• Sarah Margaret Henry

Why There's No Way to Win as a Bride

Updated: May 6, 2020

I've been a bride for 20 days short of a year now, so I'm not going to say I'm an expert, but I've made my way around the block and know the territory.

So if you're already familiar with the concept that there's no way to win as a woman (i.e. she's a slut/she's a prude, she's only a housewife/she works too much so she doesn't care about her kids, she spends too much time on make-up/she's ugly, maybe she should put some effort in, et. al. the horrible ways we berate everything every female does), then this concept won't come as a shock to you.

But there is no way to win as a bride.

If you're a pushover and try not to care, the ruder folks say you're disorganized and the nicer people tell you it's your day and you can do what you want; in practice, this is completely untrue.

Because if you actually put your two cents in and stand up for yourself, you're a bridezilla.

The terrible, dreaded bridezilla.

fiance looks at his fiance by hudson river
Too picturesque. We don't look like this in real life! PC: Allyse Pulliam Photography

We're all familiar with the concept: the bride who goes insane and everything must be perfect or she snaps and ruins relationships and destroys families and burns down cities.

We all love making fun of her. I sure as hell did.

But now that I've got a ring on, I've noticed that it is one of the many sexist terms we've coined.

Because what is a bridezilla, really? Where is the line between organized bride who has her ducks in a row and raging maniac who expects every potential attendee to pitch $5,000 in for the wedding fund and must wear black if they're over 150 pounds so they can represent the devil in a choreographed dance (I've seen this as an actual rule).

Because we put them in the same category.

We lump every woman who voices an opinion under one umbrella and it's uncomfortable and humiliating under there.

So how do we avoid being thrown in that box?

We stay silent.

We FOR REAL found Satantic ritual memorabilia while walking around this park. That obviously didn't make the photos... PC: Allyse Pulliam Photography

And when we stay silent, the treatment is no better. We're told that we're behind schedule, we really should start caring about our wedding day, and that it's our job as the woman to plan it and the groom's only role is to "show up on time because the men never care about all that stuff you women care about."

Direct quote from an unnamed attendee.

I honestly didn't, and still don't, want a public wedding.

My idea of a perfect wedding is rolling out of bed in my pajamas, heading into the living room, having a friend officiate, and celebrating with Chinese take-out, wine, and a nap.

I happen to be marrying someone who wants a Disney princess wedding.

I'm in an uncomfortable position because I'm the one more equipped to plan (I have a degree in Communications and English and have taken multiple PR classes), but I'm not the one who needs all the tablecloths to be the same color or cares where everyone should book a hotel.

I'm being told "it's your day, do whatever you want!" and "you can't do that, it's tradition, so you just can't" by everyone else.

dog engagement photography
WAY more our style! PC: Allyse Pulliam Photography

In between all this madness and social dis-convention and all the checks I have to write, it feels less like a celebration and more like an ordeal.

I already feel like I'm married to my fiance. I've felt this way for almost three years now.

A venue and a piece of paper we hand in to the government like a homework assignment isn't going to make me feel any more married than I do now.

It feels like this wedding is for everyone but me.

So next time you're invited to a wedding and a bride does something you don't agree with, do everyone a favor and remember that this day isn't about you.

Not by a long shot.

It's two people celebrating their love and you are blessed if they wanted to celebrate with you.

So stop making it about yourself, because newsflash - it's not.

I'm going to let you guess which one was staged. PC: Allyse Pulliam Photography
PC: Allyse Pulliam Photography

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