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!
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.
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.