Have you ever gone to a wedding and (subconsciously or not) worn a jaw-dropping dress in a hope that you will look better than the bride? (You won’t) Have you ever started a conversation with “Well, at my wedding I wouldn’t…” and compared a current wedding’s location/ celebrant/ atmosphere/ decorations/ anything with your own (fantasy) wedding? If you answered yes, unfortunately you are not alone.
Weddings are supposed to be your big day – it’s all about the bride and the groom celebrating their love with their friends and family, where everyone is over the moon happy for you and everything is perfect. No matter how many times people say this (especially to your face), it’s never the case. There is a reason the wedding industry has had a huge boom and it’s because of an underlying competitive nature in humans that make us want to outdo each other on everything. You plan everything to be as perfect as possible so that no one will ultimately judge your style, your taste and in a nutshell, you.
No body wants to be judged, but in the end everybody subconsciously judges everybody else on their shoes, haircut, clothes, status and career. Because of this, weddings have become less about celebrating your personal love with your family and friends, and became more about pleasing everyone else. Being the bride firsthand behind the organising, it’s definitely a fantastic feeling to know that your guests are taken care of and that everyone is having a wonderful time – but somewhere deep down (and most likely after the actual event), you worry that someone secretly judged you on the dress you decided to go with because it doesn’t align with their particular ideals.
Somewhere along the way, we all forgot what weddings are really all about and got lost in the comparisons. I’m here today to tell you not to be that person, and if you stop being that person, you won’t have to worry what everyone else thinks because they won’t be doing it to you.
Here are some ways you can discard the black robe and the white wig of your inner judge and give the couple you are lucky to know your most gracious and undivided approval and attention.
1. Remember, this is not YOUR wedding
Telling your fellow friends at your bestie’s wedding how different you would have held this wedding is not going to help you appear gracious and happy for your friend. Maybe you would have put lanterns up instead of bunting, baby’s breath instead of wild flowers, and had all the bridesmaids wear matching dresses instead of different ones, but the thing is, this is not your wedding. Everything your friend has chosen for her wedding is because she wanted it that way and because it reflects her style and memories that she shares with her loved ones. Imagine if you went to somebody else’s wedding and they used all the things you would use at your own wedding – how annoyed would you feel? So until you hold your own wedding, or have, don’t judge your friend for following her own heart and style. Everyone is different, so celebrate the uniqueness in the event instead of bringing everything down.
2. Celebrate the love
Even if the person that bullied you in high school is now marrying your sister and you absolutely hate the union, picking the ceremony apart is not going to win you any friends. Instead, take a deep breath, and go back to the root of what this is all about – love. If you’re at the wedding with your significant other, celebrate in the fact that you have absolute permission to be super sappy and lovey dovey, and be happy that you have a chance to enjoy the love of others. If you are going to a wedding alone and can’t stand the snide looks from Aunt Nikola and the pokes as to “When are you getting married?” celebrate the fact that love is out there for you and focus on the positive things that you love about yourself. No matter your situation in life, you can still enjoy the greatest emotion of humanity, even if you send a little bit of it your own way.
3. Help put the wedding together
If you have the time and will power, offer your services to the bride and groom. Even if it’s baking the cake, putting the decorations up on the day, helping the Maid of Honour plan the bachelorette party, or even making an emergency pack for the bridal party and groomsmen, lending a helping hand will make you feel like you have played your part in this celebration and will give you something to be proud about. Having something that you did that helped make your friend’s special day amazing will make you feel like a pretty good friend and less like picking apart the wedding’s decorations.
Photo by Chris Photography
4. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all
Your mother said it for a reason, so stick to it! Nothing is more boring than listening to someone complain about something that is really not worth complaining about it, and you will find that more people will gravitate away from you if you get stuck on that negative spiral, giving you a gloomy disposition and keep your white wig firmly glued to your head. If you absolutely hate the band, don’t complain and point out that you refuse to dance – just spark up a conversation with your neighbour on your table and ask them questions about themselves. You may just find a new friend instead of pushing them away with your negativity.
5. Find the positives
Everyone can find the negatives in something, so turn it around and do the harder thing – find the positives in your situation. Yes, your bridesmaids dress looks terrible on you, but your sister in-law looks absolutely bitchin’ in her wedding dress, and your brother looks handsome in his suit, and that is really all that matters. You wouldn’t have chosen a bouquet of roses because they cut your hands, but they smell great and bring out the colour in your eyes. You hate the cheap decorations at the end of the aisle, but the food is AH-mazing! Focusing on the good things will outshine the negatives when you think back on that memory and you will realise that all that bitching and judging meant nothing anyway.
So now that you have read these helpful little tips, throw out your pre-dispositions and your gavel and head to your friend’s wedding excited to see two crazy love-birds get married, no matter the location or the weather. This is what it is all about – the rest are just extras that don’t really matter (even if the wedding industry is going to burn me at the stake for saying so!).