- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013 - UK
Having been planning for a while, I thought I would share the best advice I have for newly engaged bees. My advice is this: from the second you get engaged, it is a covert op. Tell nobody anything. It is all on a need to know basis, and they don’t need to know. If you think this is extreme, let me tell you a story. It is a fictional story, but it has it’s basis in fact, and will probably have many of the other bees nodding in agreement.
The first thing you do is to set a date. You are full of excitement as you tour venues, book one, and send out your STDs. Because you are a considerate bride, you talked to your parents and FIs parents beforehand, to make sure that the date was convenient for all the immediate family. Then, you receive a phone call. It’s your Aunt Augusta! You know, the one who wears those immaculate skirt suits, and talks like an army major?
You: Hello, Aunt Augusta! We haven’t spoken in ag-
AA: Well, I don’t need to chit chat. I just wanted to talk to you about these save the dates.
You: You do? Well, I’m so glad you receiv-
AA: The 21st is no good for us, I’m afraid. You’ll just have to change it.
AA: Yes. Tommy and his wife are expecting a baby in June, and it will only be two months old by that date. It will be far too inconvenient for them to travel. Also, we are returning from our holiday in France on the 18th, and we will need time to recover from that. It’s just not convenient. I’ve called all my sisters up, and they all agree.
You: You already… what?
AA: They agree that the best date would be February 6th.
You: But that’s SIX WEEKS FROM NOW!
AA: Yes. Remarkable that we were all free on the same day, isn’t it!
You: I can’t arrange a wedding in SIX WEEKS!
AA: (somewhat put out by this). *sniff* Well, if you say you can’t arrange it, then it will just have to be some other date. Why don’t you try 2015? Or better still, 2020? Justin will be home from university by then. It will be lovely!
You: wh- wha?
Despite being somewhat put out by this exchange, you continue planning. At the moment, you are trying to decide whether your Dad should give you away or not. You don’t like the symbolism, but you think it looks nice. Your Dad agrees, and says it’s up to you. You mention this dilemma to a friend, saying that he probably will give you away.
Friend: (suddenly goes silent) Oh.
You: (sensing trouble ahead) Oh… what?
Friend: It’s just that… well… I always saw you as the kind of person who was true to their values.
You: I am true to my values!
Friend: It’s just that… [lectures you on symbolis and feminist literature]
After that discussion with your friend, you decide that maybe she has a point. You call up your Dad and tell him that you won’t be given away. Then you receive a phone call from FFIL.
You: Hello there! To what do I owe the pleasure?
FFIL: Bit of troubling news, I’m afraid. You see, I was having lunch with your Dad, and he said that you weren’t being given away.
You: Yes, we decided that together.
FFIL: But you have to understand that it’s every father’s dream to give his daughter away! As a father myself, I can’t imagine that you would be so selfish.
You: I’m not being selfish. It was a mutual decision.
FFIL: I don’t believe that for a second. Only a very unnatural father would make that decision. He only said that to please you, and it’s wrong. Really wrong [insert debate about how you MUST be given away]
You are now quite shaken by this, and to calm your nerves you decide to look at flowers. You go with a cousin. She’s great, and you have a fantastic time. However, a few days later, you receive another phone call. It takes you a moment to realise who it is… it’s your Great Aunt Ermintrude, with the blue rinse and multiple cats!
You: Hello, Aunt Ermintrude!
AE: Hello. I’m calling because I was speaking to your cousin Sally earlier. She came to tea.
You: That’s nice. I saw her just the other day.
AE: Yes. She told me that you had been shopping for flowers. She told me you chose peonies.
You: Yes, I really like peonies.
AE: You can’t have peonies. In the language of flowers, they represent shame. People will think you are ashamed. They might even *lowers voice dramatically* think that you aren’t a virgin!
You: Er… well, FI and I have been living together for eight years… so…
AE: But there’s no need to DECLARE your shame, is there? I mean… [insert lecture on propriety here]
Now it’s bridesmaid dress shopping time. Not wanting to be a bridezilla, you tell them that they can have anything they want, just as long as it’s pink.
Bridesmaid: I’m not wearing pink. It doesn’t suit me.
You: But our wedding colours are pink!
Bridesmaid: Your wedding colours are terrible. They will clash with my blonde hair. You should change them. How about blue? I like blue.
You: I’m not changing our wedding colours. We’ve already ordered everything in those colours!
Bridesmaid: (suddenly mutinous) I expect you’ll be telling me that I have to dye my hair brown in order to match the dresses, next.
You: *angry* No, I won’t. But my bridesmaids are wearing pink. If you want to be a bridesmaid, you will wear pink too.
The dress appointment proceeds as normal. Eventually, a dress is chosen. Unfortunately, your mutinous bridesmaid then decides to call everyone, telling them that you are an evil bridezilla who is forcing her to dye her hair to match the pink dress you chose. You spend much of the next week being chewed out by friends who tell you to “get some perspective” because it’s “just one day”. Then, you get a call from your Uncle Alex, the polished stockbroker. He’s calling you because he’s heard that you want to get married in a church, and he’s “very concerned”.
You: Why are you concerned?
UA: I never put you down as a stupid or an easily led person, but [insert rant about religion being the root of all evil].
Uncle Alex finishes this conversation with a dire warning, saying that his side of the family will boycott any religious service out of protest, and offering to send you copies of “The God Delusion” by post. You sit there, open mouthed, and the phone rings again. It’s Great Aunt Ermintrude again, calling about the flowers.
AE: You sound a little stressed, dear.
You: Well, I just got a really bizarre phone call from Uncle Alex. He had a massive go at me about wanting to get married in a church.
AE: How ridiculous! Well, don’t listen to him, dear. It’s your wedding! You do whatever you like!
Briefly, you consider pointing out the irony in this, but you can just imagine Aunt Ermintrude’s gimlet stare, which is terrifying even from 200 miles away, and probably contributed to Uncle Ernie’s heart attack and subsequent early death. So you let it go. Finally, you get a phone call from your super call cousin Tom, who lives in an achingly cool loft complex with his hipster wife.
You: *sprits rising as you realise who it is* Tom! Great to speak to you!
Tom: You too! I was calling because I’ve just thought of something wedding related which might help you!
At this point, your spirits start to sink again, but you tell yourself it’s OK. It’s Tom, right?
Tom: You should really get all the paperwork together in order to change your name now. It took Sasha ages, and she said she wished she’d been prepared beforehand.
You pause for a second before telling Tom that you aren’t changing your name. But then you think… it’s Tom, right? He of the hipster wedding in a barn? He of the loft complex filled with modern art? Surely he’ll understand. So you tell him you won’t be changing your name.
Tom: But… you have to change your name. You won’t be a proper couple if you don’t change your name.
You: But we’re a proper couple now!
Tom: But what if you have kids? What if you decide to visit Saudi Arabia and they don’t believe you are married? What if…
You: We’ll deal with all of that later! It’s just that I like my name and I don’t see why I should change it just for the sake of tradition.
Tom: YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR NAME!!!!!!
Ladies, at the moment, you think your friends and relatives are all normal people, who will support you in this new phase of your life. Youwill soon find out that you are completely and utterly wrong. Weddings bring out the worst in people and make them madder than a bucket full of frogs, as you will soon find out. Bridezillas are not born… they are made. And this is how they are made. So start practising the following phrases now:
“We haven’t decided yet, but I’m sure it will be great!”
“Our XYZ? It’s all a secret, but we booked them with you in mind. You’ll LOVE them!”
… and, if all else fails:
“Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, but I hope that, even if you don’t approve of our choices, you will at least come and enjoy our special day with us.”
If you share any of the details of your wedding AT ALL, then THIS WILL BE YOUR LIFE. You have been warned. There is very little you can do once this process starts… it has a life of it’s own. You will need to find a nuclear bunker to hide in for the next few months to avoid it. Better still… elope. There’s a reason people elope, and this is it…
… remember, ladies… COVERT OP! NEED TO KNOW basis! You’ll thank me one day…