Oh, happy days…
Being a bride is the equivalent of being a full-time party planner, except with no experience, no time to plan and what feels like 379 clients all wanting different things.
So many decisions. So many frail egos to stroke.
Add to that divorced parents who haven’t spent time with each other in 25 years and you’ve got the recipe for middle-of-the-night hyperventilation.
Which is to be expected, right?
But what I didn’t expect was my year of wedding planning to be one of the most stressful of my life. (And, yes, I know this is a massive first-world problem, but humour me, please.)
This is what I took from it:
Weddings are a time of high emotions. For everybody.
You would think the bride and groom have the monopoly on wedding meltdowns. Nope. Weddings bring out the crazy in everyone involved, particularly where family tensions already exist.
Warning: Divorced parents are a whole other breed. After having no good reason to spend time together (or with each other’s new partners, old family friends or relatives of their ex) for decades, they are likely to suddenly freak out and feel insecure about, well, everything.
On top of the million other things to be worried about, how said parents will behave at the wedding and any lead-up functions goes straight to the top of the list. So does making sure each parent feels special, giving due credit to the parent who raised you, not making the other parent feel too bad about it (maybe just a little bit regretful), working out who will walk you down the aisle, do speeches and what you will say about each in your speech…
They too will be thinking about these things and will likely repeatedly ask you about them in the lead-up, unsubtly hinting at what they think would be appropriate (usually that they get all the accolades and the other parent not really be included, after all, they did desert you as a child).
They may also become highly emotional, spend lots of time thinking about the events of the past they spent 20 years repressing, and feel an urgent desire to offload on to you. Expect tearful and drunken confessions in public places while your work colleague randomly walks past (yep, that happened).
Wrapping yourself in a selfish little bubble and screaming, ‘Sort your shit out, I don’t have time to deal with this,’ is extremely tempting. Probably don’t do it though.