You’re engaged and in charge. With the unabashed delight of an 8-year-old chosen to captain her dodge ball team, you’ve selected your squad of bridesmaids with care. Even as you read this, they are searching online for a size 8 lime green dress that won’t make them look like a bag of guavas.
You are convinced that lime is the it bridal color this season, although you can’t remember where you read that.
You need help.
It’s an insane feature of our culture that a bride-to-be chooses a contemporary to guide her through her choices as she prepares for her wedding day. In many cases, you have the blind leading the blind without any critical analysis of the preparations whatsoever. (Except from your future mother-in-law, and let’s face it, her voice just sounds like a grown-up in a Charlie Brown cartoon. Whaa –ah- whaa -ah whaa-ah.)
Your mother is as caught up as you are in the table centerpieces and your wedding party is focused on planning the bachelorette and fitting into their lime green dresses. No one is hitting the pause button to make you think about a few critical items. Which brings you to me.
I was a bride who chose a song from the original Batman Movie soundtrack for her slow dance. I had a team of horses carry me to the wedding. And I ended up divorced. I am older than you and wiser, just by virtue of the number of mistakes I have piled up like jeans I’ll never wear again in my closet. So I thought I’d share some thoughts for you from your Virtual Fairy GodMaidofHonor.
All of these little pensées fall into one overriding giant piece of advice: Don’t plan for a day. Plan for a lifetime. You can make wise choices on the way to the wedding that will serve you and your beloved until the day comes when you’re the cutest couple in the old age home. To that end:
- Don’t starve yourself into a dress. The effects of a very low calorie diet can include fatigue, depression, nausea, gallstones, heart problems, electrolyte imbalances and loss of lean muscle mass. Do you want to feel great in a dress? Find a workout that will safely shift your body composition into a lean, mean bridal machine. Something that will become a healthy habit for you long after you’ve written your last thank you note.
- You are already beautiful. And you will stay beautiful as you age. Nonetheless, if you start healthy habits now with caring for your hair, skin and teeth, you will reap the benefits over a lifetime. What if one day Instagram did away with their filters? Think about it. Don’t be beholden to Silicon Valley filter-makers. They seem like a fickle bunch to me.
- When you’re thinking about your bridal registry, think long term. Start planning your home, not just making a list of things you want right this minute. Today you love anything with a bird on it. Will you still feel that way 3 years from now? Three months from now? Think neutral for big-ticket items and save the trendy pantones for accents. I say this as a woman who painted her walls red one year, then Tiffany blue the next.
- Who are you marrying? That’s right. Your beloved. Not the rest of your beloved’s family. Learn some boundaries. Quickly.
- Find a wedding photographer you love and trust who will grow with you and your family. Trust me, once you have children, you will never be in a photograph again. Find someone who can take gorgeous headshots for your grown-up social media accounts and regular family portraits that will feature you with whatever family you create, all artfully scattered around YOU.
- Dare to be different on your Big Day. It should reflect you as a couple and set the tone for the rest of your life. Want to register for a pair of mountain bikes instead of bone china? Go for it. Look at your wedding as a way to announce who you are as a couple. We crave adventure! We make good health a priority! We like peanut butter frosting! The day will pass in the click of a wedding photographer’s shutter, but the habits you create on the way to the wedding will last a lifetime.
Want more help? Lucky for you, I’ve gathered a host of local experts who want to share their wisdom and wedding tips with you for free. Come visit us on May 15 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Your Wedding Day and Beyond: A Bridal/Lifestyle Expo. It will take place at CoreMotion studios, including a free CoreMotion Bridal Party Express Class to get you started on those sleeveless-wedding-dress delts. Click here to sign up for your free class and an afternoon of treats, advice, raffles and fun! REGISTER HERE
Bring your groom, your wedding party, your mother. And maybe rethink the lime.
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