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.