Those of you who know me personally know that I rant. A lot. These rants are usually long-winded and excessive, and I expect that you listen quietly while I yell them at you. I’ve decided to share these with you (this “you” being my blog audience), so that you can “enjoy” them too since wedding planning has brought a whole new batch of frustrations to my life.
Part 4: My wedding is not about me.
U.S. society today oftentimes encourages a focus on the self. “Do what’s best for you.” “The most important thing is that you look out for yourself.” “Do what makes YOU happy.” Although I think these statements do have some relevance in certain situations, I think that we, as a society, can tend to be too selfish and self-centered. Life isn’t all about me despite the fact that I often wish it was.
This idea of entitlement and focus on the self has definitely transferred over to wedding planning. There is this stereotypical idea of the “bridezilla”: the bride who is completely psycho and desperate to make everything EXACTLY how she wants it on HER day. There is also the idea that the bride plans the wedding, and the groom shows up. I have been repeatedly told by well-meaning individuals that it is MY day and I should thus do what makes ME happy. Now, I agree with this to an extent. It is my day. But, it is not just my day. It is B’s day too. And, to some extent, it is also my family’s day and his family’s day (they raised us after all, and it’s the least I can do to make sure that they are comfortable and accommodated as needed).
In planning our wedding, I have been careful to discuss it as OUR wedding. It is not MY wedding. I am not marrying myself. I am marrying B. The very fact that we are having a wedding at all is because B wanted one. I had no intentions of having an actual wedding ceremony, but I was willing to bend and actually have one because it was important to B. At the beginning, we discussed the “big picture” of the wedding, and we determined how we wanted to spend the money given to us. We decided that we wanted to use the money given us to cover the wedding and at least part of the honeymoon. I then decided just exactly how much went to stamps vs. decorations because B really didn’t care about that. I also asked B what elements of a wedding were important to him and how he felt about things like timing, food, and music.
In our relationship, I am the planner. I am the detail-oriented one who creates the budget spreadsheets in Excel and worries about the little things. B is more relaxed and tends to prefer to only have a say in the “big” things. So, I am the one who created the wedding budget, I picked out the color swatches and then had B decide between two sets (after B told me he liked the idea of blue), and I have managed most of the subsequent details. That being said, I have checked in with B along the way to ensure that our wedding will be what he wants too.
This was pretty much our system for everything except the honeymoon which B did all the details for after we mutually agreed on a location. B and I would discuss “big picture” things, I would do the details work, and then I would ask him to help me make any decisions I thought he would care about. I knew he really didn’t care about invitations or decorations, so I just sent him final photos of those things (although he could have added his opinion at that point if there was something he really didn’t like). I told him that I had no opinion on what we wore, so he could decide what he wanted to wear and I would determine what I was wearing based on that.
In the same way, because of how small our wedding party is, I let my maid of honor (my sister and only bridesmaid) and both my mother and my future mother-in-law pick what they wanted to wear after B and I had chosen a color/theme. We didn’t have to worry about a whole bunch of people matching, so I figured it was more important that everyone was happy and comfortable in what they were wearing. We may not all match as perfectly as other bridal parties I’ve seen, but everyone is going to coordinate and like what they are wearing, which is way more important to me.
The idea that, as the bride, I have the right to dictate what colors our decorations are or what type of outfit B wears really bothers me. I feel like that’s a really unhealthy way to set up a marriage. It is not MY day. It’s our day.
Note: This post is not a judgement of any bride whose wedding I’ve helped with. All my friends have been quite lovely about this sort of thing actually, and I enjoyed helping them celebrate their big days.