October 17, 2011

Wedding Stress is "Normal"

This weekend, I had my first breakdown over the wedding. After I finished crying, I thought to myself that it's ok, it is perfectly normal to cry over wedding planning related stuff. Everyone does it. Or, I should say, every bride does it. I have yet to see a man go into a hissy fit over the color of the napkins, for example. Even my favorite sane wedding blog tells me how ubiquitous wedding stress is.

But it was exactly this line of thought that made me stop and question the validity of this assumption. Why IS it expected that a bride will stress and cry at some point in the wedding planning process? Why is it NOT expected that the groom will do the same? It's a wedding for two, after all. (Yes, I am aware that my statements apply to heterosexual weddings only. But that's only because I don't really know what the society expects in terms of wedding breakdowns when it comes to same-sex couples.)

My own tears were spilled over nothing particularly important. In retrospect, it was obvious that I interpreted some people's words and intentions incorrectly, filtering them through the lens of the wedding industrial complex. I realized that I broke down because: 1) my brain was exhausted from making wedding-related choices and decisions, and 2) I was afraid that people would judge me based on my choices. But the funny thing is that I have gone through life never worrying about what other people might think of my choices. I always thought that if someone has a problem with what I do, then it's actually their problem and not mine. (See "Somebody Else's Problem" in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.) So why did I suddenly start worrying about what other people might think about my wedding related choices?

The agonizing decision in question was related to the wedding dress. I was considering a dress that in no way fits the description of a typical wedding dress. It did not bother ME in the slightest. In fact, I was more excited about this dress than any other that I have seen online or tried on so far. But for some reason, I worried what our wedding guests might think about it, and how they might judge ME based on this one particular choice. Once I realized that this is what was causing me stress, I found it quite ridiculous. I recognized that the wedding industrial complex had affected me after all, despite my best efforts to avoid and ignore it. And I was done with that crap. I came up with a criteria that would help me finalize my wedding dress decision. Whenever I consider a dress, I will ask myself: "Would I wear this dress if we were getting married in City Hall, just the two of us?" And if the answer is a resounding YES, then I know I have found the right dress. Because, ultimately, the only person who has to be happy with my dress is me.


  1. Yeah, you are right, I don't know why grooms are not expected to stress over the planning, but in our experienced, I have to say he did not stress at all. Though I can imagine that some boys stress? Not in the way portrayed by the WIC and all those movies when the world is about to end because no decision can be made between peaches and cream or strawberry chocolate cake, but because of other things? I think it just might be a personality thing. Even in normal life I am the one who tends to stress about unimportant and totally irrelevant things like "Ohh all my books will never fit in that bookshelf" whereas the boy is the one calming me down and letting me know that it does not matter. It is not like I had meltdowns during the planning (not the bridezilla kind at least), but I did overthink, and had a million "what ifs" constantly running around in my head. But it will all be fine. And regarding the dress, kudos to you for your final conclusion, because yeah, you have to be happy in the dress, because then you will feel and look beautiful from the inside. I don't know if it is what you have in mind and I might be wrong or confused but I think I read that you were looking for hand painted dresses? There was this Spanish girl who wore a beautiful hand painted red dress :


    and also Ashley, from Newly La who also wore a dress that though white hat lots of color and I personally think it's amazing:


    So bottom line, don't be afraid to be yourself. And those people at your wedding, they know you, and they love you, so trust your gut.

  2. Thank you for the kind words, Amanda.

    I don't mean to say that no grooms ever stress, I'm sure some do. But there is something to be said for more expectations being put on the bride when D's family calls ME to ask/talk about wedding stuff.

    I don't think that I wrote about hand painted dresses, but I have been open to color in the dress, and this particular dress I have in mind has plenty of color. :)

  3. Oh definitely, all the expectations are on the bride... getting all the questions. I am curious about your dress :)