Wedding envy is real. Without ever having a wedding I know that it exists. I see it in my brides, my friends, the weddings of strangers and the nuptials of my nearest and dearest. It’s that persnickety little wench that lives inside you that secretly claims ‘I would never have that at my wedding’ and ‘Ew, can you believe they chose pewter?’ She’s there, inside all of us, taking tiny notes on every wedding you’ve ever attended. I know she’s there, because even though I’ve never had a wedding, she sits, with her bottle of free champagne, in pink taffeta and smudged lipstick, right there on my place card.
As a guest, the little wench, let’s call her Bridget, is loud. Before I was a celebrant, she wasn’t just sitting quietly taking notes in the background, I fed her champagne and shots and encouraged her barefoot proclamations of ‘when I get married…’ With every invitation, RSVP and new dress I bought for a wedding I fed her ego with abandon. I wanted Bridget not to write notes, but fill blackboards with information so that my future wedding could be perfect. My guests would proclaim that my wedding would be the best they’ve ever attended.
I still haven’t had the joy (pain) of planning my own wedding but now that I’m a celebrant I’ve had the joy of attending more weddings than I’ve ever dreamed of. While Bridget never truly dies, as a celebrant I’ve managed to teach her a few things. Bridget now has the maturity, experience and exposure of so many weddings that she’s got some new rules when attending weddings and I think she has learned a valuable lesson.
Bridget has learned that when a bride is happy, the rest of her wedding decor choices are irrelevant to her, and any other guest in attendance. A wedding is the reflection of the bride and groom. It’s a personal choice of style that shows the personality of the bride and groom and reflects the life they have built and the beginning of the life they will have together.
It’s not the bride’s problem that Bridget doesn’t like pewter. Nobody getting married should ever give a second thought to what Bridget likes. When Bridget attends a wedding now her only job is to watch the faces of the bride and groom and their nearest and dearest and take extensive notes on all of the things that bring giant, teethy smiles to these people who are getting married and are in love with love.
Every wedding is different. Every bride wants different things. There is absolutely no point trying to build the wedding you’ve always wanted compiled from the ‘don’t’ list from every wedding you’ve ever attended. As a bride and a groom, work out what it is about the two of you that is worth celebrating. If that thing is your undying mutual obsession with Dr Who then yes, your wedding cake should be a sonic screwdriver. If you both love sloths, then put them on everything. If visiting cemeteries in foreign countries was what bought you together and keeps you that way, then make them your table centres.
The fact that all of your guests have inner Bridgets is not your problem. Let them drink champagne and eat cake but it’s your wedding. Make sure that cake is made to look like a flamingo if you want it to. Bridgets will be silent as long as there is a glass in their hand and a cake on their fork. Be that flamingo in a flock of pigeons. Plan the wedding you want, stand tall and proud and flap your feathers in whatever colour they may be.
The poor guy who marries me is going to have to reconcile my flamingo passion with my dinosaur fixation. With any luck he’ll love superheroes and I’ll have the perfect theme. 😉
Happy Wedding Planning.