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JESSIE STEPHENS: I’m getting married next month. Here are the 6 things I refuse to do.

If anyone I know really, really well is reading this story then they are currently muttering under their breath:


“You refuse to do literally everything.”

To that I say, I don’t appreciate your attitude, but also that is a fair and accurate observation. 

My wedding appears to be going ahead despite me contributing barely anything. I’m ashamed of how much of the mental load has been relegated to others, but not ashamed enough to contribute more. 

My attitude is probably a result of having worked at least 50 weddings, back when I was bar staff at a Golf Club. We held wedding receptions just about every weekend, and there were a few things I discovered.

The first is that your wedding is probably like everyone else’s wedding. I know you chose natives not roses and your dress was A-line not mermaid and your shoes weren’t even white they were actually blue, but for most of your guests, those things don’t actually matter.

The second is that there is too much waste. Food. Alcohol. Wedding favours and fancy menus. 

The third is that so many brides (I like to pretend that my refusal to take on the mental load has some sort of feminist basis) don’t get to enjoy it. I've seen brides sick with stress all day, worried about when the lights will be dimmed and if aunty Liz got the vegetarian option. 

With my accrued knowledge, I decided early that there were precisely six things I straight-up refuse to do in the lead-up to my wedding and on the actual day. Let's start with the point that has most upset our wedding planner. 

1. No goddamn wedding cake.

They cost a fortune and most of it ends up in the bin. Or, as was the case when I was clearing platters, most of it ended up in my mouth. 

If guests have already eaten canapes, an entree, a main and a dessert, then by the time the cake comes out they can barely walk. 

I reckon it's worth choosing between dessert or the wedding cake. Do one or the other. Lots of couples love the spectacle of the cake, which is fair enough, but in that case, why bother filling your guests with pudding? 

Every time we meet with the wedding planner she whispers "maybe just a little cake", but NO. 

No cake.

Image: Instagram @jessiestephens90.

2. Go to another location for photos.

I can't be bothered... is the reason... for this rule. 

After the ceremony, many couples go to a nearby location and get some beautiful photographs together. Sometimes this can take a few hours. 

Well, I'm hungry. And I find getting photos taken mortifying, boring and uncomfortable. 

Our ceremony is in a backyard and we're just going to have our photos taken there. There are some pretty hedges. A lovely view. Everyone we love will be in close proximity. And that way people don't get snacks without us. 

3. Throw a bouquet.

Nah. Each to their own, but not for us. Also, no garter toss. 

Watching 16 women fall over themselves in heels and after they've consumed 100 litres of wine feels like a safety issue. 

4. Have a bridal table.

We decided to have a few long tables where everyone is mixed and we get to properly speak to people. I think I also have a complex about sitting up the front of a room where people watch me eat all night and gasp when I spill pasta down the front of my dress. That's the kind of display no one needs to see.

Image: Instagram @jessiestephens90.

5. Spend $4000 on skincare in the lead-up.

If you've got the money, go to town. And give me some of your money, please. But in terms of what I wanted to fork out for, the year-long skincare routine with needles and peels and massages didn't feel necessary. 

I'm paying a make-up artist to paint my face with so much goo that my own future husband does not recognise me. She'll paint over my blackheads and fine lines. 

I did intend to maybe have one facial but I forgot. 

Ah well. 

6. Lose any weight. Actually, I’ll be gaining a fair bit.

Even if l wasn't in my current situation, weight loss was never going to be a goal for me. 

I have no desire to be the thinnest, fittest, most toned I've ever been, and then look back on photos and weep because I don't look like that anymore. 

In fact, I will be six months pregnant. Just about every part of my body will be bigger, my stomach and boobs stretched, my ankles puffy. 

For about four minutes I felt a little uncomfortable about that. How would I find a dress that fit? Is that the vision I'd had for myself as a bride? 

But then I realised, I'd never actually pictured what I would look like. If anything, I'd fantasised about how I might feel. 

The pregnancy has been a blessing. It has forced me to surrender. It limited my dress options and has proven a worthy excuse for doing even less than the barely nothing I was contributing at the beginning. 

I suppose that brings me to the last thing I won't be doing, not by choice necessarily, but by necessity. 


That made me sad for a little longer than four minutes, but then I remembered all the couples at the Golf Club who would drink too much and have weird fights about how the other was drunk, and decided it might be for the best. 

One time a father-in-law drank so much he threw a chair at someone and we had to call the police. 

Being sober, it seems unlikely I will be throwing furniture. 

And that's an additional thing I really hope won't be happening at my wedding. 

Feature Image: Instagram @jessiestephens90. 

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