I went to my first bridal show last week. It was…interesting. The fashion show was super ugly and the dresses were so, so cheesy. One girl came out in a dress so sparkly that my friend Mandy described her as a “disco ball.” A lot of the vendors were out of our price range. Most of them did not match our wedding vision AT ALL. In fact, a couple of the venue representative immediately tried to talk me out of having an outdoor reception when I asked if that was available. I’m sorry, you can’t even respect what I want and I’m supposed to give you money??? What?
That being said, the show was actually really fun! I enjoyed being called “the bride” and wearing my “I am the Bride” sticker, even though it felt awkward at the beginning. We got to taste a bunch of cake samples and there was a chocolate fountain! And, let’s be real, it’s always fun to make fun of ugly, gaudy dresses.
Even more than that, it was fun to be excited about the wedding. I’ve caught myself downplaying it for many reasons. First, there is a ton of outside pressure not to be a bridezilla. I don’t love to have all of the attention on me, so I’m not about the “it’s my day philosophy.” That should surprise no one. Also, I think trying so hard to be thrifty, and to simplify, and to have a, well, a practical wedding has taken some of the joy out of it. I’ve been working too hard to minimize the actual wedding, to remind myself that it’s just one day, that it’s really the marriage that matters.
All of that is true. But you know what else is true about this wedding? It’s a kick ass party. It’s a chance to get our far-flung loved ones all together, in the same place, for probably the only time ever. It’s a celebration of joy and light in life, at a time with too much weighing all of us down. It’s a moment that moves us into the next stage, that cements us as a family. Those things are worth being excited about.
Does it matter what centerpieces are on the table? Nope, not to me anyway. But the people, the emotion, the togetherness? Those things matter a hell of a lot. The wedding matters. Being excited about it doesn’t mean selling out. It doesn’t mean that I am suddenly a bridezilla who is focused on the wrong things. It means I appreciate the chance to have a wedding, to have this wedding. So I’m going to stay excited. About getting married, but also about having a great party to celebrate.