“Tell your dress shop that your wedding is four weeks earlier than it is,” says Robert, the contact for my chosen wedding venue, trying to be helpful. “The amount of issues regarding timing and dresses—you won’t even believe,” he adds, rolling his eyes dramatically. As I plan my September wedding, I have come to expect these kinds of anxiety-producing warnings.
When I ride the subway to a photographer’s studio, a poster on the train reminds me that it takes five weeks of daily gym circuits to get a body like the toned lady in the picture. A woman on the train notes the issue of A New York Guide to Weddings I have curled under my arm, and feels compelled to tell me that whipped cream frosted cakes are the most difficult to transport because they need constant refrigeration.
There are so many things brides are supposed to worry about. Somehow, all that noise is making the point of this wedding (i.e. swearing to share the rest of my life with the hottest dude I know) a side note. That has to change. After my mother calls with yet another reminder of what remains undone, I decide to make a list of things I won’t worry about on my wedding day. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
1. My Weight Thank you, subway poster, but those weeks of religious gym circuits won’t happen between this train ride and five months from now. In fact, I may just own these “extra” pounds until the day I gain double the amount in baby weight. Here are the dieting plans I have between now and then: eat healthy, walk as much as possible and stop eating Ring Dings after dinner. Life doesn’t care about a belly bulge, and there will be two “I do’s” recited at my ceremony whether or not I’m sporting a less-than-chiseled physique. If I do my job right, the only thing I’ll be focused on when I receive my photos a week later is my megawatt smile and how good the ice cream bar looked.
2. My Husband’s Aunt’s Second Husband’s Sister The only people in attendance that I will not know personally are the ten or so people that my husband’s parents invite. This means a few people will try to get to know me on a day when I’ll be lucky to sit for more than thirty seconds. I will meet and greet everyone similarly — with a hug, kiss, and the radiating warmth of a woman forever matched with the man of her dreams. If Mrs. and Mr. So-and-So call me by the wrong name all night or feel the need to ask me about my religious choices, I won’t sweat it. There will be plenty of time to speak fervently about who I am and what I believe in at family gatherings to come. I just won’t do it during my wedding song.
3. The Attention Seeker If real weddings are anything like they are in the movies, there will be someone who tries to steal the focus. I have been to weddings and seen “the attention seeker” in the flesh, and it’s not pretty. She or he may cry noisily over my vows, get drunk before the cocktail hour is up, or comment loudly and often during an emotional speech. My plan is to let the great Karma take its toll and laugh off the drama if I see it.
4. Humidity I have curly hair. It swirls and loops and blows carelessly in the wind and for that I love each coil on my head. It’s also a mess of wiry fishing line if the humidity level is above 15 percent. On my wedding day I will prep my curls, I will tease ’em out and rake ’em back, and I will pin them into a knot, and zip my dress up, and then sing Frozen’s inescapable anthem in regards to my appearance. I’ll put my sister in charge of letting me know if a bird has landed upon my head, but other than that I will focus on how I feel, and not how I look.
5. Vexing Exes My groom-to-be and I have spent the last seven years together, which means we have the same friends, we know each others’ co-workers, we hate each others’ enemies. The Venn diagram of people we know is just one solid circle. The room where we’ll party and dance and sing, therefore, will be filled with several sets of exes—friends who had dated in college or just flings who have seen each others what-not’s— and on this day I won’t care how awkward it may be.
6. Anything Else That Might Come Up After all the advice I’ve gotten about my impending wedding, I came up with some advice of my own. Here’s what I’d tell fellow couples who are stressing about the planning process: Congratulations on getting married! This means somebody loves you, somebody loves your wet sneezes and your morning breath and the way you always burn toast. Somebody wants to love you until the end of time, and nothing should deter from that amazing fact— not dress drama, not melting cakes, not even drunk relatives. During these months of unsolicited subway-poster advice, I’ll try to remember that, regardless of what happens on my wedding day, I’ll end the night with a husband. And that’s nothing to worry about.