This month, nearly four years ago now, I was sitting in my childhood room, in front of the mirror, surrounded with 85 hair and make-up products begrudgingly purchased from the oh-so-alluring cosmetics isle in CVS in sullen preparation for the big day. Every favor was purchased and wrapped in a matching ribbon, scattered all over my Mom’s dining room table. Every hand-folded, three layered invitation had long been sent out to family members I hadn’t seen since I thought stretch jeans were cool. All the T’s were crossed, all the I’s were dotted. My dress was winking seductively from the corner, it’s slippery satin folds screaming to be noticed, touched as I threw my flannel p.j.s over the shoulder to dampen it’s spirits. And there I was, about to marry the man I had dreamt of marrying since I was 15 years old, with my 9 dollar mascara in hot pursuit of winning the swimming segment of the triathlon down my face.
Aside from outside factors unique to me and my family situation that made the time surrounding my wedding more stressful than the Short Hills Mall during the Juicy Couture sale at Bloomingdales( it’s a bold-faced lie, by the way. Juicy Couture on sale is like fat-free half and half. Dirty tricks, the both of them) I about cracked under the pressure I believe most American brides either place on themselves or allow others to impose upon them. So, in light of my anniversary, I thought I would offer some unorthodox bridal advice to those taking the plunge in the near future.
1. Elope. No. Really. I mean it.
If number one is not an option, then please read as follows:
2. Listen to your mother. Yes, yes, it’s true. It’s your day. Blah, blah. They just tell you that to soften the blow. In reality, it’s Mom’s one opportunity to prove to the world how beautiful you are and why she somehow needs to be credited for that. So, when she tells you you absolutely must have the florist make the center pieces more festive and definitive of the season, DO IT or you’ll end up with stuffed mice dressed as pilgrims surreptitiously displayed around each and every floral arrangement. Trust me.
3. No one will ever remember. Repeat this over and over to yourself. The tear at the farthest right-hand corner of the tulle carpet? The mashed potatoes served at table nine sans the parsley sprinkle? The delightful little toiletry baskets you made for the restrooms that the caterers divided and conquered in the walk in freezer? The D.J. mispronouncing your new, 2 hour old last name? DO NOT CRY. No one will remember but you. And if your guests experience at the day of your celebration was contingent upon your diverse display of tampax, perhaps you should have invited me instead.
4. EAT. The food’s good. You should know, you picked it out. Sit for at least 10 minutes, take a look at the room full of all of the people you have every known and loved, and make sure you get in at least 5 bites before you’re whisked off for the Electric Slide.
5. Nod and smile. Everyone’s got advice. Even those who never planned their own wedding day yet. Just nod and smile. Then, thank them sincerely for their input and promptly forget everything they said.
As a side note, this is certainly not said to extract the joy some women seem to get from planning “the biggest event of their life”. ( Is it possible they exist?) It’s just intended to clarify that if you don’t or didn’t, you’re normal, too. If you are anything like me ( I tried on exactly 2 wedding gowns before throwing in the towel and ordering it straight out of a catalog) keep this in mind. Yes, the day you get to wear a nice dress and every body comes to celebrate your union with flowers and cake and lazer lights is pretty special. But it’s not your wedding day. You get more than one, you know. Every morning you wake up and remember who you get to have coffee with, buy a house with, have a kid with as long as you both shall live.
That’s when the wedding begins.
Enjoy your special day and all of your wedding days there after, as I will mine!