It all started at the hairdressers. Encased in foils and unable to extend my arms far enough to reach my usual magazine of choice, I settled on a bridal magazine and flipped through with low expectations.
An hour later I was eagerly making my way through a whole pile. Now they’re the one magazine I’ll willingly buy and there’s a growing stack by my bed.
The catch? I have no wedding to plan. I’m not engaged and I don’t plan to be for the next few years. I don’t even know anyone getting married anytime soon, but bridal magazines have become my new life bible.
They’re an untapped source of endless nuggets of wisdom that have nothing to do with weddings.
1. There is no situation that can’t be fixed with good food and lots of booze.
Seriously. Put people in a room with flowing alcohol and delicious food (bonus points for things like late-night greasy burgers, antipasto platters and huge cakes) and you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Same goes for nights in.
Why is it only reserved for weddings? It’s bloody fabulous. Wake up before your alarm? Managed the day on just one coffee? Throw that stuff everywhere.
3. They give your bank balance a self-esteem boost.
All the people in these pages have spent at least $20,000 on a single day, while your savings are sitting happily in your account. #smug
4. Treat yo’ self.
There is one piece of advice all bridal magazines have in common; brides must treat themselves to massages, manicures and skincare in the days leading up to the wedding. My takeaway here? If you’ve got a new job, have an event coming up or just need a pick-me-up, treat yourself. Stop waiting for a wedding or enormous life milestone as an incentive.
5. When in doubt, put candles and flowers out.
Messy bedroom? Throwing a dinner party and haven’t had chance to clean or tidy up? Feeling a little down? Candles and flowers fix everything.
6. Photograph the sh*t out of everything.
Forget the ‘Live in the moment’ ethos for a second – photograph everything. Yes, memories are great but you can’t frame them and unfortunately the finer details begin to fade. Y
Maybe not all the time... Image: Tumblr
7. Sometime it's best not to DIY.
I love a jam jar and cute hipster details as much as the next person, but DIY isn't for everyone. A smart person knows when to attempt a home job and when to head to Kmart.
8. Talking to people is actually ok.
Remember the days when strangers actually greeted and talked to each other instead of being glued to your phones? Well, no me neither but it's a nice idea. Weddings involve forced interactions with friends, relatives and strangers alike - and that's not a bad thing. Step outside of your comfort zone on other days, chat to people you wouldn't normally and you'll be surprised by how many amazing stories and life experiences people have to share. (Watch: People share their biggest regret about their weddings. Post continues after video.)
9. But don't freak out when the plan doesn't go to plan.
No amount of organisation or meticulous planning can prevent things going wrong in life. Drunk best man? Public transport down on the day you need to be at an early meeting? Local supermarket all out of Ben and Jerry's Half Baked Ice-cream? You've got to learn not to stress over the things you have no control over and embrace the times things go a little wayward. (Post continues after gallery.)
Never get between a bride and her calculator. In every bridal magazine there's inevitably an article showing you a pie chart of the wedding cost breakdown and how much you should spend on everything. Substitute in your dinners with friends, coffees, movies, etc, and you now have the budgeting pie chart of your dreams.
11. You remember people not things.
In reading couples' accounts of their weddings, the strongest memories that endure are always of the people that were there to share their special day rather than how the steak was cooked or whether the floral displays were the right colour blue. Make a concerted effort to spend time with people you love and admire rather than solely aspiring and focusing on material things.
12. How to host a killer party 101.
Bridal magazines are your one stop ticket to being dubbed the hostess with the mostest among your friends. In every one, you'll find brilliant hosting tips and tricks from personal touches to tricks for doing things on the cheap. If in doubt, remember the magic formula of booze + food.
And remember the food and booze. Image: iStock
13. Sometimes you just need to be a personzilla.
You don't need to go crazy and throw a strop about the font on a napkin, but in life it pays to know what you want and go out and get it. From relationships to career, we could all benefit from bringing out our inner bridezilla now and again.
14. Life can be as romantic as the movies...
For some people, life does read like the script of a rose-tinted romantic comedy. People do get swept off their feet by love. (Post continues after gallery.)
15. ...but it can also be very ordinary. Both are equally beautiful.
The stories of how people met and were proposed to are some of my favourite sections of a bridal magazine. Whether it's a big flash-mob gesture or a simple 'We should probably get married' suggested over tea and toast, love is whatever you want it to be.
16. Pinterest is life.
Eat, sleep, pin, repeat.
17. Nothing beats the power of a good dress.
There's no better feeling that putting on a dress or an outfit that makes you feel gorgeous, sexy and powerful. It doesn't have to be a wedding dress, but everyone should have something that gives them that feeling.
18. What NOT to do when it comes to your big day.
Yep, bridal mags allow you to judge others and feel smug about all the perfect decisions we're obviously going to make one it's our turn. "I would never wear that dress", "Oh god, why did she have EIGHT bridesmaids?", "Did she really think canapes were going to satisfy her guests?" You get the picture.
What life lessons have you learnt from bridal magazines?