Last year at this time I was entering into a strange new world: wedding planning. I was a bride elect, and regardless of my ring, and newly acquired white dress, I was freakin’ clueless. Like most girls, I too dreamed of what my wedding day would be like. My vision changed over the course of time, but throughout it all, I believed that I was operating within the parameters of my personal comfort. This is where the “cluelessness” factors in. I was under the mistaken belief that all the details surrounding my wedding plans would be beholden only to my preferences.
Of course, when I say “my preferences” I meant “our”. My husband elect kindly deferred to my preferences in many things, and in many instances we were on the “same page.” Neither of us wanted the Winnipeg-traditional ‘wedding social’. We were not, after all, a young and fresh-faced couple in desperate need of all items that furnish a home. We had been living together for five years, and prior to that, we had each been living on our own for a few years. To throw a fundraising party like a wedding social seemed a little gauche. Additionally, I really didn’t want any kind of bridal shower because for similar reasons. I already had everything one might give a bride-elect, and I simply didn’t have the cupboard space for duplicates.
As we made our preferences known, we encountered a fair bit of resistance. One individual even went so far to say, “…you are going to get tea towels whether you want them or not!” Our loved ones were adamant: we were going to get gifts, and we were expected to throw at least some kind of party for those determined to bear gifts. This aspect of our pending nuptials began to take a life of its own. I decided to give it a name : The Bridal Vortex.
In the end, my husband and I enjoyed/endured a total of four parties in honour of our pending marriage. Of these four parties, only one of them was a product of our planning and cooperation. Only one of these parties did I have the comfort of having my pending hubby by my side. The rest of these parties were foisted upon us by loving and generous souls. With the possible exception of my staggette (thank you alcohol), all of these events caused me a surprising amount of anxiety. One party in particular was called a “No-Host Luncheon”. It was a girls only event, and part of my motivation to agree was the impression I had that there would be no gifts, and no fanfare. As events unfolded, I was informed that I better be prepared to feel like a superstar for a day–and I better be photo ready!
In the end, I recall moments of discomfort, and moments of great joy. I survived despite the major modifications made to our ‘preferences’. Looking back now, I realized that surviving a bridal vortex offered me some preparation of what was to come with the publishing of my first book (Survival of the Flirting Impaired). The bar, as they say, has been pushed up another notch or ten.
Revealing my story to the world at large is so much more daunting than just proclaiming my love and devotion to my husband in a holy ceremony. Even knowing that my family will read their copies of my book seems more scary than having them witness my marriage vows. This realm of brokering consignment agreements, and planning book signings is a far stranger, new world than any other I have traversed. Will it take a life of its own? With my luck, it most likely will. However, thanks to the rigours of the Bridal Vortex I think I might just have the ‘chops’ to handle it.