So, it turns out that I am not actually Super Bride. Shocking, I know. I had all of these delusions that I would joyously slave away, glue gun in hand, making various whimsical creations for our guests to fawn over. I realize that this is egotistical, but isn’t the bride’s ego what weddings are all about? Anyway, my first order of business was to design our wedding invitations. I went through a few versions of a simple design, but nothing seemed quite right until I decided to fully dive into the Halloween theme. I was browsing online for ideas when I stumbled onto this invite that was designed like a movie poster. A ha! B-horror movie poster invitations! I whipped together a design featuring a zombified picture of Jeff and I hovering ominously over a church cemetery complete with dark, stormy night. The headline was: Night of the Living Wed in a cheesy horror font. All of the other info was in the credits section of the poster. Jeff loved it and I thought I was being pretty clever, so I sent it off to the moms for approval.We were swiftly, yet gracefully shut down. I will have to say they handled the situation fairly well. There was no shouting or fainting. They let us down softly with comments like, “Wouldn’t you…um…rather save those for a Halloween anniversary party?” or a classic from my mom, “Your grandma’s gonna shit!” So, that was the end of that. It was also the end of our Halloween costume party. Back to the drawing board.
Apparently wedding colors are a big deal. I had no idea. If anyone is going to ask you only two questions about your wedding they will ask you the date and they will ask you about the damned colors. Complete strangers will want to know every detail of your wedding and will lecture you if you don’t know your colors. The bridal shop and the tux shop will not let you in unless you know your colors. I’m not kidding. We spent hours clicking through wedding sites trying to figure out our colors and theme. The only thing we had to go on was that we both like blue and I really didn’t want to go with traditional fall colors. Somewhere along the way, I decided on peacock colors. I love peacocks and thought the bright blue, green, silver, and gold would be great wedding colors. I know this may seem like a lot of colors, but our wedding actually ended up even more colorful. I’m pretty sure that even, Jeff, who played an equal part in the planning, was worried that our venue would end up looking like Crayola puked all over it. Still, he unwaveringly stood by my side. So now we had colors! We also settled on a bright royal blue to be our primary color for the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Now we just have to figure out what we are going to wear.
I will have to admit that I was never one of those girls who dreamed about her wedding as a child. I never really thought about it at all until I was having one. I also must confess that I’ve always hated wedding dresses. I dreaded the thought of having to strap myself into a pouffy white monstrosity and be expected to move and dance and smile. My criteria for dresses were this: 1. It is not in any way pouffy. 2. I can breathe. 3. I can dance and move freely without my boobs popping out. 4. I can go to the restroom by myself. Having set my criteria, I got onto the David’s Bridal website, picked out some dresses to try on and made an appointment. Before going to my appointment, I made the terrible mistake of showing Jeff pictures of the dresses I liked. There was one in particular that he absolutely hated and declared that it looked more suited for the red carpet than a wedding. I tried it on anyway. I fell in love. It was a very simple ivory halter top slim A-line dress. It hugged my curves in all the right ways and had a small amount of beading at the waist and train to add just enough sparkle. It made me feel like a glamorous old Hollywood movie star. I bought the dress despite the little voice constantly reminding me that Jeff hated it. I just hoped that maybe he would like it on me.
I have to say that I am a very lucky girl. While most grooms want nothing to do with the planning, Jeff was very involved. He dealt with vendors, picked out favors and even researched cake and flower ideas. We got to go insane together. Isn’t that what marriage is all about? He even came up with our theme: a masquerade! The classy Halloween party. Everyone could wear their normal wedding attire and just put a mask on for the reception. They could bring their own mask or use the masks that we would provide as favors. Everyone seemed okay with this idea. I was ecstatic and immediately ordered an ornate gold mask.
For the non-typical bride, it is very difficult to find invitations, site templates, and readings that don’t trigger the gag reflex. Everything is just so damn frilly and overly saccharine. I am a glamour girl, not a girly-girl and I tend to have sentiment issues. Thank goodness for the Offbeat Bride website. I stumbled onto it just as I was becoming disgusted and disillusioned with bridal websites. Through it I found my invitations (royalsteamline.com), non-pukey free website templates (mywedding.com), and our reading (Falling In Love Is Like Having a Dog). They also offer good advice on everything from fashion, to dealing with family, to tattoos. I have a very visible tattoo on my upper back and I was appalled by how many strangers asked if I was going to cover it up. They also seemed shocked when I told them no. It’s my dad’s drawing of a dove. It means a lot to me and it’s not like anyone can find a dove offensive. I’m so glad my family understood this.
I think giving everyone involved in the wedding a little freedom is what made it turn out so great. I didn’t care about anything but the dress for my bridesmaids. They could choose their own shoes, makeup, and hairstyle. I did my best to try to find a dress that would be simple, comfortable and flattering for everyone. Why create drama over the small stuff? I just wanted everyone to be comfortable and have a good time. Jeff and I handled our vendors in the same way. We told our florist what colors we liked, I wanted red roses and peacock feathers in my bouquet and Jeff wanted cool light effects. We let her do what she liked from there and it was spectacular. The same was true with the wedding planner and our decor and the cake design. We chose colors and styles that we liked and let them run with it. We didn’t even see our cake until the day of the wedding. It was gorgeous.
No matter what you do, there is going to be some drama in your wedding planning. You can micromanage all you like, but it’s a huge production, something is bound to go wrong. My biggest recommendation: just go with it. No one will notice that you’ve been sewn into your dress and your special ordered shoes are way too small. You just shove your feet in and hobble down the aisle. You’ll forget that you can’t feel your toes when you see the look on your groom’s face. He loved the dress. Also, dare to be different. You may raise a few eyebrows, but in the end you’ll be memorable. Who would forget the wedding party marching out to the Star Wars theme?