“Bride Shaming” and Why It’s Not Okay No Matter What is Going on in the World

I’ve dealt with this issue a lot recently. Brides that are in the “show me the rock!” phase, Brides that have only been engaged a few months, and the most heart-breaking, Brides that have spent over a year preparing. I’ve heard the stress, the anxiety, and more tears than I care to express to be quite honest. What’s amplifying the issue, is for some reason, there is a new, unspoken rule that no one is allowed to talk about their postponed wedding and no one is allowed to be excited about being engaged.

Having to help women decide that their perfect day to announce their perfect love to the world, should be postponed, has been hard. No tulle to embellish or Jordan almond candy coating; it’s just hard. My Job, What I do as a wedding planner, is a privilege. It is not only a culmination of my skills and experience, but also the understanding that I am allowed to work closely with someone in the. Most. Pivotal. Time. In their life. I take that privilege extremely seriously.  I invest in my brides. I know the financial, emotional and physical toll a wedding can take and I try my best to lessen that toll.

What has been even worse lately than knowing my day is going to consist of brides absolutely miserable, stressed and heart-broken, doing whatever I can to help, is, and I’m gonna get on a soap box on this for a minute about this *jumps up on box crossfit style, cracks her neck and corrects her posture* is the way the rest of society seems to think this is an absolute joke.

Gather round everyone and I’ll tell you the tale of my every client. My every client has been working for over a year to save for their wedding. They have picked up shifts, saved, babysat, bartered, bartended and crafted to make sure they will have a sophisticated, elegant way to present themselves to their loved ones as a couple. They had a plan, a budget, compromises, more compromises and then several meetings with me to ensure everything was being done in a way that honored their love story.

They may or may not have used all of their savings because this is what they had saved for.  They may or may not have been given a monetary gift from family and agonized with me to make extremely responsible financial choices with that money that we discuss in detail.

They are weighing pros and cons. They are constantly asking “am I making sound financial choices? tasteful choices? Am I creating an event that everyone will enjoy and understand?” for. A. year.

I try to explain it to my laymen like this: Imagine It’s your first day at your new job. You have 2 hours experience. You are told your whole work day and job will consist of a presentation you will present 11 months from now. This presentation will be in front of all of your peers and will reflect who you are and who you intend to be as a worker. All of your peers will give their opinions along the way but ultimately, you will be responsible for all choices made. Now imagine you must supply all your own resources for this presentation. Now imagine your peers constantly ask about it, you don’t know how to finance it, because your job is not in finance and all of your decisions will end up being public. No pressure, right? Now imagine the month of the presentation. You’ve studied, lost sleep, financed, consulted professionals and are confident everything is in place. You’re anxious but only because you’ve built something incredible over the course of a year. Now imagine it being postponed. Indefinitely. Even though your peers are asking a thousand questions, you took a huge financial hit and you’re trying to problem solve in real time, everyone treats it as if you had cancelled a garden party. I’ll wait…That’s postponing or halting a wedding.

I also want to take a second to explain, that even my clients that have generous wedding budgets, still go through extreme stress and anxiety about “the right move”. None of my clients are stress free right now and I think it’s completely unacceptable that they’re not allowed to talk about it.

While it sounds like a joke, “Bride Shaming” is the latest form of bullying and there’s nothing funny about it. The wave of postponements and cancelled weddings across the country has left an entire group of our population with a huge sense of grief and loss and no one that wants to listen. What’s more is that if those if people dare to grieve the loss of their carefully crafted wedding day aloud, they are immediately met with hostility and resentment. In a time when we are desperate for small wins, I’m confused why we won’t let anyone talk about their largest joy.

In an effort to stop the Bride Shaming, I’m encouraging the following steps when a friend or loved one tells you they are engaged or that they had to postpone their wedding:

  1. Congratulate them on their engagement. It costs you nothing. Try to empathize if they announce they will postpone.
  2. Let them complain. Casual complaining is often passive grieving. Just listen and you will have made their day easier.
  3. Let. Them. be excited. Wedding planning is a welcome distraction. Don’t deprive someone you care about of holding on to their joy. You’re better than that.

Do not, under any circumstances, tell them they “shouldn’t even be thinking of this right now”, are “selfish” or anything of the like. It’s totally fine to be stressed about the state of the world. But point it in another direction. My Brides are officially off limits. In fact? All Brides are. We took a vote. Love isn’t cancelled.

 

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