The Unconventional Bride: Why Wedding Wobbles Are Normal

The Unconventional Bride is having some sleepless nights over her dress…

As you may have guessed if you’ve read any of my previous columns, I’m not a ‘weddingy’ person. I really enjoy going to weddings, and I wanted to be married to my man from the first meeting (bunny boiler alert), but the actual specifics of a wedding…never really factored. I was much too busy as a kid pretending to be a dog (I know), specifically Tramp from Lady and the Tramp (I said, I know) to slip into my mum’s musty wedding dress or make a veil from a towel.

This is what I try to remind myself when I wake up in the night, heart pounding, worrying that the dress I’ve bought might not be THE dress. And to be fair, is it any wonder I’ve been um-ing and ah-ing over everything from the table decorations to my eyeliner, when all of these things are hung with such weird weight? We’re made to feel that the wedding, and all its elements, must be not only a perfect reflection of us and our partners as individuals, but also the unique magic of our relationship. All through the medium of a buffet and some novelty cake toppers.

It raises a lot of questions about identity (or at least it does after flicking through enough wedding magazines and starting on your third glass of wine). Do I want to be the version of me who exists only in my head (one part Debbie Harry; two parts Leslie Knope; one part Lisa Simpson) – groomed to perfection with make-up and hair that, frankly, I would never have the time or skillset to achieve on my own? Or should I be my usual, slightly dishevelled self, albeit one who’s spent longer than 10 minutes on my morning routine?

And that’s just how I look – how can I demonstrate my personality (and his, natch) through media I have precisely zero experience in? When it comes to flowers or catering, photography or choreography, my abilities are low. If only there was a section of the wedding that involved writing an article, or fussing a grumpy cat into purring – I’d nail it.

Turning to the internet does anything but help, as it seems there are a million options, and billions of photogenic couples who have easily created the perfect bespoke day – the crowded room of smiling faces somehow a reflection of their history and future. How I hate them.

Of course, as I soon realise once the clock shows a more sociable hour and I’ve had a cup of tea and closed Pinterest, that this is all complete bullshit. The pressure has been designed by the wedding industry to get you to part with couple bucks that could obv be better spent on an amazing honeymoon. If I hear one more person trying to sell me something irrelevant use the phrase: “you only do it once!” I might just scream into a floral centrepiece.

No, that’s not my marital mantra. Instead, props to those who remind me: “it’s just a day.” And, at that, a day involving all the people I love most under one roof. None of whom will give a flying cake topper what my eyeliner looks like. Especially as I’ll have cried it off by 5pm.


READ MORE: Can You Be A Feminist And Have A Traditional Wedding?

READ MORE: Does Hiring A Wedding Planner Make Me A Princess?

READ MORE: My Wedding Social Media Ban

READ MORE: The Wedding Dress Minefield

READ MORE: Beware The Wedding Mafia

Grazia magazine cover