I’m a Nontraditional Bride, Please Don’t Hate Me


Photo by Caitlin T Photography

I’ve been reading a good bit on OffBeatBride.com now that my SO and I have officially set our date and put a deposit down for our venue – Succop Nature Park (and it still gives me the “omg so completely, entirely gorgeous” reaction, though the website doesn’t truly show it**). We’ve been throwing our ideas back and forth for how we want our day to look and the structure of it and the events leading up to it and we’ve come to the conclusion that our day is going to be pretty nontraditional.

So, what’s nontraditional in this sense?

Well, one of the biggest things is that we’re having a civil-like ceremony filled with our own words and “scripture” of our own design. I love a section of Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie where Morrie gives his opinions on life and love, so we may have that read by one of our family members.

Secondly, we’re using e-invitations. Yes, email invitations, because who really cares about the paper kind? The envelope liner? The fancy ribbon that ties all your little bullshit cards together? COME ON. Paperless Post has these awesome options for 100 e-invites at $18. Hoo yah.

Next, we’re not having a bridal shower. Aside from the fact we’ve lived together for 2 years and have much of what we need, I HATE sitting around and watching brides open their presents. “Oh look, Aunt Sue, you gave me the exact same thing as Grandma…” Awkward, annoying, and just wrong. So, SO and I are going to have a family/meet-and-greet cook-out/picnic kind of thing. With outdoor games like corn hole, croquet… etc. The informality of it will be just right, especially since our families know each other, but they haven’t really been able to get together.

Now, to the “Please Don’t Hate Me” part of this issue:

I can’t tell you how many people are just enamored with the bridal traditions. Really. So many just love all the fuddy-duddy, senseless activities that take the focus off of the real reason that the special day is special. And I’m here to tell them all that they shouldn’t get their bridal garters in a bunch and that it’s okay to put a chip in the china.

To put it bluntly: it’s not your day. It’s our day. Love it for who we are and what it is.

**Some of these local photographers have profiled the space absolutely wonderfully:

The Art of Getting Your Shtuff Together


dee2304c937bacc93a1f1ee6dddea032 Keepin’ it PG on that title.

But let’s be honest.

How many times have we all thought we’re going to lose it? Between work, kids, that guy that refuses to go the speed limit when you’re desperately trying to be somewhere on time, and that guy whose car has some strange attachment to your back bumper, an attachment that you’re waiting to just put a(nother) cute little dimple in your parking garage-seasoned car…

How do we keep from completely falling apart?

1. Let it all out. Nothing like a good cry to release all the emotion. There’s no sense in keeping frustration bottled up, though I do warn my fiancé ahead of time just so he doesn’t think I’m too crazy.

2. Breathe. In yoga, we practice dirgha — a three part breath that begins deeply in the stomach, rising through the thoracic cavity and up into the chest. Then, you exhale out through the chest, down into the lungs, and from the belly. It’s a very calming sensation, but it can bring out some anxiety (especially pre-cry session) so try to take comfort in a nice firm seat so you can fall back on something permanent that’s holding you up.

3. Don’t think about the next thing. Easier said than done, I know. Trust me, I’m the queen of planning ahead. Sure, it’s fun to think of the good times ahead, but it can almost make you wish away what’s going on in your life right now, especially if it’s not the best situation. Sometimes I catch myself looking at other apartments, thinking that living in another place could bring us something bigger, better, more something. I look at job postings on the days I get upset with the one I have. It takes me time to appreciate the now and even more time to accept it. It’s a constant battle, but I try to rest in the fact that I will be stronger for having dealt with whatever is being thrown at me.

4. Talk it out. I would never get anywhere without talking, even to myself. If my fiancé isn’t around to listen to me describe my many feelings, I look at myself in the mirror and explain where I am today. Flustered, irritated, sad… anything. We all know the right answers to how to get rid of these feelings. Our world is filled with “how-to” this and “de-stress” that, so listening to someone tell you what you may know is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, part of our problems result in our inability to annunciate our feelings. This is where we need to let go.

The art of getting your “shtuff” together is one that could be described, and has been described, a million different ways. My prescription could potentially align with that of others, but I do know one thing: we need to become more accepting of our feelings, of the fact that we feel as if we’re losing control. Accepting that alone is a large step, rather than ignoring it and pushing it away, only for it to come back with a more deeply seeded vengeance. Get all those feelings out, breathe to calm, acknowledge the present, and talk it through.