Monday, 16 May 2011

becoming a bride

Re-reading my previous post makes me realise: the main thing that I hadn't expected was that I would become 'a bride', with all the connotations that involves. Not that brides have to put their hair up or spend 150 quid on shoes. But that's just what's happened for me.

Discussing this with friends at a hen do last weekend, a few engaged and recently-married ladies were talking with a girl who was yet to be engaged. She sounded like me of a year and a half ago: "I don't want the fuss, I don't want any of the traditions, I just want it really low key, I want to do it my way..."

Every single one of the engaged/married ladies said the same thing. They were like that too. They were embarrassed by being a 'bride to be' and they wanted to do it differently. Then they realised, that as Becca said in the comments to my last post, that the things that you want to reject are the things that make it a wedding. It took a while for me to realise that people love weddings and that I might love one too. Once we'd realised we wanted to have a wedding, not just the 'big party' that had been initially suggested, then there were some things that couldn't be rejected.

During the same conversation, I also posited the point that a wedding wasn't just your day. You were the reason for it, but it's also for everyone else. I'm still haunted by a comment from my mum in the early days, which made me feel like the most selfish bride to be in the world - everything I'd thought I was escaping by doing it another way.

Me: We aren't going to have cake. We're just going to have cheese.
Mum: [disappointment and huge sadness in her voice] No cake?
Me: Yes, you can have cheese, like a cake. It's really cool.
Mum: [sadly] But... people like cake...

Yes, and of course, the crucial detail. My mum doesn't like cheese. What was her daughter doing? How could I be so inconsiderate? I felt like the worst sort of bride, demanding that people bow to her will and do things HER WAY. You can fight for what you want. But it's a shame if that makes other people sad.

Another friend, due to be married in a month, said that now the initial fuss had died down, she was looking forward to getting married more than anything. And not just to getting married, but to being married and to celebrating it.

Anyway. Three and a half months to go, I'm finally embracing it.


  1. Wow. I am still stuck and trying to compromise. I'm not keen on being a bride (and am less than a month in to the engagement) but always thought I would want to be one. Odd.

    However I am trying to make concessions to my mum as me getting married is a big deal for her. So am doing a dress shopping day and keeping an open mind even though I am not keen on the really "bridal" look.

    I guess it will be fun to see how I feel in a year when the wedding is weeks away.

    Thing is M (the man I am marrying) is mostly keen about it being a nice day for his family and friends and I guess that is what has so far helped me keep my perspective and hopefully will help over the scary months ahead (and I think planning a wedding is scary!)

    Anyway I am glad I found your blog x

  2. Wiz zeez two posts you are really spoiling us. (Although I also love Ferrero Rocher)

    I read a very funny book called (I think) Diary of a Mad Bride. It opens with the post-engagement 'oh, just very simple and low-key. I may wear a trouser suit' and spirals and spirals as she finds more things to freak out about.

    As you know, I'm a way off yet so it's too soon to predict if this will affect me. I know my mother would like me to wear a tiara. Tough. And my hairdresser thinks I should have my hair up or curled or both. But I want to look like ME - albeit a superior version of me.

    You are very right about empire line. It's a false friend. Unless you're skinny as a rake (literally) you look enormous and/or preggers. I would not have been a hit with Mssrs Darcy, Knightley et al, sadly, whatever my Jane Austen fantasies.


  3. What I love about the world is discovering all the stuff we have in common - I think that's why I never hit it off with people who insist upon being different all the time.

    You are a wise owl, as usual! Except... I was lucky enough to find empire line with a boned bodice. While there was just no way I was going to pull off the Jenny Packham look, (the more I look at pictures of Pippa Middleton's behind, the more I realise I never will!) my boobs start way too low for strapless.

  4. Totally. We have come to the realisation now that it is actually quite nice getting excited about things that other people will enjoy at our wedding. Like having some funny 80's music, or getting transported on a bus from the church to the reception - things that we originally vetoed because they didn't fit our vision, but have now become treasured parts of the day for the potential to see everyone's enjoyment.

    Also: snap on the veil situation, I was exactly the same and now love the veil look.

  5. so true, my original wedding plans (in my head while still on holiday after getting engaged) involved marquees in someone's garden/barn/castle/other rustic venue with people camping afterwards and a big breakfast the following day. In reality booking everything from forks to toilets seemed a bit hard work, and I doubt my grandparents would be up for camping in their 80s!
    So I'm having it in a hotel with rooms and everything instead and totally happy with it all. I think we all forget how most people going to weddings won't be aware of all the trends and fashions. It's only because I look at real weddings online ALL THE TIME that I sometimes think things are overdone, in reality I've been to one wedding with a sweet buffet and bloody loved it! x