Twenty years ago, a little girl dreamed of her perfect wedding. She dressed her Barbie doll up in a white, puffy, shiny dress, Barbie gave Ken a big smooch, and they drove away in pink plastic perfection.
That little girl was not me. I was far too preoccupied with pretending to be Pocahontas and belting “Just Around the River Bend” in my empty bathtub canoe whilst rowing with my mop oar. Or saving the fairy kingdom from the evil queen and her two cat minions. (Hey, someone’s gotta do it!)
What I have found is that, during the engagement process, there are certain things that the bride-to-be is most certainly supposed to feel, according to just about every book, article, and person I’ve talked to. There’s the “engagement honeymoon” phase, where apparently I’m supposed to look glossy-eyed and stare at my ring for indefinite periods of time whilst sighing deeply and occasionally bumping into walls. There’s the “bridal moment,” when I look at myself in the perfect dress and everything I have ever wanted in life magically slides into place and I start crying because I can finally see myself as a bride.
There are the difficulties of being a bride as well. I recently came across several different month-by-month beauty plans, and realized that I was six months behind in creating my Wedding Beauty Binder, and that I was also overdue for my dermatologist and brow specialist appointments. I also learned just recently of “dress sickness,” where apparently if I put on my wedding dress an hour too early on the day of the wedding, I can become tired of it before the wedding begins, and years of emotional trauma ensue.
I was, apparently, born with a mutation to my bride-to-be gene, because if my life depended on it, I couldn’t tell you the difference between satin and taffeta, I couldn’t identify a single diamond cut, and Cake? They’re an awesome alternative rock band.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, a lot of this process is kinda fun. I get to pick out stuff, and catch up with people I haven’t talked to in a while, and create a website, and spend lots of time on Pinterest, and do fun little DIY projects. I’m ALL about fun little DIY projects. But I kind of get that feeling, like when you first join a club you’re not sure about but your friend reeeallyy wants you to go, and everyone is talking enthusiastically and you kind of just go…”huh?”
It’s not easy to say that you don’t find this time the most enjoyable, exciting, enchanting time of your life. Sure, you can be stressed. That’s a given. But you have to be stressed about how much you have to do, or about being worried with how it will all turn out, or about not getting what you want. And I worry that admitting I don’t always feel like a glowing bride-to-be might imply that I’m not looking forward to my marriage, which absolutely couldn’t be further from the truth. I just am struggling to have an emotional reaction to dahlias or cake toppers.
For someone who writes a blog all about finding the enchantment in life, I must confess that I’m struggling to find the particular magic in the engagement period that seems like such a given to so many other girls. But here’s the thing. The process, while lacking that fairy dust that others seem to find in it, is still kinda fun on the whole. My fiance and I have learned new things about each other, and it’s been so great to work on this huge project together. I think -I hope- our wedding is going to be a lot of fun, too. I hope I’ll be relaxed enough to be able to somewhat enjoy the day without stressing out over whether it will be magical perfectionland. And our marriage? I think that will be the best part of all.