The foibles that turn a bride-to-be into a raging, foaming-at-the-mouth bridezilla are just part of what makes planning a wedding so much fun. Cross my heart. The best things in life are seldom free, and many young ladies and gents find that they pay in spades for the privilege of having a “perfect” wedding. What could go wrong? How about everything under the sun…
The well-wishes that come in the form of cards, phone calls, e-mails and letters after you announce your engagement may or may not sweeten the sting of hearing things like, “It’s about time,” and “So, he’s finally decided to make an honest woman of you!” The loved ones that swore up and down that they would be there for you during your engagement will be replaced by androids programmed to make constant quips about shotguns, living in sin, wedding night terrors, edible underpants, and garter removal. The help you expected to receive during these first weeks and months of planning? Don’t look for it here unless you’re planning to serve up a heaping helping of resentment along with your chicken, fish, and vegetarian plates.
Your wedding dress is lovely. Your wedding dress makes you look like the woman you’ve always wanted to be. Unfortunately, the wedding dress you chose and the wedding dress the salon ordered for you are not the same dress. You will be told by a perky yet grandmotherly woman that they can order the correct dress, provided you don’t mind receiving it the day before your wedding. Or the right dress will come in a size that will either force you to hold your breath for the duration of your wedding or require so many alterations to scale down that your seamstress will decide to enlist the help of an experienced structural engineer. You will then enjoy a lengthy period of nail biting while you wait to find out whether you will actually be able to wear the dress of your dreams.
Think you’re having a small wedding? Think again. Once you and your honey have perfected the perfect 15-person guest list, the voices of dissent will start rolling in. Dear old Aunt Eddie will insist that she won’t come unless her three catty, bratty daughters also receive invitations. Grandma, in an effort to be helpful, will send you a spreadsheet of the names and addresses of every relative who ever emigrated from the old country…with the understanding that you’ll be inviting them all. Mom will secretly invite the whole of her bridge club and will wait to tell you this until the last possible moment, i.e. after Suzy, Cyndi, Martha, Billy-Jean, and Samantha have already bought the perfect frocks for the occasion. Soon you will find yourself locked in a dangerous game in which inviting so-and-so means you can’t avoid giving such-and-such a courtesy invitation. Before you know it, you’re looking at a 100+ large guest list.
And speaking of guests, the fine art of the RSVP has gone right out the window, much to Miss Manners’ dismay. Even in a day and age where invitees are required to do little more than write their names on a postage-paid postcard and drop it in the mail, one third of the family, friends, acquaintances, and bridge club members invited to your wedding will remain mum on the ever-so-important issue of whether or not they plan to attend. You will be left using complex equations that a math major would be proud of to figure out how many white folding chairs you need to place on reserve, just to be safe.
Finally, everything will be peachy — until the last possible second, that is. A week before the wedding, your photographer will call to let you know he’s going to be in the hospital on your wedding day. Oh well, at least he’s got someone else all lined up for you, right? The tent and table outlet will lose your order because the dimwit you first talked to didn’t believe you when you told him that your last name is spelled with two t’s instead of just one. You will find out that your dress may not be pressed in time…and that French taffeta (a.k.a. polyester) doesn’t respond well to ironing. After countless dance lessons, your fiancé will forget how to do “the pretzel.” And, as you endeavor to cope with all of this without losing your cool because, as everyone knows, stress causes wrinkles, every well-intentioned busybody in your life will be trying to convince you that your wedding day will be beautiful.
…because it will be. The truth of the matter is that the top five things that will check your bliss as you plan what will likely amount to the biggest shindig you will ever throw will cease to matter when the organist/band/CD/Uncle Joe’s ukulele/string quartet starts playing the music that will usher you down that aisle.