Monday, July 03, 2006


As I've been reading and enjoying the various comments that I've received about wedding planning (see previous post), there's been a Billy Joel song running through my head -- We Didn't Start the Fire? Um, no (though I really like that one and can proudly say that I learned ALL the words in 5th grade when it came out). Captain Jack? Negative, though I suppose if I were once again writing about alcohol at weddings, that would be relevant.

The name of the song, of course, is "Pressure" -- one of Billy Joel's best, in my opinion. (By the way, the photo on this post is my personal snapshot from Billy Joel's concert at MSG -- I don't remember what he sang, but it was all amazing!)

Here are some of the more relevant lyrics (I say "relevant" because I'm not sure what "All Your Life is Sesame Street/Channel 13/What Does It Mean/" really means...)

You have to learn to pace yourself/PRESSURE/You're just like everybody else
PRESSURE/You've only had to run so far, so good/But you will come to a place
Where the only thing you feel/Are loaded guns in your face/And you'll have to deal with/PRESSURE

So maybe it isn't loaded guns in your face, but I've ascertained (and already mentioned) that many women get very stressed out when it comes to the planning process...I was interested to hear what readers had to say on this subject, particularly because those who read my blog are going through it -- and feeling that PRESSURE that I haven't yet experienced.

I liked Megan's comment about where this PRESSURE is coming from: "I think that (some) women feel that more pressure is on them to have the perfect wedding because they feel that somehow it predicts their abilities as a wife- to plan, be a gracious host, look great, make everyone feel good and have a good time."

This makes perfect sense -- in a way, a wedding is almost like a large dinner party. While a bride may be the center of attention, she is also the hostess -- which is a very important role that accompanies the "big day." I can see why brides-to-be, in having to juggle the hundreds of details, would get stressed out about playing hostess and making sure everything goes off without a hitch -- it also gels with the societal perception the bride, in the larger sense, should be the hostess with the mostess, and her ability to "do it all" reflects upon her skills as a wife, mother, etc....

While the origins of this PRESSURE makes sense, I also like hearing what happens when brides actually experience the big day, and realize that all that worrying may not have been worth it in the end. Why? Because no one notices "mistakes" anyway.

One reader noted: "The day of my wedding, things went wrong (I forgot to wear the throw garter and still didn't have it on when the dj announced the bouquet toss!), but for the most part, it didn't matter- nobody else notices these things except for you!"

What this reader is saying is VERY true -- I can attest to it, as I saw what happened at BigSis' wedding. Seconds before the high point of the ceremony--when BigSis was to walk down the aisle with my father--certain havoc broke loose right outside the doorway where she was supposed to enter with my dad by her side. What was the problem? No dad. My father was NOWHERE to be found -- and BigSis was quietly--but definitely outwardly freaking out (while the wedding planners rushed through all adjacent rooms of the reception site in an effort to locate him). The musicians had already started playing the Canon, and all the bridesmaids and groomsmen had walked down the aisle already. Panicked, BigSis looked around and spotted my father--coming out of a men's bathroom that was hidden on the side of the room they were waiting in..... While BigSis nearly had a heart attack, the guests were none the wiser -- no one realized what was happening in the adjacent room. Did the guests happen to notice that we (the bridesmaids and groomsmen) were out of order walking out of the ceremony? Nope. S*%& happens, and 99 out of 100 times, no one will realize a damn thing if you take it with a grain of salt -- and don't freak in front of your friends.

I LOVED Twistie's comment about the comparison between a theatre production and a wedding -- and what the audience actually notices. "...Audiences are stupid. This wasn't really as rude as it sounds. [The theatre director's] point was you know the show better than anyone likely to be in the audience. The audience will accept what you show them as long as you do it with authority. IOW, your wedding guests won't know what precise shade of yellow the ribbons were supposed to be or what exact romantic gesture you had planned for the moment you're declared legally wed. If you don't let things faze you, they'll be convinced it was what you meant all along."

Well said. And an important thing to think about.... It's great to realize the reasons WHY, as a bride, you may sweat the small stuff-- and sweating a little bit is OK, but keep in mind what those who have gone through it are I saw with BigSis' wedding, elements of the ridiculous (like my dad going MIA before the ceremony) did occur -- but no one noticed and in the end, it didn't matter!

Thanks to those who have commented, and please keep the thoughts coming! Stay tuned!


Dataceptionist said...

i find one of the things I am at war with regarding the whole Pressure thing, is that while you're (bride) meant to be the hostess and all, I am also trying to plan a day in which I need to do very little so that I can enjoy it to the fullest.
Its the precise reason we pay to have someone else cook, someone else do your flowers, someone else to do your cake. Who needs the stress of melting butter three days before their big day? Or wilting petunias; wiring dying oriental Lilies?
When you pay professionals in my opinion you pay them so you don't have to worry about it, and if it still goes wrong-then it was extremely determined and what can you do but shrug and laugh?

Twistie said...

A friend of mine wound up with the wrong cake delivered to her reception. Nobody noticed. It could have been a disaster if she'd decided to have a fit.

The cake delivered was actually meant for a 50th anniversary party. It was more or less the same size as the cake ordered, and part of the color scheme for the wedding was gold, so my friend decided to take the mistake as a good sign for her marriage and went with it.

She laughed later at how many compliments she got on the lovely cake. She told me later how relieved she was when she took a bite and realized it was - while not the flavor she'd ordered - pretty darn tasty, too!

One of the things I've always loved about her is her ability to turn lemons into lemonade with a wave of her hand.