As most of our loyal readers know, I tend to subject myself to unholy amounts of bridal reality television to parse out the messages being sent and hopefully help brides to be and those who love them to defuse the ticking time bombs with which they are so generously filled.
For the most part, I find the messages in these shows either bewildering (at best) or toxic (at worst). I don’t expect to find anything resembling wisdom, and most of the time I am remarkably lucky that isn’t what I’m looking for because, honey, it just ain’t there.
Then yesterday I was watching an episode of Whose Wedding Is It, Anyway?, that ode to heroic wedding planners, without whom no woman could ever hope to have a halfway decent wedding, even when the planner is flat-out incompetent. I expect wisdom to fall from the lips of participants of this show about as often as I would expect it from anyone on Bridezillas.
The wisdom did not come from either bride (it was a double wedding) nor from the wedding planner (the constantly palpatating James Tramondo). No, it came from the mother of the two brides.
You see, the sisters decided at the last minute to have a double wedding. James was duly brought in to figure out the logistics, and all hell broke loose. The sisters may have sprung from the same womb, but they were complete opposites in terms of personality and taste. It felt like The Brady Girls Get Married(Yes, I sat through it once. Shut up.). Where one was classic in style, the other was outrageous. If one adored chair covers, the other loathed them. One wanted a formal sit-down dinner, while the other wanted a disco and had her groom custom fitted for a tuxedo with LED lights in it. In other words, this looked like a disaster in the making from the outset.
The more restrained bride, Debbie, was, however, willing to compromise on some key issues. The more outrageous bride, Lauren, was not willing to back down on much of anything. She kept whining about how it was her day and she deserved everything she wanted exactly the way she wanted because nobody else in the world mattered on her day. Never mind that it was also her sister’s day (not to mention those two guys they happened to be marrying).
At last the only hurdle left was the ceremony. While Debbie had dreamed all her life of walking solo down the aisle on her father’s arm and having her ceremony happen by itself, she was willing to walk with her sister on the other side of their father (the church aisle was wide enough to accommodate all three and two voluminous skirts, so that wasn’t an issue) and have both ceremonies performed simultaneously so guests wouldn’t be confused or forced to sit through two separate Catholic ceremonies on the same day. Lauren felt all eyes should be on her and nobody else and demanded that the ceremonies be separate, one after the other.
So, both grooms, the wedding planner, one bride, and the girls’ parents all thought a double ceremony was the way to go. That’s a clear majority by any standard. Still, Lauren decided to filibuster. She whined on and on about her day and how she didn’t have to do anything that she didn’t like because it was her day.
In the end, it was the mother who shut Lauren up by saying this:
It’s your day; it’s not your day to be rude to people.
In the end, the ceremonies were held simultaneously, and Debbie decided to have a sense of humor about the topper on Lauren’s cake (Lauren in her wedding gown on a stripper pole while her double-Mohawked groom waved glow sticks). There was a formal dinner followed by dancing into the night. Both couples were happy and James was able to go have a good lie-down with a cold compress and a dose of industrial strength Xanax.
What should brides who aren’t having double weddings (or even those who are) take away from all this? Take this important message: Yes, this is your day. But it is not your day to be rude to people. Always consider the comfort of your guests, the needs of your friends and family, and the smooth running of the event in making your plans. Being thoughtful doesn’t make you less important. If anything, it makes people more willing to accept any less than expected details of your day.
Be you. Just make sure it’s the nicest you possible.