I have vivid memories of playing ‘brides and bridesmaids’ with other girls at a super young age. The age now that you look back on, and you wonder how on earth at such a young age this had already been pushed on to us. How, without having the proper understanding of a loving relationship (beyond making your teddies get slightly inappropriate and call them boyfriend and girlfriend….only me?!), how we were already being formed into the perfect girl, girlfriend, bride and wife to be. I remember having arguments with my young friends about who was going to be the bride and who was going to be bridesmaids, all whilst running around with a white pillow case tucked into a headband throwing somebodies poor parents bowl of overpriced potpourri over each other’s heads.
Except I didn’t like that game. I didn’t understand it.
Why do I have to wear white, what if I don’t want to wear a big dress, what if I don’t even want to get married? I joined in, but kept quiet, because at such a young age, you do. You join in games, speak to different kids to try and gain a sense of yourself. Each interaction, starts the shaping of your one day strong individual personality. It starts helping you find out where you are, and are not socially comfortable, and what part you are going to play in the huge scary world.
Actually, I’m not sure if my reluctance to play brides and bridesmaids actually was just a reluctance for that particular game, or actually for any make believe game. In all honesty the only make believe game I really loved was playing shop, and guess what, I have played shop for the rest of my life. Well…not played shop, run a shop. Basically I have been playing shop since age three.
Now from what I’ve just said, you would probably expect me to follow it up with my reasoning’s as to why I do not believe in marriage. Well, surprise, surprise, I am well and truly a married lady, and from the point that I reached an age that I truly understood marriage, I wanted to be married. I strongly believe in the value of marriage, and since being hitched, the sense of security and solidarity in my relationship I have is overwhelming.
My issues is with weddings…
Ahhh weddings. Again, now believe it or not, I do love weddings. I am the number one fan of a wedding. Watching friends and family tie the know, makes my little, sometimes cold heart, flutter. Being a guest at a wedding is one of the best things, fancy clothes, fancy drinks, fancy venue, fancy food, fancy hangover.
My first, and probably the most boring point of my dislike of weddings is the cost. The average cost of a UK wedding in 2016 was £25,000. £25,000!!!!! It is a figure that makes no sense in my head, to quote Chandler, for a party.
I know people that have had weddings that cost a lot less than this, and I know some that have cost more. I find myself looking round at every wedding, and wondering how did it, on earth add up to that much, and the more concerning thing is that sometimes you can’t tell the difference between the less and more expensive days.
It is because of the things that are almost expected with weddings, cheers pinterest.
I cannot remember the last wedding that I went to, that did not have a sweet cart/table. It is so normal. However, I can’t remember the last time that I ate a meal, and followed it up with a bag of sweets as a post desert snack. It isn’t real life, so why is it real life at weddings? I can’t remember the last time I went to a wedding, that didn’t have a box full of flip flops, for people who could not stand in their own shoes any longer. However, I also cannot remember the last time I went out, and a club offered me a pair of flippy-floppy’s. Okay, honest moment again. I can’t remember the last time I went out to a club.
I do look on enviously at my friends who have a beautiful classic wedding. They look perfect. The bride and groom parade the room of guests, mingling, laughing, looking picture perfect, with a glass of something sparkly in hand, not a hair out of place, knowing, that the candid photos being captured by the photographers, will feature me in the corner looking like a cave troll.
It is even harder looking at these sudden elegant people, knowing that I have seen these same people ten drinks in, kicking off with the local cabbie, with a kebab in hand after a night out.
Here is the end of the mystery. These people have what I have discovered is the ‘bride switch’. You either have it, or you don’t. I am one of the people of the world that do not have it. Or it is faulty.
After getting engaged, the bride switch either kicks in, or does not.
I patiently waited for mine to switch on, looking at venues, beach weddings, dresses, hoping that one day it would kick in, and I would suddenly love the idea of making two hundred wedding favours to mark our special day, just for people to drunkenly leave behind hours upon hours of home made hard work. Instead all I found was a serious void of bride like qualities. Looking at one venue and being quoted £400, for our choice of chair covers blew my mind. Why did they make it out like it was a huge benefit to me. Why do chairs even need covers? Have I been looking inappropriately at x-rated naked chairs my whole life and not realised.
The moment that confirmed my malfunctioning bride switch, was the day that I ventured into a wedding dress shop. I was alone, again in a non-bride way. No crying mother of the bride or bridesmaids here guys, flying solo. The lady in the shop was lovely, but did not understand me, and possibly the more concerning part was that she did not even try to understand me. She looked at me in the same way a dog curiously tilts its head when they hear an unfamiliar noise. The questions went like this:
Sales lady: ‘So when is the big day?’
Me: ‘Oh, we haven’t decided yet.’
Sales lady: ‘Where are you thinking of getting married?’
Me: ‘Oh, we’re not sure yet.’
Sales lady: ‘What kind of dress was you thinking of?’
Me: ‘Well, I’ve never really thought about it, so I really don’t know, its why I’m here, to try styles on.’
Sales lady: ‘You haven’t thought about it? But it’s your day to be a princess!’
Me: (leaves shop tail between legs)
I left the shop feeling deflated, like a crap girl, and wondering how I am ever going to get a wedding together.
The questioning was coming thick and fast from family and friends about setting a date for the wedding, and was always met with a ‘There’s no rush’. Meaning, we have no idea what the actual hell we are doing.
Until one evening.
We had joked for years about running away to Vegas to get married. Suddenly the joke element left. It was the best answer for us. No pressure, no people watching us, no first dance, no trying to look romantically into each others eyes on a bridge whilst our guests get pissed on free drinks.
Just us getting married without the bullshit. Us getting married, because we want to make the commitment to each other, without the show, and that is exactly what we did.
From this point, we could both magically plan a wedding, because it was what we wanted. I found a dress online within a couple of days of this decision, ordered it, tried it on and it was perfect. We kept it quiet from the majority of people, and it was the best decision we made. We escaped on a trip to ‘Crete’, when in actual fact we were on our way to America.
Who needs a wedding in a church, or a fancy hotel, when you can get married in the back of a pink cadillac, then follow it up with a burger in a diner and some late night gambling, wedding dress on and Corona in hand
To every other bride out there with a broken bride switch. Stay strong, don’t back down, do what you want to do, it is your and your soon to be husbands day. You don’t need to follow tradition, if you don’t want a first dance, don’t do it. If you want to walk down the isle together (shout out to my best friend and her husband), then do it.
After all, rules are there to be broken.