In the months before I moved to Australia, my friend Nicole and I became obsessed with the reality show Bridezillas. I couldn’t turn my eyes away from such extreme bitchiness, craziness and wastefulness. Weddings with $100K pricetags, receptions planned down to the most minute of details, such fuss over trivial embellishments no one would remember.
Flash-forward three years, and I’m getting married in just under eight weeks and Nicole is one of my bridesmaids. I can’t say I’ve been a bridezilla. In a way, I almost wish I was. Those bridezillas seem to know what they want, even if their requests are batshit insane. Me, well I’ve found the whole wedding process to be a buffet of confusing options all predicated on an out-of-control industry designed to drain pockets and make legions of women panic.
What I’ve learned: The wedding industry has a snowball effect where it keeps collecting snowturds with names like “inner envelope” and “table favors” until it is one monster mound of white shit that you ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED, EVER, including at your wedding.
There are so many components of a wedding I thought were “mandatory” but that many other brides choose not to do. This sounds like an odd statement: It’s my wedding, I should choose whatever I want, right? Well, there is a tiny part of me that does like to align with etiquette when possible. I mean, Martha Stewart is the shit after all, and I wouldn’t want all her painstaking detail to table arrangements to mean nothing to this middle-class white girl from New Jersey.
But, as I learned, you do not need corsages (though I bought some), flowers for the faux altar of your outdoor wedding, gifts for your guests or additional scraps of murdered tree known as wedding ceremony programs. If your guests don’t know they’ve shown up for a wedding at this point, you have bigger problems than not having a piece of paper detailing how the next 30 minutes will go.
You can match your flowers anyway you want, have your bridesmaids wear different-colored gowns, have mismatched numbers for the bride’s and groom’s sides of the wedding party, walk down the aisle barefoot, walk down the aisle to “Smack My Bitch Up.” You are going to have to dig around the interwebs or interrogate your married friends to prove this out. But I promise this: For every thing you think you have to do but don’t want to, there will be someone out there who has decided to skip it. And that someone will probably be me.
A companion to this “super size” wedding crap phenomenon is found in all the things you should be doing to your physical being to prepare for your wedding. Like losing weight, even if you don’t need to. Or getting a spray tan, even if you are already sort of olive-toned, at least enough to consistently get pulled aside for “the security wand” at Sydney airport. I looked up possible hairstyles for the big day over the weekend and found that for the past 11 months, I should have been following a “wedding hair treatment plan.” I haven’t had a haircut in about eight months, so I’ll just have to go with a weave at this point.
I know I sound miserable, and I have been at certain points of this wedding planning process. It’s a project that’s gone on for almost a year in tandem with starting a new job and starting an application for permanent residency in Australia. I’m exhausted, and part of me just wants it to be over. Dozens of hours have been spent researching photographers, DJs and venues and shopping for the things that are absolutely mandatory for a wedding, like a dress, all from overseas. But…
The day will be beautiful and great. I just know it. It will go that way because I’m marrying the love of my life in front of most of my dearest family and friends. The effort that’s been put in to make this happen won’t be a regret of mine. But I do owe it to my fellow and future brides to impart my newfound knowledge that there is a lot you do not have to do for your wedding.
Remember: If someone tries to convince you that you need to release doves during your ceremony while a band of Celtic midgets strums the harp, channel one of the chicks from Bridezillas and just defiantly tell them “No.”
Image by theresa21