A beautiful princess gown, trailing flowers, an angelic chorus singing you down the aisle while friends and family wipe teary eyes. The stereotype suggests that, as a woman, I’ve spent my whole life planning the perfect wedding down to the smallest detail. Well, to quote my favourite Lonely Island song, “That ain’t me.” Absolutely no disrespect meant to the women who do know exactly what they want from The Big DayTM, a very good friend of mine just the other week showed me her extensive Pinterest boards featuring dresses, suits, cakes and the two venues she’s torn between. I think no less of her for it! I’ve just never really thought about what I want my wedding to look like.
I have always known that I wanted to get married one day, but that’s as far as my imagination went. Partner and I had been together a little over six years when he proposed, and suddenly we were thrust into the wild world of wedding planning. I’ve never planned anything bigger than a housewarming party – where the ‘planning’ went as far as a Facebook invite and a bit of tidying up on the morning of. Thankfully, when I say ‘we’ were tasked with organising this event, I do mean ‘we’. Just like I don’t fit into the stereotype of woman-with-dream-wedding, Partner thankfully doesn’t fit into the give-me-a-suit-and-tell-me-where-to-stand mould, and we have been tackling this as a team.
Even so, there are a whole host of things that people look to me for an opinion on which I, to be blunt, could not be less worried about. Mostly to do with how things and people look. Do I want the venue to be pretty? Yeah, sure. Am I deeply invested in the colour scheme? No. No, I am not. There have been a huge number of questions asked of me (and they are almost all directed at me in the first instance, not Partner) to which my answer is… I don’t know?
Do you want floral centrepieces on the tables? How formal do you want people to dress? How do you want to decorate the front of the venue? What do you want the cake to look like? Do you want candles? How do you want the tables laid out? What about the chairs for the ceremony?
The really baffling part for me is when people expect me to have firm opinions on what they wear or look like on the day. I care a lot about what I’ll look like, I care a little bit about what Partner will look like, and as long as everyone else is comfortable and having fun I don’t give a rat’s arse what they’re wearing. And I know that’s not very helpful of me! I eventually caved and sent my bridesmaids links to three vaguely similar looking dresses and told them they could wear any combination of those. I honestly wouldn’t mind if they wanted to wear completely different things, but I do appreciate that it’ll be nice for them to be visually similar, and at the end of the day I don’t want them to be worrying about what they’re wearing.
When my mum asked if I had any opinions on what she wears to the wedding, I had to laugh. My mother is several orders of magnitude more stylish than I am or could ever hope to be, and absolutely gorgeous to boot, and the idea that I could be the slightest bit helpful to her in choosing a mother of the bride outfit seemed ludicrous. But because I’m the one who’ll be in white, people will keep giving me the gift of veto-power over things that I feel completely unqualified to advise on.
I suspect that there are a couple of things feeding into my indecisiveness, besides my natural lack of investment in floral arrangements and colour coordination. One is a rebellion against the Bridezilla stereotype, and I’m wary of pushing so far against it that I just become irritating. I know that I need to step up and make decisions, even about some things that I don’t have a strong opinion on, because otherwise I’m asking other people to make the choices for me. And that isn’t fair.
Additionally, there’s a worry that I’ll choose wrong and the day will somehow be ruined. The wedding we’re planning is very much on the small side, but it’s still by far the biggest event I’ve had this kind of responsibility for, and it’s a little scary! Luckily, I have lovely people with great taste on hand to ask for help. I have been so grateful that I’m marrying somebody who is prepared to get stuck in and offer opinions on things like colour and theme. All of those people asking me questions about flowers and cakes have also been generous with their time and been willing to offer their thoughts, or point me towards useful resources so I can start gathering (read: stealing) ideas from other people.
And at the end of the day, as long as I end the day married to the man I love, it’s been a success – regardless of what anything looks like! And I am very much looking forward to that.