THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT! 21 Feb 2013
I recently got engaged (please, please hold your applause), and am still getting over the shock that someone is willing to deal with ME and my hypochondriacal, overly dramatic self FOR LIFE. So when Lauren asked on the blog this week: what is motivating you this spring? My answer was easy. Wedding Dress! Wedding! Pictures that will last a LIFETIME! And BEYOND!
I’ve always considered myself a practical girl. Down to earth and easy-going. I watch (and love) the crazy TLC wedding shows thinking how can you possibly say yes to a $20k dress with giant roses on the ass? How?? David Turtera’s show where he takes some bride’s crazy wedding theme like: Mermaids Living in the 1920s, and somehow turns it into a crystal-dripping centerpiece extravaganza under the sea used to make me shake my head in disbelief. How can people be like that over a wedding??
But now that I have stepped into this crazy wedding world where reality ceases to exist, and people tell you outrageous prices for silly things with straight faces and ask you questions like, “Do you want an ice sculpture?” totally un-ironically, I’m starting to understand how some people become like that.
I’ve never imagined my wedding. And while I’ve often wondered why, I know now it’s because I’m too indecisive to have that kind of vision and foresight. I get anxiety when it’s time to order at a restaurant. After turning a server away 3 times with the request of just 1 more minute, I almost ALWAYS end up yelling to my friends: You go first! I’ll decide by the time he comes to me. But I never do—decide by the time he comes to me. I ask him things like: What’s YOUR favorite thing? Then the server inevitably says Everything’s good here. Which makes me want to punch him in the face. And when I finally do decide on something, I immediately regret it as the server walks away. And sometimes even get up the courage to run him down at his computer as he’s punching in the orders to say Wait! I actually DO think I want the chimichanga!!
This does NOT translate well when it comes to wedding planning. I don’t have a vision board which includes a color palette and images of dream weddings. I don’t have a binder neatly organized with tabs that has everything I’ve collected since my engagement to provide inspiration for my florist or my caterer. I got nothing.
Left and right people ask your colors and your preferred silhouette and the feel of your wedding. So many decisions. So many deadlines. Why do I need to decide on my wedding dress 8 months before my wedding. WHY? And while I COMPLETELY recognize that these are some serious First World problems, that’s a long time to feel good about a fashion decision prior to its debut! And on top of all of that, we ladies have to navigate our own hopes and fears for this day and our families’ and friends’ expectations WHILE fearing being pegged as a bridezilla--the inescapable stereotype which suggests we all become insanely mean and selfish the moment a rock is slipped onto our fingers.
To combat this greatest fear of mine (becoming like that), I find myself being careful about talking about my wedding much/at all. Sometimes acting like it’s just another day--that I’m not secretly staring at my left hand during meetings, tilting my ring this way and that to see it sparkle (I forget people can see me). I've convinced myself that my friends think being a bridesmaid is a pain-in-the-ass (which it totally can be), and felt bad asking them to be one (they've repeatedly told me I'm nuts for this). I've gone to floral appointments by myself where I'm so overwhelmed that I cry on my walk home, soaked to the bone from the non-stop rain and crappy weather.
But, a few cries after that lonely walk...cries about the guest list, missing my mom and sister who are at home in Texas and aren't here to help and everything else I could cry about..I had to admit to myself that although a wedding is just 1 day (as I've said many times in my life), it DOES matter and it IS a big deal...to me. That talking about it and asking my friends' opinions on things doesn't make me a dreaded bridezilla of TLC fame. That although this type of thing--making decisions, picking colors, planning a giant party, etc. doesn't come naturally to me, it doesn't mean I can't have fun giving it a go with some help from anyone willing. (Turns out lots of people are willing! Especially recently married women. They are going through wedding planning withdrawal and totally want to help and talk wedding wedding wedding. Thank God for them.)
Ultimately, perhaps all of this is doubly tough for me to admit, not just because I don't want to be a bridezilla, but because I have always secretly judged the newly-engaged myself. How I sort of scoffed at the diamond ring club. How out-of-perspective their wedding worries seemed. How, to be completely honest, all the showers and gifts and travel just added up and stressed me out. And now it's me. I'm the one asking people to do what I once struggled doing for them. Never unhappily, but often struggled. It's a tough thing to reconcile. It's given me perspective, understanding and kindness for the girl who's excited to show off her ring and for the girl who sobs because she's realized that throwing a wedding in the woods costs money too. And for me. The girl who didn't know that she would be the girl who really cares that everything look beautiful and turn out as near perfect as possible on her wedding day.
And if I can't have THAT, I will happily settle on looking amazing, hot, bangin, dewy, glowing, fit ta death, wearing the right dress for my body with not too much train action and maybe a plunging v, sporting thick lashes, just the right amount of tan, incredible flowing Beyonce meets Kim Kardashian locks (I might need a fan for the proper effect), and rocking some Michelle Obama arms by the time I head down the aisle. For that dream, I'll happily become a Lithe-zilla and shout it from the rooftops!
See you in class!