disclaimer: I don’t have a Great Auntie Mabel, nor has anyone suggested I have giant vases of flowers as my centrepieces. However, someone I’d never met before did demand to know why I wasn’t getting married in a church, despite knowing nothing about my background or churchgoing preferences, which was odd.
Image of Sabrina the Teenage Witch credit: http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/thesabrinatheteenagewitch/images/9/9d/Uslayme3.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20130110102728