I was never the kind of little girl that played with dolls and dreamed about having the perfect wedding. I played with trucks and read a lot.
You would think being a bridesmaid five times would activate my dormant bride gene, but it didn’t. Sure, being a bridesmaid was fun but I was largely an observer, a stranger in a strange, pastel-colored land. The bride said tote that barge, lift that veil, and I did.
Life certainly was simple and far less disturbing back then. Because now that there’s an engagement ring on my own finger, suddenly all I want to do is look at wedding dresses on the Internet and see the movie “Bride Wars.” Who am I these days?
Perhaps the most disturbing thing of all is that after all these years of attending weddings, I somehow know nothing about planning one. Oh, I have ideas about what I want. I just don’t know if they are feasible, affordable, or advisable.
I’m discovering that some people have an innate knowledge, a bride gene activated from birth that guarantees membership in some kind of underground bridal cabal. My sister is one of these chosen ones. All I know is she is helping me navigate the good, the bad, and the tacky. I’m just glad she’s on my side.
I’m learning more all the time, mostly because with a wedding date later this year I have no choice. In the beginning, I was sure that if my question started with: “Do I have to …” the answer must be “Uh, yeah, of course you have to.” If my question started with: “Would it be OK if …” then the answer had to be: “No, that just isn’t done.” For a little variety, throw in a “What were you thinking?”
But I do win one occasionally. Sometimes the answer is, “Sure, you can do that. Why not?” Even my sister has come around to my way of thinking at least once.
So, in this blog, I hope to calm my planning jitters by sharing my experiences and a little hard-won knowledge now and then. If there is one shred of advice I can give at this time it is: Don’t be afraid to ask.
The bridal cabal is out there waiting for you to do just this. Ask family, friends, colleagues, wedding vendors, other brides-to-be, and the woman standing next to you in the bride magazine section of Barnes & Noble.
After all, the worst someone can say is: “What were you thinking?”