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« Give ‘Societally-Approved Bride-ism” The Big, Fat Finger | Main | The Sunday Post »
Monday
Apr232012

The Importance of Faking It

True to my word, I'm sharing the first in the series of Guest Posts, a good chunk of whom may choose to post anonymously. Happily, the first Guest Blogger is not!

I met Rogue Bride through Hindsight Bride when we all did a drunk podcast together. The rest is shall we say, blog history. I love this post on how to try to stay sane during your wedding planning. Rogue Bride is a few short weeks away, so probably knows a few things about crazy, right about now. So without further fanfare, please welcome Rogue Bride to The Thirty-Something Bride. Show her some comment love if you're feelin' it.

The Importance of Faking It

With six weeks to go until my June wedding, friends and family members have begun asking “So, are you
excited?! You must be excited.” I stare at them blankly, and it takes me a moment to remember what on
earth I should be excited about. Then I reply: “I’m too busy to be excited.”

If I were to tell you about all the things that have gone wrong with my wedding just this morning, it
would take me fifteen minutes and require a Grande Latte from Starbucks to calm my nerves. For the
last year, I’ve been stressing out over all the details. The baker who wouldn’t know real butter cream if I
choked him with it. The post office that has lost four packages and counting of wedding décor. Oh yeah,
and the favorite Aunt with whom I am no longer on speaking terms.

Before you get engaged, nobody tells you what your wedding will do to you. I’ve been snapping at
my fiancé, crying to post office workers, heart-broken at family misbehavior, and frustrated by the
limitations imposed upon me by my venue. I’ve been treating this wedding like it’s a chore. And so has
my fiancé.

With every eye roll, every groan, every “we’ve got to do THIS now, ugh” – my morale as a bride has
tanked. I felt like I was missing out on a seminal experience: Getting excited about my wedding!
Normally, I love planning parties. I adore dressy dresses. I relish diving into details and DIY projects. But
I haven’t found much joy in this wedding since the first month. It recently came to a head when I dove
under a pile of blankets in tears because I was missing out on all the happiness I was supposed to be
feeling right now.

And then it hit me – I needed to smile.

I needed to stop treating every wedding project like it’s an enormous pain in my ass. And, I needed my
Groom to get on board with me, because the moment his eyes start to roll, my enthusiasm deflates like
so many engagement party balloons.

With every project, every new Thing That Must Be Done, I plaster a smile on my face and announce
it in my most chipper tone of voice. “We get to buy your wedding band now! Yay!” “I get to call the
baker to talk about my cake!” “I get to track down RSVPs and have nice talks with my [flaky] friends and
relatives!”

I know some will argue that I shouldn’t feel obligated to be happy about my wedding. It’s a very
Feministy thing to be “genuine” even if that means showing annoyance at annoying things. Thing is, I
want to be happy and excited. I’d love to be the societally-approved Bride who is over the moon about
the whole thing (it is my conviction that those girls all have wedding planners and lots of money). For
me, part of the wedding experience I want is to enjoy the planning process. After all, you only get to do
this once (thank God).

Faking it is not easy, I won’t lie. But it has been scientifically proven, somewhere, that when you smile,
your mood lifts. When you fake being cheerful, cheer creeps in. I have to say, it has been working. No
more tears. And I think I’m finally starting to feel a little excited - sometimes - when I’m not so busy.

Smile ladies, smile.

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Reader Comments (8)

The groom eye roll bride deflation is a very real thing.

But I wonder sometimes if I'm not planning enough now (5 months out). I'm not stressed. I have a proritized list of "need to dos" (buy food, beer, rent tables and chairs) and a list of "want to dos" (make pretty candle holders, make colored napkins, signs for drink locations, msc decor) and as the weather gets nicer, I get less motivated to make the pretty and go hiking with my love. I really hope I won't regret it but I really feel like if people are fed, it's decently pretty (our venue is pretty all on its own) then it'll all work out without me freaking out.

But my stress is that I still want to think about it and moon about it. I feel like it's sorta feminist taboo to do that. But I wanna talk about my pretty dress, my simple succulent bouquet, and how damn handsome my fiance looks in his new suit. :-)

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

Sometimes faking things can be a good thing.

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina @ Wedding Favors

Beth, one of the best bits of advice ever given me was actually "permission" to be a giddy bride. After 30-something years of dating not-the-ones, I felt a little silly to get all excited about the white gown and such. But the reality is that marriage is a big damn deal! You should be as excited as you want. Plan what you want, hike with your honey. Just make sure you do what you feel is right.
If that means a Hello Kitty themed shower then by God, get yer pink kittykat on. Feminist schmeninist. Being a feminist doesn't mean you stop being female, womanly or girly.

April 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterLouise

Thank you so much for this post! Not everything for our wedding has felt like a chore, but we're working on rounding up RSVPs right now and close friends are driving me crazy and our hotel has messed up our block and it feels like a mess, even though I know it's not. Glad to know other brides go through this too!

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

I know how she feels!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the first 6 weeks of excitement ended - I loathed the planning. Loathed the matchy details. The effing magazines. The thought that needed to be put into the candle holders on the outside tables. And so on. It seemed absurd to me to pour all that energy/$$$y into one day.

I was fine with a court style wedding, but I knew it would CRUSH my mom. So I hired a decorating company and handed the reins over to my Mom and went along for the ride.

I'm a type-A, OCD-ish planner and organizer and every one assumed I would ROCK at cranking out a wedding. But I really hated it. I remember crying and shouting ISN'T THIS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN???? once after the church cancelled our wedding for a boy scout convention.

I even hated two of my showers....One was in a nursing home and one was in the rec center where I spent countless days attending family funeral receptions from my giant aging family when I was little. I felt guilty for not having fun. But they were so very NOT FUN. Lucky for me I did get a fun one (thanks Lou) with cute undies and good friends and yummy food and cacti!!!

In the end, we muscled through, and my lack of picky-ness kept me from getting labeled a Bridezilla! I got to marry my love at first sight sweetie and all was well. Though if I could go back there would be no wedding/ceremony nonsense.

abby

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterabby

That was a fun shower, wasn't it?!? Many cocktails! And we surprised you!

And I would have appreciated you NOT CALLING ME TO THE DANCE FLOOR FOR THE BOUQUET TOSS! OVER THE MICROPHONE! WITH A BUNCH OF 3-12 YEAR OLD GIRLS!

But other than that, it was a lovely wedding. You had a very funky cake. And you fed us breakfast. Both good things. :)

April 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterLouise

Advice for weddings and advice for life. Well said, Rogue Bride!

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

Oh yeah. Too bad this blog didn't exist way back then so I could have been schooled on what NOT to do to your friends at your wedding ;)

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterabby

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