Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When will I start to feel like a bride?

I've written and rewritten the beginning to this post (and the rest of it, really). I'm not sure how to start it or what exactly to say. I know that I might get some flack for this, but hey, you gotta write what you feel. I'm also not totally sure I captured my feelings correctly. Sometimes the "right words" just aren't there. PS - This post is looooong.

Before getting really into this, I want to add a disclaimer. I am so happy! I'm thrilled to be marrying the man of my dreams and I can't wait until we're standing in front of friends and family and officially get to become man and wife. This post has nothing to do with that. If I could marry him tomorrow, I would. (And if we hadn't yet put down so many deposits that's exactly what we'd do...at the courthouse.)

The wedding industry is ridiculous. I think future brides buy into it looking for this idea of "the perfect wedding." I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't exist. Please hear me out. I'm sure that everyone's wedding day is special and perfect in its own way. And I really hope I feel that way about my own wedding day in just four months (holy eff, four months). I guess it's not really the actual wedding day that gives me issues, it's everything leading up to it.

I have not yet felt like a bride throughout all my wedding planning.

I'm serious.

I've fallen in and out of love with my dress about ten times, I own two pairs of shoes that go with the dress and neither one of them works (who knew that shoes would be so stressful?), I can't make a decision about what my hair should look like, and oh my goodness don't even get me started on what I'm going to do with my nails (I have no clue -- French manicure is out). Every decision I've made surrounding me I've gone back on at least once.

I did not have a problem making any decisions about the venues, decorations, bridesmaid stuff, or other details. My only difficulty has been with making decisions about myself. This is sounding really self-involved, but, eh, I guess that's exactly what it is. I mean, I'm the bride, right? Technically yes. I'm still waiting for it to feel that way, though.

I've had two dress fittings. I can stand there in front of the gigantic mirror on the pedestal and admit that I look nice in my dress, but I don't feel like a bride. So often you hear the bride say "This is my dress! I feel like a bride in it!" What does that mean? It's almost like I'm having an out-of-body experience. Oh yeah! That girl looks great in that dress, good for her! But oh...that girl is me. Does this mean that it's not the right dress? Not necessarily. I like it, and at this point I'm definitely not interested in starting from scratch. Maybe finding the right shoes will help.

I've had two hair trials (and potentially a third in the near future), and nothing is living up to my expectation of what a bride is supposed to look like. I think that's the problem -- I'm imaging some bride, not myself as a bride. My inner monologue is saying, Well, this hair is nice, but it doesn't look very bridal. It's not something I've seen in a magazine. So am I not allowing myself to see that I don't have to (and won't) look exactly like what I've seen on TV and in the magazines?

I had a makeup trial, too. I thought it went well. The makeup was a bit heavy, but shouldn't it be? I got home that night and Erich had a cow. He wasn't used to seeing me wear that much makeup and couldn't understand why our wedding should be different. He prefers me with no makeup and just can't wrap his head around the fact that I will absolutely not show up bare-faced to our wedding. So now I've decided to mostly do my own makeup (with some help on the eyeshadow because at least one thing has to be different/prettier than normal). Unfortunately -- and I wish I didn't sound like a brat here -- that just added to my insecurity about not feeling like a bride. I mean, surely brides don't do their own makeup for their wedding! (They do. It happens all the time. But not in my "perfect wedding.")

Am I just not happy with these decisions because none of them have left me with that Weeeeee! I'm getting married and I'm the briiiiiiide! feeling? Am I just one of those people who won't feel like that? (I think I just pinpointed my exact issue with being a logical creature. I am not emotional, and therefore do not subconciously care about these things, except ohmygodIcaresomuchbecauseit'smywedding.)

I guess as a child I imagined my wedding, but never imagined me in my wedding.

Normally, my advice to someone else would be to follow their heart. I can't follow that in this case because I'm not sure which direction my heart is leading me in. Actually, it's usually telling me to suck it up. I am totally aware that this is absolutely ridiculous. I know that none of this really matters in the long run, and my wedding will be perfect regarless of whether or not I finally found the perfect shoes or have the perfect hairstyle. But right now I just can't see it. I just want to feel like a bride, whatever that means.

Will I have that moment on our big day where I finally see the whole picture -- me in the dress, with my hair and makeup done, wearing the right shoes -- and feel like I'm the bride? Or maybe I'll feel like the bride when I see my groom?

I guess I'm just wondering if it was like this for any other brides. Did anyone else experience this? Is it just the stress of planning that's getting to me? Does seeing the whole picture help? Will I feel like a bride on my actual wedding day? Can I hire a stand-in so that my idea of what a wedding should look like can be fulfilled? (Just kidding on that last one. Kind of.) Please send help.


Anonymous said...

I never got "the" feeling. Maybe, sort of, when I chose my dress? I say "maybe" because I remember saying the words, "this dress makes me feel like I bride" but the situation was me trying to choose one dress or another and I think what I really meant was, "this dress makes me LOOK like a bride". On the actually wedding day I was riddled with anxiety. Not a single emotion other than fear could enter my brain(I hate attention on myself). Throughout the evening I knew I was the bride and that everyone was here for us, but it wasn't an active thought. There was no "ah-ha" moment at which I became totally emotional over being a bride and getting married. Some people just don't get it. I'm okay with it because it's all over(the wedding, thank God) and I've walled away with the man of my dreams(gag). If it's important to you to get "the" feeling well then I sure do hope it happens for you!

Mia Sutton said...

Aw, I'm sorry, Gayle. I'm not the right person to give advice because Charlie and I eloped. But I think that you will eventually feel like "the bride." When it all comes together and when four months become 3 and 2 and 1, etc. I too couldn't picture being a "bride" and my wedding day, until the day actually came. And then it just kind of clicked and it was the best day of my life!! Big hugs, G.

Jenn said...

I think when it all comes together, you're definitely going to feel like a bride. It's hard to picture it all together without it all actually being together. My best advice is to pick things that you like. Things you're comfortable in/with. Whatever happens, it will all come together well and if it's not how you want it when you see it, that's what people are there for--to fix it and make adjustments as necessary. Try not to get too bogged down by not feeling like a bride. I think the whole process was surreal for me and never felt like "I'm a bride" I guess but was a fun step in the process. Try and have fun with it, because this is only going to happen once! So enjoy it rather than wracking your brain over thinking everything. That's my advice to you :)

Jo Elizabeth said...

I didn't have the bride gene. I am the cookie-cutter type of girl you'd EXPECT to be all about things bridal, and so it was a surprise even to me. I wanted to get engaged for so long that when it was actually happening I was...just not that into it. I wanted to marry J, and that's all I wanted. I didn't care about any of the details, I didn't care about the shoes or the hair or the nails or really anything--and that's so not like me. But I think I just didn't buy into the wedding. I was more focused on "the marriage." And the second I had that diamond ring on my finger, the wedding no longer mattered to me--I just wanted to be his wife. But I will say this--I FELT INCREDIBLE on our wedding day. I felt like a bride. I felt happy and giddy and special and wonderful. So I can only hope it's the same for you!