The summer is fast approaching and everyone knows what that means: wedding season! Whether you’re engaged, planning on being in a wedding party, being a guest, or watching coworkers go through the process, there is the cultural notion of this being the Perfect Day for the bride.
Now don’t get me wrong, I loved my wedding day. But to call it the perfect day, or a dream day, would be quite far-fetched. My dream day doesn’t involve barely sleeping the night before, waking up early, being poked, prodded, dolled up, standing around a lot (with a broken heater to boot!), then standing up in front of everyone, being really nervous, then taking a ton of photos when I just wanted to sit down. And seriously, the perfect day does not involve two other people helping hold my dress while I pee. A dream day would not involve the jarring sense that I was attending my own funeral, what with all the diverse people in our lives who never otherwise would be in the same room (or who might actively dislike each other if given a chance to get to know each other.)
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Even if you’re a diva, the problem with this perfect, dream day is…whose dream day is it? Is it really a perfect day if you’ve pissed off family by not inviting certain people? Is it a perfect day if it’s in a location that only you enjoy and find meaning in? Does your groom honestly love everything going on and if not, is it OK that your day has been designed wholly for you?
Unfortunately the wedding makes it very clear to even the most bridal obsessed: this marriage stuff is way bigger than just you and your groom. If left to our own devices my husband and I would have had a completely different wedding save for the same minister and roughly the same guest list. The location, time of day, decorations, food, all of it would have been different. But you know what? Our perfect wedding would make a huge swath of our loved ones uncomfortable. It was way out of what we considered a reasonable budget. And ultimately no matter how fancy things get, it’s still your real family and real friends attending. You know, the ones whose fancy clothes include the dark jeans and freshly laundered t-shirt. Or in some families, the obnoxious, drunk relative, or the drama-filled parent who makes the day about them.
While you have to enjoy your wedding and will never be able to please everyone, hopefully you’ve come to realize how others feel matters in your wedding plans. (And if you’re the victim of this as a wedding party member, maybe you should post this on Facebook as a subtle note to your friend.)
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If you haven’t figured this out this "perfect wedding day" stuff is bigger than you, karma has a way of catching up to you. May you not be one of the countless brides who spends years, or decades, living out the aftermath of being inconsiderate, inattentive, or ignorant about what others in your inner circle wanted or needed in what many consider to be the only time outside a funeral that the family clans may ever be in the same room together.
And if you’re suffering as a wedding party member or guest of inattentive wedding planning? I recommend chilling out. The bride will someday realize what she’s done and have to spend the rest of her life embarrassed about her actions. Let her come to that on her own and save your relationship with her by not calling out her crazy. Blame it on our culture.