All women have, at some level, an amount of ‘wedding indoctrination’ buried deep within. We are raised to believe in the ‘fairy-tale romance’ and, whether the idea is appealing or revolting, we’ve all been exposed over and over again to the notion of being rescued by a handsome prince riding in on a white horse. There’s also not much of a leap between a ‘Bride’ and a ‘Princess’ in the female psyche.
The ceremony itself is expected by many women to be ‘perfect’. It’s the bride’s one opportunity in life to play the ultimate dress-up, make a grand entrance with the perfect dress, hair, makeup, and more. They express their vows with perfect grace and poise, exchange rings as symbols of their eternal bond, then turn to face their adoring audience, who spend the remainder of the day congratulating and admiring them. The photographer captures each precious moment as it unfolds, and, as they arrive at the reception, they are presented (complete with their new title); they are seated above the crowd, surrounded by their admirers, beautiful flowers, gifts, and music. They are the first to be served, the first to dance, and the first to cut the cake. When else in their lives is one day centered completely around them?
So, what does a bride want?
I definitely know that almost no bride will be able to answer this question. She is confused over everything, feeling way outside of her comfort zone, over-emotional about everything, and completely overwhelmed. She can’t talk to her fiancé as he zones out at the mere mention of the word ‘wedding’, so “the wedding planner” becomes her best friend.
Maybe their worst fear goes beyond narcissistic tendencies that they’ll be apathetic towards their wedding – proving the worst fear deep within the heart of all that they just don’t matter.
This may all sound too harsh and probably more than a little too cerebral, but as a woman, a bride, a bridesmaid, wedding guest, and wedding planner, I’ve seen it firsthand. All of us – women and men included – strive to prove to ourselves each day that we matter, that we are important, powerful, capable, and above all, worthy.
We go into a blissful state of denial so we can convince ourselves that everyone adores us and is ever so impressed by us. For women, delusions of grandeur come out in full force at their wedding and many other more mundane occasions. And, to be fair, men’s do too – just usually not at weddings.
• Acknowledge those illusions, feelings, and fantasies that lie deep within you.
So with all that being said, I’d like to suggest a few semi-deep thoughts for MY brides
• Decide how you’d like to handle them in light of your upcoming wedding.
• Humor therapy – Watch silly movies or shows, or anything else that makes you laugh, brings you closer to your fiancé, and helps you blow off steam.
• Ask your fiancé for help and some reassurance when you need it. It really is okay for all of us ladies to ask for just a little help sometimes!
• Take a deep breath, and know that you are not alone! Every woman I know (myself included) has had opportunities to deal with the dark side of our psyches, particularly when her wedding day approaches.