real life

A message to brides from someone who has been there: The fairytale ends.

“I had the fairytale wedding. But not one minute was spent thinking about being married and what that means.”






I had the dream wedding. The fairytale. The extravagance. For two years I consumed my time, my mind and my every essence with preparing for the “big day”.

I had a team of supporters. I needed a team. My family. My in-laws. My cousins. The excitement was contagious. The momentum unavoidable.

I was young and I knew what I wanted.  There was very little that stood in the way of my dreams becoming my reality.

I became the Bride. Picture perfect .

Perhaps I was not as tall as the models in the magazines, but certainly full of the glow and radiance only a white dress, veil and diamonds can bring. Diamonds, oh diamonds. They are still the pain in my side. But I’ll leave that for another time.

The details were meticulous. I read every magazine. I searched every internet site. Looked for every possibility. I went to bed dreaming of phalaenopsis and woke up thinking of shades of purple and butterflies. I scampered across Melbourne to source the best fabrics, the best designers, the best photographers, the best videographers. There was not one thing I went without.

The big day came and it was exhilarating. Exceptional. Surpassed even my wildest dreams. Yes, in every essence it was perfect. Not one thing I would change. My parents were glowing with pride. My friends were still in shock from the theatrics of it all. I was complete. I had reached my dream, the perfect wedding, the perfect day.

So much energy. So much time. Planning and adjusting, refining and polishing. Making sure everything was just right. No time spent thinking about the next day. Or the next day. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. The thing that comes after a wedding. The marriage.


No, not one minute was spent thinking about being married and what that would mean. No planning. No attention to meticulous detail. I didn’t read one magazine or scour one internet site. The day after the wedding meant rest, sleep and a long deserved break on my honey moon. Not once did I think about what it would mean to be someone’s wife.

Josefa Pete

Poor little Alice. All glammed up in my wedding dress and veil. There I was staring down the rabbit hole, about to fall in.

Ten years have passed since that wedding day. Yet I still remember our first year. We had both lived at home until we were married. Comfortable, traditional, European homes.

So when we got married and moved out, it was a huge first for the both of us. Juggling work and house was hard. In my usual way I tried to do too much. Keep it Picture Perfect. But I realise now that the first year was neither good nor bad. It just was. What was bad, was my perception of that first year.

Looking back now, that first year was simple. I was the one who was difficult. I think that in my need to be in control, I was in fact my own White Rabbit. Perhaps even, there was no rabbit hole.

I had a mental checklist. I was trying to keep up the illusion. An illusion I had created, but thought was perfectly real. I thought I was being watched. Being tested. I could not fail. But now I can see – that no one was even watching.

Josefa Pete lives in Melbourne. She battles through motherhood and life, with her false eyelashes and a non-stop supply of coffee. Her big-extended family and boisterous boys give her many reasons to find her sanity through her words. You can follow Josefa’s blog and her Twitter. You can also find her on Facebook here.

When you were planning your wedding, did you get so caught up in it that you never thought about the marriage? If you aren’t married, do you worry about falling into this trap? Do you know anyone who has?