Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ah, to be a serene bride

Shortly after we hired our DOC, I ran across a debate on a message board about the entire DOC concept. The brides fell into two camps on the issue.

Camp A: You spend SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT on this ONE DAY and it should be PERFECT and why on earth would you leave the details to anyone but a PROFESSIONAL?

Camp B: Ugh, I don't need to pay someone else to organize for me. I'm laid back. I won't care if things go wrong. I'm marrying my best friend and that's all that matters.

I started to feel that sinking combination of guilt and shame. The Camp B brides appeared to have it all figured out, and I wanted so badly to be a Camp B woman. And yet, here I was, worrying about what would happen if I forgot a detail or this or that vendor flaked out on us. If I'm marrying Econo Boy, why should I care if the cake doesn't arrive or I forget to bring the table numbers? Am I a micromanager who can't see the forest for the trees? Do I even deserve to marry such a great guy if what I'm worried about is whether or not the menu cards get set up and the rental company delivers enough plates?

Reality check.
1) We are throwing a very large party. There will be lots of details. Some of those details -- like whether or not the menu cards make it to the tables -- won't be noticed by anyone if they fall through the cracks. Others -- like whether or not people have plates for their food -- will make a big difference in our guests' enjoyment of the day.
2) Econo Boy and I could have chosen not to throw a large party, and simply tied the knot at the courthouse. In fact, I thought about it pretty seriously. But we decided to do it this way because we wanted to be with our family and friends. It's OK to care about their comfort and enjoyment.
3) If someone doesn't do the job you paid them to do, it's OK to find that annoying and to want them to fix it. Yes, even if you're getting married that day. Getting married does not give businesspeople license to take advantage of you and then call you a "bridezilla" when you complain.
4) Weddings are stressful. Being worried or stressed out on occasion is not a moral failure or a sign that we're focused on the wrong aspects of the wedding. It's just par for the course.

Phew. I feel better. Anyone else find it easier to give yourself permission to be stressed on occasion than to guilt yourself into pretending you don't really care?


SG said...

The last thing I want on my wedding day is to be stressed out. If there is a problem I don't want to even know about it let alone have to deal with it. This is why I'm FOR a DOC. However due to my budget I don't think I'll be able to afford hiring a professional. Instead I might have a good friend of my mom's handle this for me.

Anonymous said...

Yes! I wrote about this way back but ladies like us try so hard to be "above" weddings that I, personally, tend to feel embarrassed about being stressed out. I'm not supposed to care, you know? For example, none of my friends know about my blog--I am seriously embarrassed that I, the most feminist, rah-rah-rah it's all bullshit, among them, am so wrapped up in this.

But man, I have organized conferences, and a big event with over a hundred people Is. A. Lot. Of. Work. Point blank. I explained to my colleagues yesterday that planning a wedding is like planning a large conference, only your personal worth is being judged when it comes to every detail. They recoiled in horror. So yes, I think it's ok for us to be stressed out.

LPC said...

Hire someone. Good lord. Get help. Remember that for the rest of your life. When necessary, no matter how iconic the moment, get help.

Bride in Exile said...

SG, I think an organized family friend is a perfect choice for this kind of thing. In fact, the next time a close friend of mine ties the knot, I may offer to act as DOC for him/her if they need someone. Now that I've obsessed over the details of my own wedding, I'm thoroughly prepared to help someone else forget the details of theirs! :-)

A., you hit the nail on the head. I'm a grad student, I'm a feminist, I'm an eco-conscious bleeding heart liberal, and it can be embarrassing to admit that I actually do care about my wedding. But I do care. I'm a perfectionist, and if I've decided to do something, I have a hard time *not* caring about it.

LPC, I've got a DOC lined up now -- reading that message board discussion just made me feel weirdly guilty for deciding to go that route. The obvious answer: stop reading message boards! :-)

asitwas said...

asking for help is hardly a moral failure.

you have a right to enjoying your wedding day, after all!