Brides and Grooms
really do exist!
In the mid-90's the best friend (Brian) of my then-boyfriend
(Chris) was getting married to a lovely woman, Jennifer. Chris was asked to be
in the wedding and I would be attending as a guest and hang out with Chris'
parents while he was doing his groomsman duties. I had only met Jennifer once or
twice before the wedding.
At the time I had recently moved to a nearby town, gained a
not-insignificant amount of weight and was feeling terribly uncomfortable with
my appearance. But the day of the wedding I did my best to look as presentable
as possible and off we went.
Shortly after arriving, I was asked by one of the men in the
wedding party to take his video camera and go and get some shots of the now
fully-dressed bride completing her preparations for the wedding. Into the bridal
suite I went and told Jennifer how nice she looked and what I'd been asked to
do. She absolutely floored me by turning around and gushing over how beautiful
she thought *I* looked. Stunned, I thanked her (because those kind words made a
big difference) and congratulated her on the day and began filming with her
The wedding was beautiful. Afterwards at the reception I had
begun to feel a bit ill and so only ate a fruit cup from the selection of hors
d'oeuvres. It wasn't too long after that I became violently ill and had to
streak across the crowded reception hall to the restroom to throw up. Now this
did not look good at ALL during a very conservative Southern wedding reception
where there was no alcohol within 3 miles, but Jennifer twice took the time
during the evening to ask after me. As it turns out I was suffering from (and
was diagnosed two weeks later with) a severe bout of acid reflux which the
citric acid in the fruit cup had aggravated.
Jennifer's kind words over the course of that day, even when
I'd caused a bit of a scandal during her reception, have never been forgotten
and are truly a high standard to live up to. Chris and I split up a year later
but are still friends, and he tells me that Brian and Jennifer remain very
happily married with three wonderful children.
Not to pat ourselves on the back, but my husband and I were
very good about our wedding. We are usually easy-going people and we both
vowed not to get overly stressed about our wedding. We actually called it
a party (which most snooty brides won’t do) and said that our main goal was
for our guests to have a good time.
I only looked in two shops for my wedding dress. I found
it on the first day. I knew what kind of dress I wanted, but I was
open-minded. I let my mother and the saleslady decide what looked better
on me. They have an eye for that sort of thing – I don’t.
We chose a photographer on the first day also. We only
interviewed one place and we liked their style. We didn’t want to keep
looking and lose them.
We made our own invitations and place cards. We saved at
least $1000. And they looked just as good as the more expensive ones.
I let my mother and mother in law pick out their own dresses.
In fact, they didn’t match or coordinate and I didn’t care. They both
looked beautiful and that’s all that mattered.
I let my fiancé decide on his tux and his brother’s (best
My sister was my MOH and I decided to let her wear a black
dress from Lord & Taylor. It was her style, her favorite color, and it
looked great on her. No alterations! Her tattoo was showing, but I
really didn’t care. She wore a pair of black shoes she already owned.
All I asked was that she cleaned them. She did her own makeup and I
let her choose her own hairstyle. I didn’t demand any intricate style
that she would have hated.
Right before my sister walked down the aisle, the best man
walked up and led her down the aisle, since we knew she was nervous walking down
herself. Most brides would flip because it wasn’t rehearsed or it
didn’t look right. I was so happy that he was so nice to her!
The DJ didn’t have our first dance on the CD. What
could we do? We just chose another song a half hour before the reception
started. It was still appropriate and it was a song we both loved.
The cake topper wasn’t on top of the cake. It was too heavy. Oh
well. It was just as pretty next to the cake.
Some guests were rude, but I ignored them. Some other
guests changed seats and I didn’t care. My grandparents walked in to the
reception hall with the bridal party and I did have a small tantrum, but my
hubby calmed me and it was actually a funny moment since my grandparents were
then announced as the newly married couple! J Oh well.
My husband and I went with the flow. We refused to
stress about things that we couldn’t change. And our guests have said
they had a great time since it was an easy-going party and no one felt
uncomfortable with the stuffiness or people fighting. And I can say that
my husband and I had a great time because we weren’t stressed. Brides
and grooms need to realize that it’s only one day and if they start off their
married life being nasty, their marriage may not last since they can’t handle
When my uncle, the youngest of my father’s four brothers,
got married, there were two items that really touched me. The first was
during the ceremony. Right before the lighting of the unity candle, my
uncle gave a speech discussing the importance of their mothers in his and his
bride’s upbringing. Then they each went down to were two long stemmed
roses were sitting in a vase and he presented his rose to the MOB and the bride
gave her rose to the MOG. It was truly touching.
The second thing was during the reception line. As I
said above, the groom had 4 brothers, all of whom were married and had multiple
children. My older cousin even had his own family. Everyone was in
attendance and as we went through the reception line, the bride and her father
greeted us by name and thanked us for coming. I can’t imagine how many
hours they spent learning the names of the four brothers and their wives, the
twelve nieces and nephews, and the two grandchildren. We really felt like
Is it permissible to nominate myself as a perfect bride?
My DH and I will soon celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary.
We got married in the church I had attended growing up, which meant travel for
his family but mine lived there in town, with the exception of my mother
(another state) and her sister (whose husband was stationed in Germany so it
meant MAJOR travel for them!). The older of my two sisters was my MOH, and
my best girlfriend from high school and my cousin were bridesmaids. My
other sister sang, and my youngest brother and my other cousin lit candles.
My DH's two brothers were BM and groomsman, and he had a friend as the other
groomsman. No huge wedding party. No little kids either, mostly
because we just didn't have any small children in either family.
My MOH was studying music in college, so she selected a dress
that she would wear for her senior recital. I picked out a pattern similar
to her dress, and my grandmother made the bridesmaids' dresses, at a cost of
about $40 each. Nobody got picky about shoes, but they all wore shoes to
match the dresses, which were pink. I was fully aware that bridesmaids'
dresses are as difficult to recycle as the bridal gown itself, so I kept the
cost very low. Who wants to spend a zillion bucks on a dress for someone
else's big day? My FIL paid for most of the tuxedo rentals, bless him.
My grandfather and my uncle paid for theirs. My DH and I paid for pretty
much everything else ourselves, and we worked within a pretty tight budget.
I don't think we spent more than a couple thousand dollars on the entire affair.
My grandmother did all the flowers. My 'maids each
carried a single red rose with a little baby's breath and a lacy ribbon.
Very pretty. My bouquet was white with a little red rose in the center,
and the center part of the bouquet was made to remove and wear as a corsage
after the wedding. I gave each girl a locket as a gift for being a part of
the wedding, including my sister who sang. They weren't expensive but they
were pretty and the girls loved them. The wedding was a fairly small
evening affair and afterward the reception was held in the church fellowship
hall and consisted of cake, punch, coffee, mints, nuts. No dinner, but the
wedding ceremony was held after the dinner hour anyway, so we weren't letting
people starve. My only real complaint is that the photographer took so
long with our pictures after the ceremony that a lot of our guests left before
we arrived to cut the cake. We did that right after the bouquet and garter
toss, so people wouldn't have to wait forever to eat. We mingled with our
remaining guests for a while, then changed and prepared to leave for our hotel.
The usual rice thing took place, and off we went!
About half an hour after we arrived at the hotel, the MOH and
BM and the other attendants who were not family arrived with our gifts, had
dinner with us, and left. We went to my grandparents' house two days
later, had a nice visit and some more wedding cake, and took off for our new
It is possible to have a lovely wedding without spending a
fortune (particularly of someone else's money!), and without being a bridezilla!
My older daughter (I'll call her Amy) was honor attendant for
a Bridezilla -- in fact, one of the Bridezillas immortalized in your book.
After enduring a year of pre-wedding torture at the hands of
her spoiled friend, Amy resolved to do everything differently when planning her
own wedding the following year.
And she succeeded brilliantly. Amy and
her groom (I'll call him Steve) planned the wedding almost all by themselves.
They did not ask for financial help from their parents and grandparents, and as
a result the families were only too happy to offer to help out. All
expenses were split fairly; Amy and Steve picked up many of them out of their
own pockets. (When I insisted on paying for her wedding dress, Amy chose
the first one she found that was flattering and modestly priced.) The
wedding was lovely, the reception tasty and fun, and nobody went into debt
Amy sent out her thank-yous promptly, even to the extent of
mailing some of them while on honeymoon in the Greek islands.
She also sent special thank-yous to her sister, who served as the honor
attendant, and to her ex-college friends who contributed so many special things
to the occasion -- one girl did Amy and her sister's hair and makeup, one gave
them back massages, etc. Amy even sent extra-special thank you notes
to me and her mother-in-law for showing her so much love and support.
Incidentally, Amy and Steve are still very happily married.
However, the Bridezilla on whose behalf Amy suffered the tortures of the damned
got divorced one year after her wedding. She was caught carrying on an
affair with a (female!) co-worker, and her long-suffering husband dumped her.
There aren't too many "good bride" stories out there
so I wanted to share a few things about my best friends' wedding in which I was
I wanted to share how thoughtful the bride and her mom were
considering there are so many others that really do come from hell.
First, not only did the bride really consider which dresses
and colors were the most flattering on all figure and skin types (not all her
girls were size 2 and tan!), but when we finally did
decide on a dress, of course they all came in needing alterations. The
bride's mother took the time to alter all 7 dress,
including hemming and making sure the tops fit properly. With the extra
fabric from all the dresses, she made each of us a small
drawstring purse to carry little items, like lipstick and gum, on the wedding
day. And we all matched!
The day before the wedding, the bride had all the bridesmaids
over for brunch, complete with quiche and fruit, where she gave each of us a
gift bag. In each gift bag, she had created a
"wedding day survival kit" which included white peds (little socks to
wear when our feet finally gave out from dancing at the
reception), trial sizes of Tylenol, breath mints, little packs of Kleenex
tissues, hand sanitizer, and a matching compact mirror and brush set. She
also included a handwritten note for each person thanking
them for sharing the day with her and being such an important part of her life.
It was just such a special moment for all of us, sort of
like a quiet moment before all the hubbub of the next day began.
At the wedding reception site, in each bathroom the bride put
a large basket full of items that the guests may need throughout the evening.
The basket included a regular sized bottle of Tylenol and Advil,
gum and breath mints, full bottles of hairspray, more packets of Kleenex, etc.
I have been to a few weddings and I've never heard of something
like this being done.
My best friend is such a thoughtful person and I wanted to let
people know that there still are some wonderful brides out there who just
relax and let the day happen instead of being stressed all day.
She will be the MOH in my upcoming wedding and I can only hope
that I can learn a lesson or two from her about how to make the wedding party
Thanks for letting me share!
A friend of the family's daughter was getting married. I
was extremely happy for her and was looking forward to the occasion. At
her shower they realized that they did not have anyone set to take pictures . .
. so I volunteered (and received a handwritten Thank You Note three days later,
I am telling you this is a dream bride).
Well, the invitation was for me and a guest. At the time
I was in a serious relationship so I R.S.V.P.'d for two.
The week before the wedding I kicked him out. (Yes, in my
opinion dating on the internet is cheating) I wasn't sure what the proper
protocol would be in a situation like this so I turned to my Mother. She
called the bride's Mother and we offered to pay for the extra party at the
reception even though he would not be there. (The offer was declined and
we were told that they had not turned in their final head count yet so it
wouldn't be an issue. I know from previous experience that the head count
had been turned in . . . this was just an example of how kind this family is).
Day of the wedding . . . I admit was kinda of a struggle
for me. I got ready, and went to the church. As soon as I saw the
Bride walking down the aisle I remembered why I was at this event. It was
to celebrate that union, and support them in their marriage to each other.
I went to the reception and was standing around with my parents and some of
their friends. My Mother and her friend that I call "My Other
Mother" were great. . . they fielded off nosey questions as to where my
The nicest part of this whole event is about to arrive.
The Bride made sure to come over to me herself and tell me how happy she was
that I came to her wedding. About two months later I got a note from her
again thanking me for attending. She mentioned that she hoped she wasn't
stepping out of line. . . but that she understood that being at a wedding may
not have been the easiest of things for me but, that it meant so much to her
that I wanted to show my support. I still to this day get teary eyed when
I think about it.
Yes, I know that turning in a head count and then missing the
wedding could send me to EHell but, I figure my sanity and pride and worth that
risk. I hope that if I ever do find Mr. Right I can be as kind and warm
hearted as this bride was.
Thank you for letting me share my story.
My best friend, an Aussie, was getting married and invited me
to the wedding in Australia. I live in the States, and forked over a
considerable amount of cash to be there. I loved this girl and hated that we
lived so far apart from each other! Seeing her again (and Australia!) was worth
every penny of being at her wedding.
So, I saved and saved, bought my plane ticket and flew more
than 8,000 miles to be there for her wedding. Imagine my surprise when she, her fiancé,
and their respective families paid for EVERYTHING for me! She paid for my
bridesmaid dress and accessories, and they all made such a wonderful effort to
make me feel included and to even show me around Australia while preparing for
the big day! It's such a blessing to have such wonderful, caring people in your
life! Their day was filled with love and happiness. She was such a lovely bride
to deal with! :)
Do you know a wonderful bride and groom who should
be immortalized for their graciousness? Send us the story and be sure
to put "Perfect Bride" in the email subject line
Page Last Updated May 18, 2007