Remember the Toll Booth Man, and other advice for Brides-to-be

Posted on October 13, 2010

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In planning my wedding, I often felt myself wishing that there were some sort of manual, or at least mental preparation booklet, available for young brides to be.  Now that the wedding is past, and a very happy memory, I wanted to leave some nuggets of wisdom for all other engaged girls out there!


1. Don’t stress if you can’t answer everyone’s questions.

Just days after getting engaged, people started asking me about wedding details.  A lot of them? Things I had never thought about in my whole life:

“How many measures of music will your walk down the aisle be?”
“How will you and Erik be getting from the reception to the hotel? Who will take your dress? His tux? How will you get to the airport?” (Ok, so maybe my friend Teresa and I have been discussing this dilemma since middle school. But still.)
“What kind of bustle will you have on your dress?”
“What is your cake cutting song?”

I was often stuck feeling like an unorganized bride who knew nothing.  But I promise, by the time you need to know the exact dimensions of your reception tables, you will. People aren’t asking you questions to corner you, everyone is just obsessed with weddings and wants to know everything! Which leads me to my next point.

2. Everyone is obsessed with weddings!

Prepare for every person you’ve ever known in your whole life to facebook friend you so that they can stalk your pictures.

3. Prepare to have every facial expression you’ve ever made captured on film.

… some less than flattering.

4. Watch Bridezillas, all the time

I know, it’s an interesting choice.  Why not suggest “Say Yes to the Dress” or “Cake Boss” or “Platinum Weddings”?  Well let’s be honest.  You already watch those shows anyways. So add “Bridezillas” to the list.

It’s like therapy.  No matter how insane you feel, how many details accidentally slipped through the cracks, how many times you cry, how selfish you really wish you could be, how often you dream about just eloping in Tahiti… there is absolutely NO way to live up to these women.  It’s beautiful. It’s calming.  Every time you hear them yell “THIS IS MY DAY” you will feel a little bit of stress exorcise itself.

So sit down with a bride-approved snack, and spend a day watching this show on repeat.  You will get up from the couch feeling normal, sane, and undemanding (quite the accomplishment for an engaged girl).

5. You are Getting Married

Which is AWESOME!  Don’t forget that.  It is really really easy to lose sight of your number one priority.  It’s not your wedding- it’s your marriage!

5. Remember the Toll Booth Man

Despite how stressful or crazy planning a wedding may be, there have been quite a few people in the history of the world who have been able to do it.  I think that now I view anyone who has gotten married as part of the “I-planned-a-wedding-and-lived” club. The other day I drove through the toll booth and noticed that the large, unkempt man inside had on a wedding ring.  He had worn his shirt at least 15 days in a row and was also very angry that I was living and breathing and existing in his toll booth window.  “I wonder what HIS wedding was like,” I thought (as I handed him an ungodly amount of money to drive a few minutes on the highway).  It’s actually very comforting that a fat, mean, toll booth man can make it through planning a wedding.

And so can you.

6. Wear all Bridal Paraphernalia as Often as Possible

I have a really cute pair of flip-flops that say “Bride” on them, and on the bottom it says “Just married” backwards so that when you walk on the beach everyone knows you are on your honeymoon.  They are really cute- and they were in season for one week.  I can’t exactly wear “just married” flip flops to work.  So when your friends start gifting you with fake veils, glittery crowns, annoyingly pink sashes, and rhinestone “Bride” sweatshirts, wear them as many times as you possibly can!  The day after the honeymoon, they all kind of expire and sit in a sad little heap.

By the way, if anyone needs a “Bachelorette” crown or a veil with “I Do” embroidered along the bottom, let me know.

7. It is not inappropriate to put “Planned a Wedding and Nobody Died” on your resume

Be really proud of yourself.

As you may have guessed, I had never planned a wedding before this summer.   It took a lot of work, and a lot of pep talks from Erik.  I think having my photographers tell me offhand, “You are an organized bride” is currently ranked as the best compliment I’ve ever gotten.  Now that the wedding is over, I can’t quite believe… it’s over.  I keep waiting for someone to knock on my door and say, “Congratulations!! Not only do you get to be married to Erik, but you WIN!”

Maybe you are waiting for the same thing.  So I am here to tell you that you do win, and not only am I really really happy for you, but you should be really proud of yourself!

To everyone who has been married before: definitely add your tips for all the engaged ladies out there! To all the brides-to-be: have a beautiful wedding, and please make sure your facebook privacy settings allow me to see all the pictures.

(Featured photo by Evan E. Richards Wedding photography!! http://bostonweddingphotos.net/ )

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