After college, I had two friends get married within about three months of each other. Here’s what I learned from those weddings:
1. We won’t be serving barbecue ribs at my reception (I enjoy ribs as much as the next girl, but it’s just inviting trouble to eat BBQ in a white dress. Don’t worry, the bride’s dress was fine!).
2. We will have a short, but sweet ceremony.
3. We will definitely be serving alcohol.
4. We will not have our reception outdoors in July in the middle of farm country (in 116 degree heat).
A few years ago, I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. Here’s what I learned from that experience:
I’ve been in just one wedding in the last few years, and I base a lot of how I’m going about this planning business on how I felt being a part of that wedding party. As a bridesmaid, I was a little miffed to have to buy pricey matte gold shoes that I knew I would never wear again when I had a perfectly good pair of shiny gold shoes in my closet. “Get whatever style you like!” isn’t so comforting when you’re the one shelling out money for another pair of gold shoes in a new sheen. I didn’t like wearing a Carribean blue ribbon on my olive green dress all day, proclaiming my single status to all the wedding guests and effectively painting a bulls-eye for horny groomsmen. I didn’t like the domineering wedding planner who treated us like pre-schoolers prone to eating glue.
Here’s the thing: I love the wedding details we’re planning. Give me flowers and invitation suites and cakes, and I’m there with a plan for and an opinion on the details. But there are just some things I’m surprised to find that people think they need my approval of. Conversations like this have been taking place:
“What would you like me to wear to the wedding?” Mr. Goodlaff’s stepmom asked me.
“Um, well, our wedding colors are blue, green and yellow, so as long as you’re not in Fire-engine red, I’m okay with whatever you want to wear.”
She seemed incredulous when I said I didn’t have specific color or style demands, and was happy to find she already had a dress in her closet that she could wear (she brought it out to show me and make sure it would work). I found it to be a sweet gesture, but it was a little baffling.
Bridesmaids have asked me what they should do with their hair. Answer: Whatever you want, it’s your hair. I don’t have visions of my bridesmaids sporting matching Flock of Seagulls ‘do’s or anything, and I’m sure I will love whatever style they choose.
Am I supposed to make crazy demands on people’s wedding attire? Do I need to demand that my bridesmaids get pedicures and paint their toes one certain shade of puce? I guess I never really thought about what people will wear as long as they look nice and aren’t wearing a poofy white dress (that’s my job). I’m baffled by this perception that everything needs to be run past me, just in case one errant dress pattern or hair curl might send me into a bridal tizzy of epic proportions.
I sometimes wonder if, in my quest to be the anti-bridezilla, I’m coming off as an indecisive bride, or if, I’m somehow not living up to the “Bride” role. It’s just that, going into this, I knew I didn’t want people to have to spend loads of money just to come to or be in the wedding; It's "my day" and all, but that doesn't mean I'm going to run all over people and make crazy demands. It never even occurred to me that I would be asked to help make decisions on things that seem like personal choices to our wedding party, our guests, and our family members.
And one other thing: how come no one is asking Mr. Goodlaff these questions? Ten bucks says he has an opinion on your socks.Have people surprised you with their expectations of you as a bride?