From the moment I waltzed out of my mother’s womb three weeks early (as a 5 lb. baby, I might add—I was like, so skinny), there’s been one main goal in my life: to have the best. f*cking. wedding. ever.
I know that seems obvious. Hello, I’m a red-blooded American girl with bleached blonde hair and skin damage from all the *shudders* tanning beds in my teens. Of course I’ve been obsessed with my wedding long before I swiped my v-card for a boyfriend in 10th grade.
Still, whether it’s a cliche or not, planning my big day was my full-time, self-employed, unpaid job from the ages of consciousness to about a month after my wedding when I finally stopped obsessing over everything that went wrong. While, sure, the details changed over time and my tastes ebbed and flowed, one thing stayed the same: I knew I was going to throw the party of a lifetime and walk away happier, more popular, and if you can believe it, even more beautiful than I already was. Pre-engaged me was as humble as she was realistic.
The thing is, before I was engaged, I loved planning my wedding. LOVED it. The pinning, the dreaming, the sheer obliviousness over how much that 12-tier geode cake would cost—it was my obsession. I was Joe Goldberg and weddings were my damaged girl with daddy issues.
After I got a ring on my finger, however, I realized why all of my already married friends complained about planning so much, something I thought was absurd and spoiled at the time. Between the Hunger Games-esque competitiveness to see who would be a bridesmaid, the fact that my once large-sounding budget was actually a budget for ants, and the helpful suggestions-turned-demands family members had in exchange for monetary help, it was, to put it lightly, a sh*tshow.
As someone who grew up watching Say Yes To The Dress and insisted that all of her potential maids of honor watch Bride Wars together in theaters during her junior year of high school, I was no stranger to the drama that surrounded weddings.
After my day came and went, along with most of the mistakes and the drama, I still love to read and research about weddings, but this time, from a different point of view. I love to see how other brides’ big days went totally wrong and how they managed to pull their sh*t together. What can I say? I love an underdog in tulle.
When I came across this piece published by Vogue, which is one of the bougiest things I’ll type all day, I quite literally rubbed my hands together and audibly said, “this oughta be good.” I know. I’m the worst. In the editorial titled “When Weddings End Friendships,” the author, Grace, details the account of how she lost one of her best friends during the wedding planning process (not to death, just to general bitchiness) and ultimately outlines the angst that brides, as well as their friends and family, face during those emotion-filled months leading up to the wedding.
it’s crazy how much a wedding can put friendships into perspective
— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) December 24, 2019
And while I can relate to our gal Grace in the sense that weddings stir up all kinds of drama and feelings and chances to make others feel like sh*t, letting one day ruin an important friendship is, in my not-so-humble opinion, complete and utter bullsh*t. While, sure, I can see how it happens (trust me, as you’re drowning in relationship politics and vendor contracts, you’ll feel more than willing to bitch slap anyone who annoys you in the slightest), I want to urge any and all future brides to pull this entitled bridezilla mentality out of their asses and get real.
The thing is—and this is going to be a doozy to accept, so deep yoga breaths, ladies— this time is not just all about you. Don’t get me wrong, the wedding is all about you (well, and your fiancé lol). Despite your annoying MIL or your father with the finicky wallet who wants to dictate every decision, your wedding is ultimately about creating a memorable day to, you know, honor love and get some bomb-ass ‘grams that will hopefully be reposted on one of those wedding inspo accounts.
But as much as we want to assume that the bride is the most important person in everyone’s lives during the entire wedding process from engagement party to honeymoon, there’s one small problem: Everyone else is still living their f*cking lives while you’re off tasting cakes and panicking about your first dance song. And a lot of the time, those lives are chaotic and messy and frustrating.
In the Vogue piece, the author talks about how the relationship with one of her college besties went to sh*t over an unreturned RSVP. Her friend didn’t respond to the invitation, and after the bride reached out, she learned that her old pal would not be in attendance due to some weak reason. And she was hurt, rightfully so. But what happened? The bride got married and to this day (over a year since The Incident), believes that it’s her friend’s fault that the relationship is over and that “the damage is permanent.”
Yeah, having an old pal unable to come to your wedding is a bummer. And having to reach out to her asking if she was coming only to get a seemingly bullsh*t regret is a double bummer. But is that a reason to detonate your whole friendship? And if so, if your relationship was that shaky, was it even a real friendship in the first place?
From my maid of honor who couldn’t come to the wedding after giving birth weeks before, to the bridesmaid who kept planning her own hypothetical big day, despite a naked ring finger, to the friend who was devastated that she wasn’t chosen to wear an itchy, matching sequin gown, I’m no stranger to strained relationships in the face of wedding planning. With big changes in the forecast, lots of reflection, and plenty of opportunities to compare and contrast lives, it can really f*ck with people’s heads, especially the heads of your friends who have been there with you every step of the way. Sure, it’s exciting. But it’s also kind of sad. A chapter is over and different people handle that in different ways. Some get mad, some get drunk, and some just shut down.
With everything going on, I’ll admit, there’s plenty of space for relationships to implode.
The thing is, the event you’re planning for? It’s a wedding. A wedding where you’ll marry your so-called best friend and you’ll spend the rest of your life watching reruns of Friends together. Between money, sex, careers, houses, and family drama, you’ll have a sh*tstorm to face together. A sh*tstorm that’s way bigger than an unreturned RSVP or a weird response to your engagement post.
I hate to sound like a new age hipster, but communication is key. If you can’t talk to your friend of a decade to let her know you’re hurt about her not coming to your wedding, how are you going to communicate with your husband when you’re frustrated over how little he goes down on you or how much you want to spend on a hallway table? How are you going to handle the bigger roadblocks in life? The career pitfalls, the illnesses, the moves, and the deaths?
The secret to not letting your big day ruin your big relationships? Talking. It’s that f*cking simple. Because when you get to the root of it, my maid of honor who got pregnant was devastated that she couldn’t stand by my side, and the bridesmaid planning her non-existent wedding was worried that her time would never come, and the friend who wasn’t in the party was hurt that she might not mean as much to me as she thought. But the key is I know the way they were feeling because I talked to them about it, instead of staying in my feelings and ghosting them.
What it comes down to is that weddings bring out the worst in people. Sure, they might actually, finally bring out our abs (for a solid 48 hours until you have a bite of cake and then you’ll never see them again), but they also bring out insecurities, jealousy, comparisons, and fear. Instead of letting a time of high pressure and heightened emotions sabotage your relationships, use it as a chance to practice compassion, communication, and careful listening. Because once the thank you notes are sent and the non-registry gifts are returned, all you’ll want is the normalcy of your best friends by your side, drinking wine in sweats and talking sh*t on other people’s weddings. Don’t let a white dress and a mediocre DJ take away your real happily ever after with your true soulmates.
And my advice to the writer at Vogue? If Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway can get over blue hair and a leaked spring break video, you and your friend can probably get over an unreturned RSVP and an unattended wedding. Trust.
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