Bride(what)?

Before we kick off with this afternoon’s post…just to let you all know, The Big Blog Re-Launch is happening in just under a month!  We’ve listened to your feedback on the AOW Survey, we’ve talked about it, talked some more, worked hard behind the scenes (and continue to do so), made some decisions, come up with some fantastic ideas…and the new site is going to be a place you’ll all love.  We know it.  Beautiful, useful, and retaining that AOW-ness we know is essential to what we do.  

We cannot WAIT to share it with you!  

Onwards…

Today’s post is about brides organising their big day, and the prejudices surrounding that.  Everyone’s got their own views on the B-word.  Clare hates it and thinks it’s been hijacked as a misogynistic term used any time a woman shows interest in planning a nice day for her wedding.  I was laissez-faire with the whole concept in the run up to my wedding – but if someone had called me the B-word I’m pretty sure I’d have stuck a fork in their eye.  

Bridezilla (noun).

Formed from blending of the words bride and Godzilla (Japanese movie monster). Used to describe a woman whose behaviour becomes outrageously bad in the course of planning for her wedding.

This is Hannah’s first post for AOW and she talks us through her experience.  Many of you will recognise the trials and tribulations of a bride to be…but this goes deeper.  What makes people take advantage of other people’s weddings?  Why is a woman (or a man) made to feel ashamed for keeping close control and caring deeply about a day that matters to them?  What do you think, readers?

Welcome, Hannah.  Over to you:   


It’s just over 3 months to go until the big day of me and my gorgeous fiancé Richard. And I’m absolutely determined not to become the dreaded Bridezilla…which is good ‘cause over the years I’ve witnessed many people do just that. It’s not big, it’s not clever and it certainly isn’t attractive.


A good friend of mine had a whirlwind engagement a while ago, leaving herself just 5 months planning time and as we sat in the pub one night she said she was planning to do everything as cheap and as home made as possible because THE MOST IMPORTANT THING was being married to her beloved ASAP. How lovely and refreshing I thought to myself, she isn’t totally hung up on the one day. 


I found myself volunterring to make a cupcake tower for her big day as my wedding present to her. In the spirit of her frugal, hand-made wedding, a tower of 100 home made cupcakes would be just delightful. Right? Wrong. 


After trying my wares and declaring that these would be perfect, the Bride-to-be had found herself in an upmarket cake shop, ‘just having a little look’ and texted me to ask if I wouldn’t mind just tweaking mine to recreate the incredible £4 a pop cupcakes she’d seen. I couldn’t…..seeing as I’m no patissier & the whole point of this was meant to be home made charm. Shortly after this conversation I found myself redundant from my cake making duties, having failed to produce the exact same shade of purple icing as the Bridesmaid dresses. “Bloody Bridezilla, what have you done with my friend and when will I get her back?”, I silently fumed to myself (ok, maybe this wasn’t all that silent where my other half was concerned, there may have been a bit of ranting actually). 


So imagine my surprise when I get to the big day, having never mentioned it to anyone, especially not our mutual friends, to find that none of the purples matched on anything, and did it matter? No, of course it didn’t! It was a beautiful, emotional wedding and expensive cupcakes aside, full of home made charm. Seriously, who ever remembers brilliant weddings by the fact that the colours all matched anyway??


By this point, my boyfriend had taken me by surprise and popped the question (in spectacular style – that’s another story for another time, if people are interested enough to read this) and I genuinely felt that the most important thing would be the two of us being together for the rest of our lives – you know, the MARRIAGE part? It was never about the detail of the day for me.


Having said this, of course the dreaded Bridezilla has threatened to make the odd appearance…like when my future mother-in-law sent over her version of the guest list with a whopping 47 people on it! We’d only planning to invite 80 people and this 47 didn’t even include any of Rich’s friends! “But I’ll pay for them”, she pleaded. Thankfully we stood firm and said it’s not about the money, it’s about having an intimate day with people we care about and that does not happen to include people Rich met back in 1985 when he was 4. 


Then there was the time when I found out that both mums had been sending the hotel details to their friends so they could book rooms, BEFORE we had sent the invites out. “This isn’t fair” I ranted to the long suffering Rich, “after the wedding finishes, the residents bar will be chock full of old codgers and none of OUR friends”, the reality being of course, that we’ve never been party animals and by 1am I’ll probably be ready for bed than the after party. So I learnt to smile sweetly and bite my tongue. At the end of the day, I stand by what I said about this being about the marriage after that one amazing day.


If anything, as the big day looms near, the Groom is the one most involved in (and anxious about) the planning. We also went down the hand made wedding route (yes, I will be making my own cupcakes in case you were wondering!). His job was to design the stationary and he did a brilliant job of the invites, however after posting them he decided to try log into the special RSVP email account he’d created and found it didn’t work. He’d only gone and printed the wrong email address inside the invites. Disaster. We nearly had tears from him. As a Project manager in construction, he likes things to be perfect (otherwise buildings would be falling down) and I’m pleased to report folks, that on this occasion Bridezilla did not surface and instead I reminded him that it’s only a detail, we’ll get the invites back somehow even if it means a bit of extra phoning around, and the most important thing is me and him being MARRIED.


Going back to cupcake friend, we spoke recently and she said that if she could get married again, she really wouldn’t focus on the small details, as looking back, it really wasn’t important and the anxiety she experienced really wasn’t worth it as she still felt stressed out on the big day. So to all you Brides-to-be that are even thinking about getting your knickers in a twist, is just don’t, ok?! I’m enjoying the planning process and the countdown so much more than I would be if I was jittery. Various people told me (including cupcake friend) that once Christmas was out of the way I’d be constantly fretting about something or another. I’m not. 


But I must go – I’ve got precisely 13 weeks, 18 hours and 38 minutes to finish planning for the big day. Bridezilla, moi? Nah, I’m just extremely excited about spending the rest of my life with the sweetest, kindest guy I’ve ever met.

Categories: Engagement, Wedding Planning
10 interesting thoughts on this

10 Comments

  1. Becca
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I freely admit I'm a B word. Despite being anti-details, I still want the simple things to be perfect. I spend my day striving for perfection, its just who I am.

    You all have permission to slap me when I freak out over the fact MIL has designed and hung 1000000 metres of bunting. And then you can all help me pull it down.

  2. Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    It's not just striving for perfection, though, is it? To be preperly B-word you have to make other people's lives a misery, no? As in, wrap MIL up in bunting and threaten her with a perfectly-adorned pew-end.

    It's just misogynistic. Same as there are no male nags, there are no "careermen", there are no groomzillas. But any bride who's making other people's lives difficult because of a wedding needs a sense check. The term IS patronising, but I wonder whether it's valid.

  3. Becca
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I think it depends on your definition of the B-word. I think it can be someone that gets too tied up in the details and drives themselves insane which whilst I'm sure impacts on other people (like a job maybe?!?!) it doesn't HURT other people? But you are talking to someone who drafted proceedings against a venue. I'm sure that would firmly be put in CAMP BRIDEZILLA but at the same time if I was forced to I'd issue proceedings against any supplier to do with my home. Particularly when its such a big financial investment. (N.B – I hated doing it and felt the romance from the whole thing had been sucked dry)

    I agree with you on careermen. The whole babies/work/maternity leave thing is a political nightmare. I told MIL and my Mum I'd HAVE to go back to work after three months (yes hello its called a Mortgage). I was scared I was going to wake up with "BAD MOTHER" tattoo-ed on my forehead.

  4. Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I think that's it. I agree that their are some women who do take things too far and in the process hurt other people. But I think the word has been hijacked and banded around whenever a woman shows an interest in planning her day. Or *god forbid* gets stressed when planning an all day event with caterers and suppliers, timings to be worked out, outfits to be organised, and all for 100 of the people they love and care about the most in the world. With no previous experience.

  5. Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    This is such a lovely refreshing post. As the wedding approaches I find I am incredibly laid back about things. This is unexpected as I'm a well-known neurotic over-anxious over-organised loony pants. I can only assume I've used up all my crazy in 26 years of worrying about non-existent issues.

    Totally with Clare on the B-word, too. No-one ever called me an exam-zilla for regularly completely losing my sense of logic, rationality and proportion throughout university. And I genuinely was quite frightening at that stage. I could totally have nuked Tokyo with that level of Class A batshit crazy.

    K x

  6. Posted February 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    But you've got your pantone chart to match your butter-icing, right? ;-)

  7. Posted February 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Completely agree with you, Clare.

    I hugely resent being made to feel bad/guilty/like a freaking 'BRIDEZILLA' (although I well love Godzilla so maybe I can live with that) when all I am doing is trying to ensure our guests have as hassle free day as possible. That makes me happy. What doesn't make me happy is people projecting their stress and their attitude and their perception of what it must be like to plan a wedding onto me. That is what is stressful!

    Have a gorgeous day, Hannah, so excited for you xx

  8. mahj
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I hate the b-word. In the run up to my wedding I got called it for defending my choice of bm dresses against a cousin who had the nerve to email my sister saying my choice was 'weird' and 'untraditional'. Hmph. And even more rudely, this cousin kept us waiting till 3 DAYS before the wedding to say she couldn't make it. Im still pissed at her!

    Hannah, you sound easy and in control. You'll have an amazing day. Trust.

    xoxo

  9. mahj
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Meant to say easy breezy in that last sentence. Stupid phone.

  10. Zan
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I'm all for bringing down the 'B' word (and not just because I'm the afore mentioned sister who got sent the totally inappropriate email re: bridesmaids dresses!).

    I'm also completely with Clare on this, I've got friends who have been called the B word, totally sweet girls, some of whom were more chilled out planning their weddings than I would be attempting to choose what to wear on a night out… it seems to be used purely as a mean way of saying 'you won't do what I ask/invite the people I want/take on board my fantastic suggestion for your wedding therefore I'm going to make you feel bad about it'.

    It either needs burying or reclaiming in my eyes. Preferably before I get anywhere near planning a wedding!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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