Some of those dreams are still strong and vital when we do grow up and find the person we plan to spend our lives with. Others… not so much. It never crossed my mind as a child that one could marry without a veil, and I think my seven-year-old wedding gown dreams included a lot more skirt and a lot more sparkle that I would ever have tolerated at thirty, when I did tie the knot.
When I dreamed of my wedding back in the late seventies, I saw the men in flowing poet’s blouses. In the early nineties when I did the deed, they all wore various versions of tuxes except for one of my brothers and my father who were decked out in their kilts. Nary a poet’s blouse in sight. Okay, one, under my brother’s corduroy jerkin worn with the kilt. Otherwise… not so much.
As a child I dreamed that everything would simply magically appear at the right moment. As an adult, I built that wedding by hand from scratch over the course of a year and a half, carefully counting every penny along the way. The closest thing to magic was how delightful the day wound up being with my closest friends on hand, talented and low-key professionals taking care of the couple things I couldn’t do by myself, good food, and a very reality-grounded dream coming true.
So when I read The Bride I (Never) Wanted to Be at the Etsy Wedding Blog, I felt a kinship with Meg Keene, the author and blogger of A Practical Wedding.
Like her, I understand that dreams are wonderful things that morph over time. Like her I wish the bridal industry in general would understand that what little girls dream of at six (princess, pouffy, sparkly, and pink, more often than not) may not have anything to do with what a woman of twenty-six wants. Like her I wish more adult women could recognize that just because they dreamed it at seven doesn’t mean they can’t change their minds at thirty, or even at nineteen.
By the time In was old enough to have the wedding I wanted, I didn’t want sparkles, pink, pouf, or princess anymore. Those were all window dressing, anyway. There were still childhood dreams that I wanted, though. I wanted the great outdoors, just as I had from the first moment I realized you could do it that way. I wanted music that reflected my Scottish heritage. I wanted plenty of good food featuring my mother’s spectacular potato salad. I just also wanted a dress that was more in keeping with my general tastes. As for the men, what they wore was up to Mr. Twistie and I told him so at the outset. Poet blouses, matching tuxes, speedos and top hats… I didn’t really care so long as the men standing there supported us as much as the bridesmaids I picked did.
So when you’re planning your wedding, really think about which of those childhood dreams (assuming you had them!) still fit and which are best left behind with the other childhood things that no longer fit your adult world. Decide which ones truly are important and which are mere window dressing to you.
Plan your wedding around who you are now, not who you once were or might one day be.
Do it whether you still want to sparkle and pouf…
(Illustration via Once Wed)
… or whether you are a stripped down and simple bride…
(Image via Rock n’ Roll Bride)
… or anything in between.
Just be your adult self, even if she’s still a little childlike around the edges.