Sometimes the thought of my pending wedding makes me want to hurl. Not my marriage. My wedding. It seems as if somewhere along the way I lost my bride gene. I’m pretty sure I used to have one. I can remember playing bride. I would throw a dishtowel over my head, grasp my teddy bear by the arm and prance down the hall to kiss my invisible groom. If I was not born with the bride gene then surely Disney implanted one in me. How many times did I ooh and ahh over the weddings of Cinderella, Ariel or Belle? Which got me to thinking, what if there was some sort of conspiracy between Disney and the wedding industry? GASP. A quick Google search reveals that not one but several lines of wedding dresses inspired by Disney Princess’ exist. Scary. I’m sorry- call me judgmental, call me uninspired but, if you want to model your wedding off of a cartoon “Princess” I have my doubts about your ability to handle the very real world of marriage. Further, I could go off on a femanatzi rant here and comment on how screwed up the gender models that have been shoved down our throats by Disney and god knows who else are, but I will refrain; it has been said before.
The truth is I like Disney. And I like being a girl. I am not some anti-establishment hater, although clearly I am no pop-culture princess either. So where do girls like me fit in to this whole Bride phase?
I have thought about eloping and just getting to the best part: THE HONEYMOON. I kid- that’s the second best part. Spending the rest of my life with my babe is the best part but, the honeymoon is a very close second! There are a few things that prevent me from embracing the idea of an elopement, and the first is my three and a half-year old son Leo. He can’t sit still for more than ten minutes and does not like wearing shoes or using his “inside voice” so clearly he is not an ideal wedding guest but, in all seriousness I want him to be part of our day. Not only are Fiance and I committing to each other, we are sealing ourselves officially as a family. And second, because our love deserves a celebration with family and friends.
So as romantic, not to mention easy, as running off to elope sounds we have decided to plan a wedding. We want something simple, something fun and something that is unique to us. Shouldn’t be too difficult right? Wrong. Sources like The Knot and Brides.com informed me that an “average” wedding costs $29,000. When I read that I had to sit down. Then there were the streams of comments from brides-to-be who believed that number was on the low-end and they estimate the cost to be closer to between 40 and 50k. That is fifty thousand dollars. When I read that I got up and paced around-I was pissed. I’m sorry, maybe it’s my poor girl past talking but WTF? Even if my fiancé and I pooped money, I just don’t think I’d feel right spending that kind of money on a party. Yeah, I know, it’s the most important day of your life… and all that jazz, but I am sorry it’s still a $50,000 party.
Thankfully there are many more realistic sources for wedding ideas out there. In fact, I Googled realistic weddings and voilà! Here were some brides I could relate to! (I know, I know, the word realistic is making me conjure up sensible shoes and mom jeans, but I swear that is not me!) As beautiful as some of these more DIY weddings are there is just something anxiety provoking about the whole wedding planning experience; it’s like being in the mall too long, I find myself gritting my teeth and needing a drink.
Speaking of drinks, some friends and I are going to drink mimosas and try on dresses this weekend. My friend had to practically twist my arm into making the appointment at the bridal shop. Hopefully I can just get a buzz on and get into the spirit. However, placing the phone call to the shop helped me get a little closer to the source of my wedding anxieties. While trying to determine our needs for the appointment, the clerk innocently asked, “will you be shopping for any mother of the bride attire?” My stomach dropped to my knees. “No, I won’t.” I said quietly fighting back tears as I hung up the phone.
The relationship between this Bride and her mother(s) is much like that rarely used Facebook descriptive: It’s complicated. I may be one of the few girls who has two Mom’s and I don’t mean step moms. Nor were my “mommies” married to each other. Like I said, it’s complicated. Then there is the issue of my father(s). One of them may or may not be high as a kite and unable to walk me down the aisle. The other, is as stoic (ok, cold) as John Wayne. We are having a wedding, not a gunfight and I am not sure I want to cast him in this picture. Some family will not come. Some will not be invited. Some will get their panties in a wad because they were not invited even though I have not talked to their crazy asses in years. Some will come and get drunk and offend the ones that do not get drunk. And all the while I will be getting drunk myself in order to cope.
I think finally after all the railing against the wedding industry and pondering on the placement of my bride gene, I realize that my problem all comes down to my dysfunctional family and my hesitance to put on a pretty dress to come face to face with my painful past. I know I am so blessed to be creating my own family now. I know that we will do our best to insure that when Leo has a wedding his greatest worry will be deciding between Bora Bora or Katmandu for the honeymoon. But, for lack of a less eloquent way to express myself: the shit still sucks.
This bride-to-be is still something of the little girl who used to watch princess movies and parade around in a dish towel veil. Yes, my prince has come but I worry, just a little, because I don’t want to end up like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight. So the truth is, I have the Bride gene after all. I am just not sure I come from the genetic pool to support a wedding.
Wish me luck.