Real Relationship Advice
Little girls are raised to embrace fantasy, adore romance and dream of being a princess. Even when feminists raise their little girls, you still get young ladies dreaming of a magical wedding. It is almost impossible to get away from it. From the magical proposal that transports you to that childhood fantasy where your boyfriend creates this elaborate display of love to the dress that makes you look straight out of a fairytale to the wedding that costs more than the GNP of several third world countries, these dreams are not unique to prissy girls.
The sad reality is that we bill the wedding day as the brides day. We build the fantasy that the wedding day will be the most amazing day of your entire existence. The truth is far from it. The wedding day is stressful. The wedding day is usually disappointing for many because, after spending so much time, money and energy to have everything go perfectly, to the perfect vows that make everyone cry to the doves released at the moment you walk out of the cathedral, something will go wrong. It is Murphy’s Law with impeccable comedic timing.
The scariest part of all of this is the desperation that some women have over getting married. Yes, the statistics are showing that more women are postponing marriage and some are flat out stating that they would rather eat a bug then have a ring on it. But the desperation remains like a festering internal wound for some women who were raised with the fantasy and never grew out of it.
The other night we saw a commercial about an app where you type in your name and that of your boyfriend to see if you would have a lasting marriage. Based on nothing but some bizarre hocus pocus statistics or random number generator, this app had enough funding to have a commercial on TV. This means somewhere women are buying this. This means there is a market for this Ouija board method of predicting the viability of a marriage. This is what we will spend our money on instead of good pre-marital counseling that has shown will create a lasting, healthy marriage.
So where is the desperation? Is it in having a companion, live-in lover, guaranteed date or father for your children? Or is it getting to be a bride? Is it about being the center of attention for one day and living out those fantasies based on fairy tales and a wedding industry that will not let you forget that you can be a princess for a day?
As parents, you think about these things especially when you have a daughter. We all want our kids to find someone that will love them and care for them; someone with which they can create a relationship based on mutual respect, care and love. Perhaps if we tone down the importance of a wedding and focus on the fundamental need to build a healthy foundation with their beloved prior to entering a marriage we can save our kids from potential heartache. Either way, the princess bride fantasy is embedded in our psyche and no one is trying to douse it with reality.
I used to regret that we didn't have the big wedding, but I realized later it wasn't about that, and after seeing SO many friends and family go through the big wedding I'm eternally grateful we had a small wedding and made it what we wanted.
I had a couple of friends who were clearly getting into the marriage business to be bride. It was all about the big day with no thought beyond.
As for the actual wedding, I just knew that something would go wrong at mine and was just nervous about what would happen. When the best man handed me the ring I dropped it. And I laughed because in my mind I knew that was what I was waiting for!
I know I shared this on FB, but I'm sharing it here as well:
Love this. I remember choosing my husband from the JCPenney catalog formal wear catalog that arrived once a year. On my actual wedding day the bridesmaids and I arrived early so I led us in a game of charades before the ceremony started. It was a fun day, a celebration from beginning to end with just enough serious mixed in to be appropriate. I will always treasure that my husband and I were able to actually enjoy the day we exchanged our vows instead of worrying about having the perfect event. Great post!
@Jessica Cohen Ahhh... the stuff of nightmares... My pianist forgot the chords to "Here comes the bride" as I walking up the isle!
@ResourcefulMom I agree. If the couple want to get married for the right reason, aka, they want to spend all the days after the wedding together...then the wedding day can be pretty wonderful. I think it is always a great idea to try to keep things under control, though, and save money for the honeymoon. Also, I HATE, HATE, HATE that newlyweds hang out with the Wedding Party the morning after their wedding night. Don't they want to be alone??? Sheesh...where is the romance???