Control Freak: Bridal Edition
Okay, I know that it was only a month ago I wrote about how I’m not writing about weddings. And I haven’t! All month. But I can’t let this one go.
People should have whatever wedding celebration their little hearts desire. Small courthouse wedding, elopement, big destination wedding, campfire ceremony, giant catering hall thing – whatever. I know I certainly have my preferences, but I guess that’s what makes us all special snowflakes.
Weddings are in the media a lot. Bridezillas, celebrity weddings, buying a wedding dress, wedding planning shows, all of that stuff. The wedding industry is big business, and even the most rational, sensible person runs the chance of falling prey to the Wedding Industrial Complex. And sometimes that’s okay and could even be harmless. Everyone should get to be the center of attention every once in awhile. There are lines of course. Lines which frequently overstepped and entitlements and princess behavior that is tolerated way past the point it should be.
But I can see how it could happen. From the second you slip that conflict-free, possibly not even a diamond ring on to that finger (or even if you are just in a serious relationship) people ask you about your wedding.
And there are decisions to make. Basic ones like “where should we do this thing?” all the way to how to word your invitations. And expectations to manage and traditions to honor and … it’s a lot.
And very often weddings become giant events. And regardless of your wedding budget, this wedding will most likely be the largest, most expensive party you ever throw. And you are the guest of honor. And people have … expectations. And let’s face it, not everyone is cut out to be an event planner and all of a sudden … you are. And you are expected to have opinions on things that you may have never thought of before – like what song should be playing as your friends walk to their seats. Who cares?
But … oh, you do. You see, all of a sudden, even if you aren’t a control freak – you can become mad with the power. Not only are able to have control over tons of details, both big and small – you are expected to! And things can be as detailed as you want them to be. And with all the DIY blogs out there? Not only can you decide your venue, your flowers and your “color palette,” and what exact color and dress your best friends should wear, you can also decide what color the embossing should be on the hang tags on your escort cards. And there are tons of blogs where other people care too! And they will provide opinions. And options. And “inspiration.” And it’s insane.
I’m not going to lie – I’ve been caught up in it too. When we originally set up a budget (hah!) for this thing, I decided I didn’t really care all that much about invitations and wasn’t going to devote a lot of time or money to it. And then you read these blogs and there are so many cute options! And things you can DIY (did you know that you can actually make your own envelope liners?) And then before you know it, you are pricing out paper goods for something you don’t even care about in the first place. Luckily, I snapped back to reality before dooming myself to an eternity of paper cuts but I must remain ever vigilant about decision/detail creep.
Because no joke? Today I read an actual, legitimate rant from a woman who was furious that despite making it clear to her family that her “accent color” was gold (Seriously – weddings are supposed to have color schemes….) her grandmother is insisting on buying a dress with silver rhinestones and wearing silver earrings. Can you imagine the nerve of Nana? She’s always making it all about her!
This woman is not only concerned with her grandmother’s choice in precious metals, not only annoyed that grandma isn’t listening to her, not only annoyed that she believes she has the right to dictate someone else’s accessory choices, but feels so justified in her insanity that she thinks that this is a perfectly acceptable thing to voice out loud to the internet.
When other people explained to the woman that maybe she has gone a little overboard, she conceded that perhaps she had, but it was just so upsetting because Grandma should know better, because Grandma is trying to force dangly gold earrings on her hostesses (a lesser-status position than her 10 bridesmaids) and Grandma knows that those hostesses only wear studs!
Apparently, this level of obnoxiousness is genetic.
The idea of stepping back and wondering where even the desire to want to dictate what people are wearing? Never really happens. That’s a given, of course. I don’t really get the whole matching bridesmaids thing until everyone started asking me about it. “What are your sisters wearing?” At first I said I didn’t know or care. They’re adults – if they want to coordinate something, that’s cool with me. And the truth is, if I didn’t have two tween sisters who were dying to be bridesmaids, I probably wouldn’t have done any sort of a bridal party. But they are really into it, so of course I had to include my other sister and my future sister-in-law. So, I just told them to pick out something coordinated (a style, color family, whatever) and I’d find something for the younger girls. And then … well, the wedding porn kinda got to me. Look at all the pretty pictures! The matching bouquets! The adorable dresses! And then I realized the appeal – it’s like playing dress up with real, live models. In addition to being the world’s best event planner, I could also be recognized as the world’s most fashionable fashion stylist!
It’s going to be a long year.