There’s a good chance I will be engaged this year.
I say this because my boyfriend and I have had multiple conversations about this and he recently told me that he’s “ready to get the ball rolling.” I picked a ring. I got my vaccine.
Life is finally starting to open back up for me.
So, I am trying to visualize the wedding that I want.
And before I can get to what I want for myself, my mind starts reeling with all the things that I don’t want for my wedding.
Turns out, there’s a lot.
These are outdated ideas and/or traditions that are not getting an invitation to my wedding.
I am not going to starve myself to fit in my dress.
How many times do you hear a woman describe her wedding day as, “That’s the skinniest I ever was.” Too often.
I’ve watched friends crash diet. I’ve watched them hire trainers. I’ve watched them exercise and green juice their way to exhaustion.
And what is all this body punishing doing for them?
Nothing, except pretty pictures that fit what society expects of brides.
I want my wedding dress to fit me, not the other way around.
When I look back on my wedding photos one day, I want to be able to recognize myself. I want to see my curves. I want to see my body for what it is right now.
The body that he fell in love with. The body that’s the only one I’m going to get.
I am not going to participate in old-fashioned rituals.
There are a lot of really gross, outdated rituals that we should just retire already. Weddings aren’t about an exchange of goods anymore. We’re not being auctioned off for a dowry.
Marriage isn’t a transaction anymore. It’s a partnership.
So I’m done with the money dance, first and foremost. If you’re unaware of what this is, it’s a dance where you pay a dollar to dance with the bride. Um, no thank you.
I refuse to collect money at my wedding for the pleasure of dancing with me.
While we’re at it, I am done with the garter toss, too. I don’t want to be sexualized in the same room as my parents. I mean, women throw bouquets. Men reach up our skirts and throw our underwear.
I’m just not cool with that.
I am not going to structure my wedding for strangers on social media.
Social media has really thrown a wrench into this whole wedding business. It’s no longer an event for you. It’s an event for the people. Sure, your guests were always quietly judging your choices before social media.
But now, all your Facebook friends and all of their friends are judging you, too.
There are very strict wedding photos that you have to have to meet social media wedding standards:
- You need the hidden photographer at the engagement party.
- You need the bachelorette party picture where you’re on a beach somewhere in matching tank tops that say “Team Bride” or something like that.
- You need the first look pictures where he sees you in your wedding dress — bad luck, be damned — and he just can’t believe how beautiful you are.
Now, I’m not saying I won’t take any of these sorts of photos. I definitely will, because I want to remember how great the whole engagement and wedding process is. But, I’m not going to blast it all over social media to meet some anonymous expectations.
I am not going to worry about hurting people’s feelings or meeting their expectations.
Here’s the problem: I’m a people pleaser. I know the wedding process will be difficult for me because I’m going to want everyone to have a good time and everyone to like my choices and… God, it’s so tiring.
The truth is that I am not going to please everyone and it’s okay.
Because — as cliche as it sounds — this will be my wedding day. I get to design this how my soon-to-be fiance and I would like for it to be.
Also, I can’t invite everyone.
This one is a tough one for me. Because a wedding isn’t just about your friends and family. It’s about his friends and family. And it’s about your parents’ friends that you have never met.
I don’t want my wedding to be filled with people whom I’ve never met.
I want to dance with the people I love. I want to make memories with them and not waste my whole night saying hi to people that I barely remember. This will hurt people’s feelings, I’m sure. But I can’t stress about that. And I won’t apologize for it, either.
I am not going to let you call me a Bridezilla.
Based on stereotypical Bridezilla qualities, I don’t think that I am in danger of being called this, but anything could happen. For women, sometimes just expressing your opinion gets you labeled as “bossy” or “overbearing.”
You don’t get to shame me for wanting what I want.
I’m not going to be irrational, but that won’t stop people from thinking that I am. Bridezilla has become such a common phrase to shame brides that the chances of not being called this are lower than being called it.
Let’s kill this phrase, shall we?
And why is there no male equivalent? I think we all know why, but it’s worth pointing out.
To recap: we all need to be nicer to brides.
The truth of all this is that brides have a really tough time. They need to look a certain way and act a certain way or else they’re judged and shamed. So much for the “best day of your life.”
Treat brides the way that you treat grooms. Tell them they look good, thank them for the invitation, and congratulate them on their marriage. Then dance your face off, because that’s what weddings are for.
It’s just that simple.