The Apathetic Bridal Guide

l_b25aab40-f095-11e1-aee4-f3a7ac600006There exists in this world a rare and wonderful creature. The Apathetic Bride. Unlike her cousin, The Relentlessly Excited Bride, she does not walk in beauty like the night, but in indifference like the esoteric holiday. She is the Happy Arbor Day! of engaged women. Her wedding planning resembles a Hawaiian Columbus Day parade: short-lived, rife with confusion, and ending with a relieved trip to the beach. Centerpieces bore her and her idea of a catering meeting is a trip to Whataburger. The Apathetic Bride would rather participate in a rousing game of Collect The Camel Spit than attend The Bridal Extravaganza.

I am an apathetic bride, friends.

Don’t tell the bridal industry gods, as they get a bit smite-happy with those pointy cake toppers, but wedding planning is mind-numbing. There are so many things to consider, none of which I care about. Outside of my dress (which I’m making) and the cake (delicious), I could give two shits about any of it. Two giant whale shits. Worse, there is no advice for my kind. We don’t make the industry any money, so we don’t have our own handbook or magazine. We’d have to care about weddings, in order to produce our own pamphlet. The Apathetic Bride would much rather watch paint dry, thanks. And so, it is left to me. For while I don’t enjoy talking about weddings, I do so love making fun of them!

My dear ennui-struck compatriots, I give you my Magnum Opus:

The Apathetic Bridal Guide: Part One, Because A Whole Opus Takes A Really Long Time and I Have Sundresses to Sew.

ON COLORS

Apathetic Bride, do you have a favorite color that you want to splash everything with on your special yeti day? No? Don’t worry about. People will say that, for your wedding to make sense thematically, you must reduce the essence of you and yours to a color pairing. What will your guests do, if they don’t know that your relationship is best portrayed by sea green and puce? They’ll deal with it. Your wedding does not need a theme. Your wedding does not need a color. Pick some stuff you like, plan a party like you normally do, and don’t stress about it. I’m going to have lots of shades of rose & floral prints, because I like them and they’re easy.

When people badger you about “your colors,” feel free to take my response:

Innocent Bystander: Grace, you must be so excited about your WEDDINGMARRIAGEAWESOMEDAYOFAWESOME!
Grace: Totes.
Innocent Bystander: So, what are your colors?
Grace: Torment and anguish!
Innocent Bystander: Oh, like a fancy gothic wedding?
Grace: No, like how I feel when people tell me I should pick out specific colors for this party. Why do I need a perfect color pairing? We’re not painting a baby, we’re throwing a party. A PARTY! WOOHOO!

*run off yelling woohoo*

ON FLOWERS

1930sbrideFlowers are a big deal for weddings. They’re also hella expensive and will die a disgusting, wilting mildew death within a few days. You are not going to be Miss Havisham, surrounded forever by the corpses of your wedding day, so they really don’t need to be that fancy. Have you ever seen hideous flowers? Of course, not. They’re Mother Nature’s version of nipple tassles: bright, shiny, and attractive to horny insects. Whichever ones you pick—roses, daisies, even the much-reviled carnations—will be pleasing to the eye. As such, you don’t actually need to pay a florist half your budget. Order some wholesale flowers from a reputable source, then blithely gather bottles and vases during your engagement period. On the day, throw some flowers in some containers and group them on tables as you want.

Voila! Instant “rustic chic” centerpieces. You’re welcome.

ON DRESSES

You don’t have to wear a white, strapless dress.

That’s all the advice I have. Wear whatever you want, whether that’s a gigantic Vera Wang ball gown, or an orange bias-cut column gown from your favorite vintage shop. There is no law saying it must be white, expensive, and kept for future generations. Hell, if you get married on a nude beach, it need not even exist. These are my words of freedom to you. Wear something you like, then get married.

ON CATERING

Wedding chicken sucks. It’s also expensive, boring, and needless. There are plenty of interesting ways to get around the traditional catering menu. Professor McGregor and I have decided to have an early-afternoon wedding and will be serving—All the pancake lovers rejoice!—brunch. You can have a beloved food truck roll up to your shindig or rent a BBQ smoker. You can serve hamburgers. Or, have a truly “retro wedding” and just eat cake & punch. Hell, you can get married in November and have Luby’s cater the entire thing as a Thanksgiving Dinner. Turkey and cranberry sauce for everyone!

Do not chain yourself to $35/plate catering menus. They aren’t your only option, whatever the wedding magazines tell you. Before you book a venue, make sure they don’t tie you to such shenanigans.

Here’s my final tip for wedding planning, dear ennui-struck ones: Don’t stress about lame things! All of those “traditions” you think are awkward and boring? Don’t do them. Invite some people, eat some food, then get married as fuck. It’s not odd to be uninterested in your wedding; it’s normal.

We will get through this lace-bedecked hellscape together.

– Grace

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41 thoughts on “The Apathetic Bridal Guide

  1. Oh my gosh, roflol. I’m in the wedding industry and I agree with everything you’ve said. Your wedding day need not be a migraine inducing path to misery so that come your special day you’re a psychotic wreck. Honestly, it’s a JOYOUS occasion so approach it with a somewhat “casual” sense and you’ll have a great time! It’s the MARRIAGE that counts at the end of the day 🙂 Thank goodness I did that for my wedding and 7 years on, we’re still going strong. Thanks for this post and for keeping it real ♥

    • That’s it precisely! Why be a ball of stress on the day? It’s just a celebration, so we should be happy. Thanks for the great comment!

  2. Bhahahahahah — oh, how I can relate! My wedding was two years ago this summer, and I still remember how mind-numbingly awful the planning was. I felt the exact same way: when people asked what my colors and theme were, I wanted to hold up a sign that said “Who GIVES ZERO FUCKS about wedding planning? THIS GAL!”

    Sho ’nuff, we decided to roll with that motif: our flowers came from Sam’s Club, the cake came from Costco, and our theme was some unholy combination of 1) marriage (you’d think this would be self-evident, but nooooo), and 2) Borat. Well, I should say that the prevalent theme was irreverence, not just Borat; I snuck a Monty Python and the Holy Grail quote into the program, and then Brandon carted me out of the wedding reception in a Borat-esque wedding sack.

    Anyways, all that is to say: hang in there! Your pancakes-and-getting-married-as-fuck plan is perfect. The wedding day will arrive, you and Professor McGregor will have an awesome time, and then wedded bliss (and PANCAKES) will ensue. 🙂 Mazal tov!

    • Lillian, your wedding sounds like a complete blast. Marriage + Irreverence may be the best theme ever.

      Also, I could use one of those signs, myself. I have no fucks to give! They are all being used on other things. I just can’t bring myself to care about any of it. Thanks for the reinforcement! It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one who has felt this way.

  3. My wedding planning ended up not being as bad once I stopped caring what all the magazines said and what other people had done or not done. Don’t have a bunch of colors? I had 4 – light pink, mint green, mocha, and ivory. And you know what? It was awesome. I bought a bunch of old books from thrift stores and put a vase of flowers on top – and the centerpieces were done. Oh, you must be a slut if you wear an ivory dress on your wedding day? Who cares? I wore an ivory dress ’cause I looked AWESOME in it and it was on clearance.

    When my friend got married 4 months later and was having a cow because she was afraid that everybody was going to hate her wedding, I almost had to shake her and be like, “Is this what you want? Is this want your husband wants? Then do it! This is your day.” And her wedding was gorgeous yet simple and her happiness was all over her face.

    I love this! I was probably a step above/below (?) the apathetic bride since I would momentarily have freak out moments over ribbons and seating arrangements which caused me to start my blog actually. But, occasionally, I did follow this advice and it was so much more fun that way.

    • We’re also doing old books from thrift stores and vases with flowers on top! Great minds think alike!

    • Thanks so much for the great comment, Sarah! I absolutely love when people use books as centerpieces. It makes my inner bibliophile giddy. Also, long live the ivory dress! The meaning people place on the snow white dress is ridiculous. For most of Western history, blue was the color of purity, not white. We’ve adopted something as an unbreakable tradition that just started gaining popularity in the 1850s. Grumble!

      • We used two books per centerpiece and total cost for the centerpieces was like 20 bucks – so just over a dollar a table. My father appreciated that. 🙂 I dropped the majority of my cash on my photographer because she was brilliant and as an amateur photographer myself, I know the importance of those memories captured on film.

        I am relatively traditional myself, but I picked and chose the traditions that were important to me and ditched the ones I didn’t like. The only thing I wished we did different was rented that old timey car to take off in instead of my husband’s old jeep.

    • We may have one, but only because so many family members are coming in from out of town. Why not get everyone together to eat BBQ? Speeches and awkward formality not welcome!

  4. My wedding is in about 3 months… Gasp! I don’t know the exact number of days… No countdown app on my phone, sorry. I have found the planning part tedious, luckily my lovely mother is retired and LOVES this kind of thing. Also my fiance and I are pretty laid back, so it’s been easy going so far. I have found that dealing with different “professionals” in the “industry” has been the worst part. One lady told me I was completely unorganized because I didn’t know every detail of my big day 12 months before hand!

    I went with hydrangeas and mason jars as my theme and my carpenter father has made a bunch of nifty decorations. We rented the cheapest possible venue, and we are not having a meal, just some chicken wings, cupcakes, maybe some nachos…. And I did pick an ivory strapless gown, but it has POCKETS!

    At this point in time I’m sick of people asking me if “I’m ready for the big day?”, I know its coming soon, I don’t need EVERYONE reminding me. And I’ve decided that bachelorette parties are the worst invention ever. Who really enjoys wearing a cheap tiara and sash while sipping out of a penis shaped sippy cup? Am I the only one that doesn’t want to spend the night in a stretch limo (stripper pole included) surrounded by a bunch of ladies I don’t really like or know? At least our honey moon in France is the light at the end of the tunnel!

    • Janelle, would you like to write this bridal guide with me? I just want to second your entire comment. Pockets and nachos are ingredients in a good wedding. Also, bachelorette parties are, hands down, the worst modern “tradition.” I have no idea what we’re supposed to be doing at them. Are we showering the bride with phallic candy, because she’s supposed to be a shy virgin? Is it symbolic of all the other penises she won’t be having?

      If I’m going to wear a tiara, it won’t be plastic, and I certainly won’t eat a man junk cake while wearing it. Kate and Mae are planning mine and, lovely perfect creatures that they are, they’ve already disavowed all the typical phallic shenanigans.

      • I had a good chuckle when I read your post, I was actually working on my own wedding themed rant at the very same time (http://recipesontheriver.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/its-all-under-control-i-have-a-nerd-wedding-binder/). It seems that people get wrapped up in planning the “perfect wedding” to impress others, and forget to throw in even just a pinch of themselves into the mix.

        Since I’ve started the planning process I have never once pondered “what will people think if…?” I just make decisions based on what we like, what I think is fun, sentimental, easiest and most cost effective. In the end most of the guests won’t remember what kind of flowers you had, or if you splurged on a s’mores bar. Hopefully they will be left with a warm tingly feeling because they were lucky enough to witness the union of two people who really love each other.

        As for my bachelorette party, I will be spending the day with my two bridesmaids, my mom and mother in law to be. I’m aiming for a relaxing day at the spa followed my a delicious meal at a quiet restaurant. Hopefully the only penis shaped thing I see that day is a banana, in the banana split I will be eating while getting a pedicure.

  5. Love this article! My sister was an apathetic bride. Didn’t want to shop for a dress, pick colors, and let me and my mom make decisions about things like decorations, favors, etc. She picked the first invitation she was shown by the printer because she didn’t want to paw through the whole book of samples.

    She had a fantastic wedding, one of the most relaxed and fun I’ve ever attended. She had a destination wedding before it was the chic thing to do, in Venezuela, where her husband was from. He did most of the planning on that end.

    My mom loves to tell about how SHE was also an apathetic bride (guess it runs in the family), and wanted her father to give her the money he was going to spend on the wedding as her gift. He refused–telling her that if she didn’t have a fancy wedding, he was going to take her mother to Paris instead. She agreed to the wedding as long as she didn’t have to do any of the planning. She says she loved her wedding because she didn’t have to stress over all those details.

    I bet you end up having a great wedding!

    • Thanks, Debbie! My mother was also an apathetic bride…which isn’t helping my cause much. She wants to come along to the cake testing – because, you know, CAKE – but everything else is wildly uninteresting to her. My father is my resident wedding planner, which strikes some people as odd. He loves having a quest and getting things done, however, so it’s right up his alley. The dear man went to every single venue with me and is itching to line up a caterer. If it were up to him, we would have had a three month engagement and done bouts of intense wedding planning. I didn’t have that kind of time!

    • Melanie, I could completely buy into that theory. Our made-for-TV movie tagline: “Separated at birth; Reunited by sarcasm…and sewing.”

  6. Hi, Grace
    This is what I did at my wedding for flowers. I had all my guests bring a long stemmed flower of their choice and tied it up with a big ribbon for my bouquet. It was magnificent!!!! Some guests even brought an entire BUNCH of long stemmed flowers – sunflowers, roses, gerberas, ferns (after all, I love a bit of greenery in a bunch of flowers – and some of my friends have even less money than I do), you name it. It was the most magnificent bloody bunch of flowers I had ever seen. Heck, there were so many flowers that we managed to eke out a bridesmaid bouquet, too. It was just stunning. All for the low low cost of zero for me, a small amount per guest for the flower, and the wonderful fuzzy feeling each guest got from having contributed to the bride’s bouquet.; 😀 Happy days!

  7. my dress was summer sky blue and of my own design (it was cheap too), flowers-bought from old lady at the country market, huuuuge bunch of new white tulips (it was April), party? my Mum was working at small primary school at that time and we could use the cafeteria, all my family and friends prepared one dish each and one of my friends baked AMAZING wedding cake, you can tell we were very poor and you can tell our priorities were elsewhere (I know poor people who would take huge loans to throw the most boring weddding parties EVER)
    I’m divorced now (my Ex is a lovely man, it just didn’t work for us) and am I happy that our wedding was small and sweet and OURS??
    the only thing I would change now is that I would invite ALL our friends in, not just few and probably gag my ex-mother-in-law ;p

    • Your wedding sounds absolutely lovely! The idea of a potluck reception like that makes me happy. If we had more guests coming from in-town, I would be very tempted to hold one myself.

      Also, the people who take out loans for their weddings make me cringe. One of my friends from high school was married right out of college (no money, whatsoever, of course) and had to take out a loan for her engagement ring and her wedding dress. Her parents took care of the giant, stereotypical wedding, but ALSO took out a loan. It just seems like such a waste! Let’s save up for a vacation or put future children through college, not spend 50k on a party.

  8. I too am an apathetic bride… I have no colour scheme… we’re getting married in November and eating Turkey (it’s so close to Christmas here in Northern Ireland that turkey is abundant!)…I am making my own cake and my own favours… my dress is a sample which I got for half the price it would have been to order custom. Do it your way and most importantly HAVE FUN!

  9. This is wonderful and encouraging as I’m getting married in three weeks! During our eleventh-month engagement I’ve been constantly asked questions about colour schemes and caterers and most of my answers have been “ummm …. I dunno …. whatever …” I’ve bewildered many people with the fact that I’m letting my two bridesmaids choose their own dresses that may or may not match (horror of horrors!) and when asked what I’m doing with my hair my response is “something pretty.”

    Surprisingly, it’s been my fiance who’s been more engaged in the wedding planning than me, since I started a new job in February and have been commuting and generally quite busy. It’s been him that’s been Pinning and planning and looking up crafts online, something I’ve very grateful for. I could honestly care less about what my bridesmaids wear as long as they’re there with me and how the venue is decorated since we’re getting married at an old 1840s B&B so the venue itself will be pretty enough.

    There was recently a tragedy in our Southern Ontario community and a young husband and father was senselessly murdered. Since that’s happened, I’m even less concerned with Mason jars covered in twine and floral arrangements. I’m just happy that I’m marrying the man of my dreams. Everything else is just a pointless detail.

    • TNR, congratulations again on your impending marriage! Whenever I see something in the news, like that poor young man near you, it reaffirms exactly those sentiments: the person you’re marrying is important, not what you decorate that up with. Horrible, awful things happen all the time, so we should cherish our loved ones while we can. You’re exactly right. Why worry about Mason jars, of all things?

      I hope y’all have a joyous day! Best wishes to you and yours!

    • I was more than happy to have my two bridesmaid chose two different dresses in two different colors. They both chose purple shades, and short styles, but focused more on picking styles that they are comfortable in.

      One of my bridesmaids is also my hair stylist, so I’m pretty much leaving most of the details up to her. I trust her and know she will make me look amazing. I feel less stressed out when I let go of some of the control and let others use their professional skills to come up with ideas.

      My sympathies go out to your community and to the young man’s family. We are thinking of you all the way in southern New-Brunswick, and I hope you have a beautiful stress free day!

  10. The colour question always made me laugh. This is really the first question people ask? I wasn’t apathetic, but I definitely couldn’t be bothered with all the expensive things. Got a bunch of wholesale tulips in season. Also had a vegetarian menu, so no shitty chicken. I did have a white dress. 🙂

    • Stephanie, I am so bowled over by the color question. I would never even think to ask another bride that. It’s like all these women received a bridal handbook that just skipped me by! Color pairings are not and will never be on my radar, it seems. Your wedding sounds perfect – personal, but rational! That’s my idea of the perfect day.

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