Please Don’t Ask Me About My Wedding

Give her permission to not care. Tell her: “It’s OK your wedding isn’t the center of your whole life. It shouldn’t be. That would be unhealthy.”

My work as a day-of wedding coordinator kicks in about a month before the wedding. While I check in with my clients every month, the “dot your i’s and cross your t’s” work doesn’t begin until the wedding day looms. Unfortunately, by that point, my clients — and particularly the brides — are really over wedding planning.

“I don’t even like talking about the wedding,” one woman told me. It was weeks before her wedding and she was getting it from all sides: “Every day, everyone is asking me, ‘How’s the wedding planning coming?'”

What do they want me to say? she wondered. “I tell them, ‘It’s normal. I’ve got a timeline. Do you want to see it?'”

They never do.

“I think they want me to be excited or stressed,” she said. “Or maybe they’re just being polite and don’t actually want me to bore them with the details.” (Mind you, she had to be bored stiff with the details for months.)

The response is no better if you just want to vent.

“You can’t bitch about it to almost anybody because when you do, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, your wedding will be so lovely. It will be so wonderful.'”

Um, who said it wouldn’t be? “I’m just venting about the frustration about how much time it takes and how much money everything costs and those things are irritating to me and I’m a vocal person and I need to share it.'”

But you’re not supposed to do that, are you?

You’re supposed to be quiet and demure and consumed with the gravity of becoming A Wife. You’re supposed to be above all the petty grievances that in any other situation you’d be at full liberty to air. You’re supposed to be an angel, decked in white.

My clients show this emotional fatigue in different ways. Often, they just stop answering emails. Other times, they buckle down, becoming so absorbed by details that they can’t be bothered to have any fun. Either way, their message is the same: “Can we please get this over with already?”

What a horrible situation this puts women in. What should be a joyous occasion has become so much work that they can’t even enjoy it. It becomes yet another thing they have to do.

We can change this.

Let’s start by no longer asking the bride how the wedding is going. If we must know, ask the groom (if there is one). Better yet: Ask the groom when the bride is in the room.

Give her permission to not care. Tell her: “It’s OK your wedding isn’t the center of your whole life. It shouldn’t be. That would be unhealthy.”

Ask her about anything else: her work, her hobbies, her life outside of being an Engaged Woman. Then, if it feels natural, ask about the wedding. Give her proof that her identity wasn’t lost the moment she put on a ring. Treat her like you always did.

Elisabeth Kramer is a day-of wedding coordinator and writer based in the Pacific Northwest. Read more of her work about the Wedding Industrial Complex.

This originally appeared on Unwed: Not Your Typical Wedding Blog. There you’ll also find a Q&A series with women who’ve planned their weddings and a series about nontraditional wedding planning resources.