By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
He placed the ring on your finger; a moment you will cherish for the rest of your life. The phone calls to friends and families sharing your joy have waned. You have practiced writing your new last name to the point of carpel tunnel syndrome and images of the perfect white dress are ingrained in your slumber. At last, you can attend family gatherings without having to dodge Aunt Busybody or Cousin Married Forever. You are now welcomed into the world of acceptance. You can bid farewell to blind dates and awkward introductions. You have arrived; you are at the mountain top of relationships. I want to personally congratulate you and suggest that you hold on tight, find a good helmet, and master the nod-smile gesture immediately.
It is a splendid time full of love, laughter and the need for expensive therapy. You will get to know your spouse-to-be in ways you never imagined. Advice will be sandblasted at you at the speed of light and you will soon understand the challenges, twists, and turmoil of Bridal Survival. Breathe deeply sweet Warrior in White. Lean strongly on your best friend, hold firmly your favorite Pinot, and find lip gloss that compliments shades of impossible.
In addition to the avalanche of advice that will crumble fiercely in your direction I share some of the most basic tools of trudging through the tidal wave of trepidation. As the Queen of Quandary and the absolute most unlikely Warrior in White, it is with sincere support I offer the following survival techniques. Breathe deeply, remain as calm as one can and cling whole heartedly to your sense of humor.
1. Avoid bridal shops for as long as you possibly can. This may very well make planning a bit more difficult; however, visiting these palaces of princess preparation too early and too often can lead to frequent visits to your family physician. It is their mission in life to remind you of all the things (necessary or not) that you haven’t done, said, written, worn, or added to your panic list.
When the time comes that you must visit said establishments make certain you know who you are, what you want, and have an exit strategy that has been well rehearsed. NEVER, ever take more than one living soul with you. It is much easier to pinch one person than five.
2. Learn the language. Now means yesterday. Yesterday means you are too late, and next week means today. As difficult as it maybe to erase all you know of time and space, it is a requirement. If you need to order anything whether it is a towel or a tiara stop everything you are doing and order. Order three, it is possible one will arrive. Maybe means impossible, and impossible means it is exactly what is necessary. Necessary means that which prevents family feuds, wardrobe malfunctions, and visits to the ER. Make notecards, it does help.
3. Remember your college psychology courses. You will leave this monumental occasion with a greater understanding of why Dr. Phil and pharmacies are so popular. It is frowned upon to point out any odd behavior or obvious pathology from those involved in what many call the Wedding Party. Not too sure how the word party made the mix, nonetheless understanding of the most common personality disorders will, at the very least, help you through the speeches and possibly even assist in monitoring reception alcohol intake. Never use the word crazy, special is slightly more gentle and socially preferred.
4. Wedding dresses are made for a 6-foot Barbie. To all my vertically challenged Warriors in White, alterations are now an enormous part of your life. Forget any notion that you will find a dress made just for you. You don’t exist in the wide world of wedding. Heaven help you if curves run in your family. Expect to pay exactly twice as much for alterations as your long legged counterparts. If you were raised on biscuits and gravy, you will need duct tape. If you were raised on biscuits and gravy, in combination with grandma’s cherry pie, that requires a more drastic approach to alterations. Call me, the world isn’t ready for what you must do.
5. Your guest list is so much more than a spreadsheet. This requires skill, grace, and Uncle Jack Daniels. If you know them, recognize them, love them and or are in anyway related they become the minority. It is standard procedure to invite mostly those you don’t know so when chaos occurs you don’t have to see them again. It makes sense. If your event requires a seating chart, call Oprah.
Obviously there are many more tips, tricks and tirades, but some things are best experienced firsthand. He loves you, he will love you even if your family is special and your dress is a few inches too long. The moment will arrive no matter what you forget to do, say, bring, deliver, even wear. When those doors open no flower, no music, no person will matter except for the man who prompted you to do all of this in the first place. If you are still speaking to each other, all the battles, the wounds, and the mishaps suddenly fade. You will see him and only him. The music that took weeks to choose, will vanish. The flowers you Googled will disappear, and with the grace of God, the dress that has consumed your soul will stay in place.
Sweet Warriors in White, prepare all that you can and know that when the time comes you will be too exhausted to worry about ivory versus white, organ versus piano or Aunt Sarah versus Uncle Bob. Don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t forget to breathe and commit yourself to upholding your vows so that you never have to do it again.
By Cherimie Crane Weatherford