Written by the Future Mother of Two Brides and a Groom
I was married 35 years ago. I made the dress the day before, took a week off work and catered my own reception (including the cake), sent out handwritten invitations, and here we are 35 years later with three adult children who are on the verge of getting married. Actually I used to perform music at weddings until brides and their mothers began this awful thing in the mid 90's (coincidentally with launch of Martha Stewart's Weddings magazine) that we now call an “event”.
There was a lot of joy at my little wedding 35 years ago. We spent very little money and all the people we loved were present. Yes, there were a couple of bitchy aunts there, but they loved us and we loved them. We had fun, and just thinking about the silly wedding cake and the lovely dinner makes me smile.
Bitchless Bride, we need to write some guidelines for brides - behavioral guidelines - expectation guidelines - definitions of human behavior guidelines. I don't care if you dance down the aisle or have a string quartet play Bach as you make a queenly entrance, but if you have broken friendships, offended family, endless debt, and have screwed a vendor or wedding planner's life and business for fun, then you are not mature enough to be married and make it stick.
I do not expect my children to have a hippy dippy wedding as I did. I suspect they will all spend a good deal more money than we did and that their weddings will be major events in their lives. I expect they will use vendors, order gowns, have a DJ or live music, hire a caterer, secure a venue - all those things that people seem to want these days. But, here is my major expectation, that they act like trustworthy adults with manners and that they realize the day is not about just them. It is a day of celebration for them and for family and friends. My daughters will not be 'queens' on this day. They will be the center of a celebration of the fact that they love and trust another human being to a degree that they wish to be married. My son will do the same.
So, who wants to write the book of manners to be given out by every minister, wedding planner, bridal shop owner etc.? I'm willing to start such a text, but only those who do this every day can really deliver it.
Martha Stewart may have begun and created what is now the face of the wedding industry, and it’s not a bad thing. But, somebody needs to come along with behavioral expectations for this industry because it’s time to educate the bride and groom the basics; a thing called manners.