How Will This Princess' Night at the Ball Pan Out?
Have we learned nothing from Say Yes to the Dress?
Let’s set the stage:
This 5’8” size 14 blonde bombshell wants to feel like a princess and she is standing, shoulders back, head high, blocking out everything and everyone else in the room, on the verge of tears at the sight of herself in the dress of her dreams- a dress she never thought she’d be able to see herself in. I mean, this dress is the one; it is absolutely magical and our bride is about to commit to when...
*cue the member from the stacked entourage with the ugly opinion*
They don’t like the dress and find it necessary to express their personal distaste for the bride’s dream dress for whatever reason, and now our princess is left cariageless with only the remains of an ugly pumpkin scattered around her. She is second guessing everything- “I can’t say yes to a dress that fill in the blank doesn’t like.”
We have seen this a million times. We may have even scoffed out loud in the living room over our bowl of ice cream as we’ve watched girls who are supposed to be supporting the bride, totally crush her spirit because they prefer ivory to blush. Here she is, the once glowing bride, now sunken in and completely at war with herself. Maybe this is something you’ve experienced live at your own dress fitting. Maybe, and I hope this is not the case for many, you’ve been the ugly opinion in the room that turns coachmen back into mice.
Now, if there is a legitimate reason to contest the couple’s wishes, be classy about it. Obviously it isn’t the wisest decision to serve Pizza as the main course when the bride is allergic to tomatoes and groom, wheat. So, for my step-sisters that don’t want to be so ugly, offer your opinions when:
You are given, directly or indirectly, the permission to do so
Opinions are offered out of a place of love
If neither 1 nor 2 apply in a situation, it’s best you just encourage and reaffirm the couple’s choices- especially if they have fallen in love with something. You have to be able to separate your strong opinions from the bride’s happiness and wishes. Remember, sisters, it’s not your wedding day.
Now, for my hard-working house-maids, your wedding day is when you turn your rags in for glass slippers. This is the day you get to go to the ball and dance with the prince. This celebration is not about your mother, it’s not about your friend, and it’s not about your sister’s cousin’s great nephew’s dog. This day belongs to you and your Significant Other! And decisions, big & small, in every area, should ultimately be made by the two of you- you call the shots. Is your mom insisting that dinner must be a formal affair? Does your sister hate the non-traditional dress of your dreams? Is your Aunt Wanda begging that you have a dollar dance? Weddings often bring about strong emotions and opinions of how the day should pan out. But setting healthy boundaries and knowing that the bell tolls at midnight ahead of time is meant to cover you when you don’t have your wits about you.
If you want food stations instead of a sit down meal…it’s your wedding day.
If you want to wear a knee length dress instead of a ball gown…it’s your wedding day.
If you want to get ready with your Significant Other… it’s your wedding day.
Your wedding is about you as and who/ what feels most like home.
With the power to call the shots comes the responsibility of kindness. This does not give our princess carte blanche to take her stress out on those around her. A close friend, cousin, or even sister asks you to be in her wedding (at whatever capacity), and you could not be more excited! You are there for her emotionally, you rework your schedule around her appointments, you manage the cookie list, you are her right hand woman…
And then you become her emotional punching bag.
She snaps, makes snarky comments, talks down to you, complains that not enough is being done for the biggest day of her life. And all of a sudden, our Cinderella has become the ugly step-sister, leaving you feeling completely unseen & taken for granted.
The cold hard truth is that as the bride or the Maid of honor* (whichever status applies to you), you control the atmosphere on the big day. You are charged with making it the best day ever for as many people as possible without sacrificing yourself and/or anyone else. Offer to help with the lost glass slipper; if everyone is kind and shows grace to another, that is when you trade tragic for true magic!
Stay kind, princesses.
-Your Fairy Godmother