It will start shortly after the proposal — the advice. There’s an opinion on everything – ranging from how you should celebrate your engagement to the most important things you should consider when choosing your venue. You will feel the overwhelming urge to buy those textbook-sized wedding magazines, and they will make you second-guess every decision that you make. Should you have a range of shades in your bridesmaid dresses or should everyone wear one color? Should you do flower centerpieces or go with trendy burlap? Signature cocktail or signature appetizer? Oh no, what about mason jars???
Society’s logic will weigh on your shoulders – because you are a girl, you should care about every last detail of your wedding to the extreme degree. You’ve only been dreaming about it since you were five, right? You’d better cry when you pick out your wedding dress, or else you are some kind of monster. It’s okay to have a total meltdown about escort cards and party favors; people will forgive you because you’re the bride. It’s your day.
You lose focus of what you are actually celebrating, but it’s understood. Of course it’s ultimately about marriage, duh, but right now, it’s about the wedding. Which is a party. A big party. The biggest party. You spend so much money without blinking an eye – equivalent to the tuition for your first year of college. It’s worth it. It’ll be the best day of your life.
You’ll miss the important moments while you are hyper-focused on the smaller things. The placement of your false eyelashes will take precedence over your childhood best friend, who is trying to get you to take a picture with her. You’ll worry about your mascara running during the first look with your groom, because your smudged makeup will absolutely ruin the photos. Everyone will do their best to keep their drinks away from you, because hell hath no fury like a woman with a stained wedding gown.
You’ll have the memories, of course, and the photos, and your video. But something will be missing. You’ll look back on your special day with the strange sensation that it may have happened to someone else.
You’ll wish you could have a do-over. There would be so many things you’d change.
But maybe you aren’t doomed to this fate. Perhaps you, dear engaged stranger, are stronger than all of that. Perhaps you are someone who can rise above the pressures and see your wedding for what it is – the day that you commit yourself to another human being, forever.
You are the girl who may not cry when she picks out her wedding dress, not because you aren’t emotionally moved, but because you’re focused. You’re in the zone. Your eyes remain dry and you don’t feel guilty about it.
You are the girl who shrugs when your mother asks what color she should wear. You tell her that you want her to be comfortable. When you get a text from your best friend, asking you to choose between two bridesmaid dresses, you reply, “Whichever you feel hotter in.”
You address your Save the Dates by hand because it’s fun. You pour yourself a glass of wine and pull up a photo for inspiration on Pinterest. You remember what it was like to have a pen pal when you were younger, and you want each envelope to have a special personal touch. You pick out stamps with white roses and you don’t mind waiting in line for twenty minutes at the Post Office to do so.
You spend less than twenty minutes choosing the cake – not because you don’t care, but because…well, it’s cake. It is pretty much guaranteed to taste delicious, and by that point, everyone will be so far deep in party mode that it won’t really matter what flavor it is or what it looks like. You use the extra time in your day to get coffee with your fiance and make new memories.
You, the anti-bridezilla, are someone who focuses on the small things, but the right small things — the way your future husband’s eyes light up when he sees you, the peeling laughter of your maid of honor that echoes through the bridal suite, the weight of the bouquet in your hands. You know how to let go of the things that don’t matter, the things that will be forgotten in a day’s time. Instead, you hold onto the moments that will become memories. After all, those are truly the details that count.