Thursday, March 15, 2012

Counting the Cost of that Dream Wedding

Go figure, this whole wedding planning endeavor is providing some interesting opportunities to learn about stress management.While doing something that "isn't you" can ratchet up the tension, or expecting things to be perfect, so can "daring to be different." Eccentricity, individuality, personal expression, and the like, those things all take a toll. The wise bride should count the cost before she tries to plan her dream wedding. There's more at stake here than the money and the memories.

Shortly before we got engaged, a friend casually mentioned to me that the pressure of planning and preparing to be married took such a toll on her body that she was sick-ish for about six months after. Oooh, don't want that.

In comparing notes with my stepmother, I took to heart her observation that doing things in a fairly traditional way is just a lot easier; it can save you a lot of trouble. You don't have to come up with your own game plan, you just follow someone else's. I'm also realizing that doing what everybody else does can reduce the stress on other people was well. It's something of a kindness to avoid upsetting other people's applecarts, isn't it? They can rest easy, knowing this is what happens at a wedding, this is what the bride does, this is what the groom does, here's who else is involved, etc. I don't want to think I can please everyone, but it is a factor.

And yet at the same time, people tell me, "This is your day, and it it should be special!" An American wedding holds innumerable opportunities to "express yourself" by doing something unique. Although I feel the tug, each thing I consider doing "not like everybody else does it" comes with an emotional price tag and more stuff to research, assess, decide, and implement.

So... I found a long white dress I actually like. I have two youngish, single, female attendants. I will carry a bouquet. I'll come down the aisle to something classical (though not Lohengrin). We'll say some pretty standard vows. We'll have lunch, and cake, and toasts. We'll skip a few things like drinking and dancing, but we'll have good music. I'm not sure about the garter thing (which smacks of sexual conquest to me), but I will throw my bouquet... before we drive off in Chris's favorite fire truck (OK, maybe that's not traditional!)

My girls are going to wear maroon.
I'll also have wedding "colors." I had subtly thought that to be a silly requirement, but have a new appreciation for it when I look at how many decisions there are to make. Picking colors for your wedding is like buying Garanimals for your children: it greatly increases the chances that your stuff is going to be aesthetically pleasing when you put it all together! A good way to keep from borrowing trouble and taking on headaches you don't need.

We're still vacillating on how to dress our groomsmen, but found something that may work out nicely for the bridesmaids. "Who wouldn't want a dress that can be worn half a dozen different ways?" asked my maid of honor. So we started looking at these wrap dresses that can be worn to suit the 'drothers of the girl (or, should the bride dictate the matter, the bridesmaid can wrap the dress to suit herself on a different occasion).

I did, however, opt for the version produced by this little company in Singapore which sells its wares through Etsy, a web store for independent artists. Nice. But since they are coming from Asia, we can't try the dresses on first. They may take longer to arrive. Returns could be tricky if they don't work out. If they do work out, I'll have something fun and affordable to recommend to friends!


Dean Smith said...

You know we'll be happy with whatever you do on your special day.

Marti said...

Thanks, Dad!