I’m getting married in a few short months. And – deep breath – this fails to excite me. So here I am, dear News24 community, to confess.
First, let’s be clear that I am not:
· Being sold off to someone three times my age
· 3 months pregnant with Mr Should-have-been-a-fling’s baby
· 45 and marrying for the yawning 4th time
I’m the lucky kind of bride – I’m marrying the right man, for the right reasons. The thing is just that I’m excited to be married, but not get married.
I can hear the collective gasp of my female audience right now. But you’re supposed to be excited! In fact, you’re supposed to be super-duper excited! What the hell is WRONG with you??
Yes, I’ve heard it a thousand and one times. The wedding day is supposed to be the greatest day of my life. I know. But I just don’t get it.
1. Perhaps I’ve been unlucky, but most weddings I’ve been to have sucked. I know this is something you’re not supposed to admit, but it’s the truth. The sermons are forgettable, and the speeches more so. You’re typically stuck at a table with people you have nothing to say to, wearing a stuffy outfit you would rather not wear.
2. Weddings are always so bloody far. Too bad if you wanted to drink more to make your table mates more interesting – you have a 2 hour car trip back home.
But these are silly reasons, you say, who cares about the guests? It’s all about the bride! Be excited!
Again – no. Only someone who has not yet been involved in their own wedding will be naïve enough to think that a wedding is about the bride AT ALL.
In my experience, it’s about the Mother of the bride. A daughter’s wedding day is a mother’s number one opportunity to show off to the world. Now, this is all good and well, I suppose. Most girls seem to relish the faffing and frilling. Problem is, I don’t. I suspect this is what is “wrong” with me – I’ve missed a female blueprint somewhere. Girlhood memories are of my nose stuck in a book; not my face stuck in a mirror, twirling and turning and imagining my “Big Day”. Even now, a few months to go, I don’t go around imagining my perfect napkins and gasp-worthy dress. I just don’t.
My dreams the last while have been of enormous whales. Over and over – just these whales. So I look up the meaning of these recurring dreams, and get this: You are feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Duh.
Here’s my wedding planning experience thusfar:
1. Get engaged. The first month is a giddy, happy time. I can fly!
2. Start the Planning Process. Hubby-to-be and I start the venue hunt, and fall in love with the very first place we see. I breathe a sigh of relief – I’m not sure how many let us make your big dream an even bigger reality! sales pitches I could handle.
3. We book the quartet, the photographer, the wedding cake, the DJ. At this point, I’m actually getting into it and reading bridal magazines. I even have one of those corny little files with pictures to inspire me!
4. Then comes the dress. My mother and I visit the designer, and all is good and well until she suggests we have a chat with a wedding planner friend of hers. Now this, dear reader, is where things started going whale-shaped.
5. We meet with her friend. She is bubbly, professional and oh-so-creative. In about 5 seconds I am happily convinced that my own little plans and ideas are pathetic, and that she should take over. Of course, this is all done very diplomatically and I only realise afterwards what’s actually been said.
6. Still, I’m excited for this “unique, once-in-a-lifetime wedding” I’m suddenly about to have, and cancel every single plan I’ve made.
7. Drama number #1: The old venue – yes, the one I actually really loved – refuses to pay back our deposit. It takes legal threats and a lot of unpleasantness to get it back. I hope no-one I know ever gets married there – I don’t think my face is welcome.
8. Weeks pass. We hear nothing from the planner. I’m not stressed – in fact, I’ve kind of forgotten that I am getting married at all. Friends’ girly questions are brushed off with a cool it’s all under control. The dress? Under control. The venue? Under control. The food? Under control. I like having a planner because that means I can focus on my actual life, instead of this fabled “Big Day”.
9. More time passes. I start to panic and call her up – after all, we do need a proper quotation before moving ahead.
10. Drama #2: Quotation Day aka The Day I gaped open-mouthed like a dry-land fish (beached whale?). We meet with the Planner and are presented with a costing about 6 pages long. The bottom line is more than double our budget. The reasons for this include hand-embroidered napkins (nothing says “class” like fancy napkins), salmon from Scotland (trout is just kommin), and invitations resembling what the Queen of England sends out.
11. My mother is actually happy with this, despite my father’s clear protestations about financial ruin. Who cares? It’s the Big Day!
12. My father (rightly!) refuses to say yes and presents me with the original budget to make my own plans. And yes – you recall correctly – I’ve already cancelled them. Did I mention we already sent the old date to our overseas guests and that they’ve already bought tickets? No? Well, that too.
At this point, I really do feel overwhelmed. The irony in all this drama is that I genuinely would have been happy to just get married at Home Affairs. Me, hubby-to-be and all those Nigerians getting married to stolen ID’s. Perhaps I’m too practically minded, but a wedding seems like a big fat waste. At the end of the day, it’s just ONE DAY that most people will probably not even enjoy.
Or am I wrong? Is all the sentimental mush-mush about it being the best day ever actually the truth?
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.