When I got engaged, I inherited a pile of wedding magazines from a sweet friend who was just about to tie the knot herself. A veritable stack of glossy pages filled with floral arrangements and tulle. As a single girl, wedding magazines are a bit of an unknown entity; whilst we are all au fait with the evils of the women’s magazines, bridal magazines are a whole different kettle of crazy. There are some of the same signs – the impossible slim, beautiful, white models, the expectation that you could always do with losing a few pounds and the items of clothing that cost more than my yearly rent. Not forgetting that no one in wedding-magazine-land ever marries a woman. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always fun to look at pretty pictures (why else would Pinterest exist?) but stray too far into the articles and you could find yourself choking on your coffee.
1. For a bride-to-be, a facial isn’t a luxury: it’s essential maintenance!
I counted up how much all of the beauty-related ‘essentials’ that one issue insisted that I have before the big day. It’s more than my monthly salary.
2. Don’t stop at just one dress
63% of Brides readers think that a second party dress is a ‘DO’, while Peaches Geldof went for the triple at her September 2012 wedding.
I don’t even know where to go with this one. Sure, if you want to wear a whole bunch of dresses then no one can stop you – but when the average price of the wedding dresses in the magazine is at least £2,000, I can’t help but feel a little panicked.
3. Keep him advised of any possible wedding landmines you’re laying so he at least has a head start devising a strategy to combat mother-in-law antics
Oh yes, the mother-in-law trope. Is this really still a thing? Of course, some people do have terrible relatives – not everyone is a good person but I’m sure that the percentage of mothers shoehorning themselves into the proceedings because of their jealousy (of the bride’s beauty, youth and relationship with her son, obvs) is nowhere near as high as wedding magazines might suggest.
4. Often the groom takes care of organising the honeymoon. If your fiance is in charge, make sure he picks your dream destination. Instruct a mutual friend to tell him [what you want], and if there’s something you really don’t want to do, it’s OK to say so.
God forbid you should actually talk to the man you’re going to marry… Oh, and it’s ok to protest against a holiday you really don’t want? Thank you, wedding magazines – I would never have known that.
5. Even if you change your surname, some friends will refer to you by your maiden name. Don’t take it personally. Girlfriends often take time to readjust when one gets married. The name change is symbolic.
Ah yes, your female friends are jealous that you have succeeded in life by snaring a man and will subtly undermine you by forgetting your new married surname which denotes your new status. Or, they’ve just got so used to calling you one thing for years and are a bit forgetful.
6. In the first flush of marriage, it’s common to get a dose of ‘retro wife’. Symptoms include baking, hoovering down the back of the sofa, dressing for dinner and wearing matching bra and knickers. Like feminism never happened…
You can say that again! I’m pretty sure that saying ‘I do’ doesn’t turn you into a Stepford Wife. I’m planning on keeping up my baking, but I’ll be damned if my husband-to-be is giving up his hoovering duties just so I can play out some bizarre stereotype. Oh, and I already dress for dinner… in my pyjamas.
7. The wedding is all about you.
This says it all, really. Women, it’s all about you. Don’t let that pesky partner of yours have a say in this very expensive, important day. This is the peak of your life, it will never get so good, so make the most of it before you become a ‘ball and chain’ or ‘er indoors’. Dammit, you deserve those Louboutins!
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