Do tell the bride, she’s being a d**k

One of my favourite shows is Don’t Tell The Bride.

Like most of the best ideas, its very simple- the groom is given 12 grand and 3 weeks to arrange an entire wedding, behind the back of his fiance, who will only discover what he’s planned on the day.

The premise never fails to deliver- there’s humour as the bloke and his best man find themselves out of their depth, there’s schadenfreude as we see the bride-to-be showing off her dream dress/location when we know the groom has gone in a different direction and there’s also generally heartwarming scenes when the bloke gets it right and delivers a wedding his new wife actually likes. I especially like it when the groom, who’s seen as a bit of a waster surprises everyone.

However, I have a major problem with this show, and society in general really, which is this mental culture that’s sprung up in recent years about weddings.

Namely, all this bollocks about it being “the happiest day of my life” and that the bride has to get exactly what she wants.

I realise that DTTB probably picks women with strong views on their weddings to heighten the drama, as a chilled “que sera, sera” attitude wouldn’t make for good TV, but the presence of these women makes it obvious that this attitude is becoming more prevalent.

I’m sure weddings used to be simpler- my grandparent’s seems to have been low key, but this may be because they had to make sure the wedding was done before my nan started showing she was pregnant. But even 26 years later my parents’ wedding wasn’t that big of a deal in terms of the event.

Even my sisters’ didn’t seem too over the top, I mean, yes there was lots of planning involved and dress shopping, and I had to get a haircut, but I don’t think my sisters were stamping around, throwing tantrums and complaining because the flowers weren’t exactly right.

The thing is, and here’s the fact thats got lost somewhere along the way- the wedding isn’t important, the marriage is.

Yes, weddings are nice. Its a chance to show the commitment you’re making to each other, and to share the joy and memory of this with your loved ones.

I like weddings. They speak to the romantic in me, and also, it usually means you can have a few drinks, a dance and some cake.

But, that promise you’re making? That’s the important part. As long as you’re serious about that, then the rest doesn’t even matter- you can get married in jeans and a t-shirt, in front of four buddies and then go down your local pub.

The dress, the flowers, the reception- all that is just additional fluff.

It seems as though a lot of people don’t think about the commitment they’re making, I mean, yes, divorce isn’t a taboo now, and rightly so, in my opinion, but even with a get out clause you should think long and hard about why you’re getting married. And all too often you get the sense that part of the reason is that the bride can be the centre of  attention for a day.

Take for example, how many people want weddings in big churches and stuff. If you’re not religious why are you having a big church wedding? Its not because of any belief you hold, or the fact you’re showing you’re making the promise in front of the Big Guy, its because you want to play princess.

This whole culture where the bride is allowed to be unreasonable has to stop. If the wedding is about the bride then surely its equally about the groom, but I have never heard of a groomzilla.

Now, people might use the show Bridezilla to argue against me- “But Chris, if everyone allows brides to be crazy why do we have a show where we can mock and judge them?“. Fair point, but these are extreme cases, and who knows how much of it they play up for the cameras?

I get that weddings can be stressful, and tempers can be frayed at times like that, but there comes a time when you have to invoke Wheaton’s Law.

Its like when little kids are allowed to get away with stuff on their birthday. Well, I’m sorry, but that s**t ain’t gonna fly when little Shane/Victoria and Darren/Eleanor, misbehave on their birthdays.

This is where the brides aren’t entirely to blame, and other people have to own their mistake. They did a recap episode of DTTB and in it one couple were discussing the bride’s meltdown over something during which she was really horrible to her sister. The husband, clearly a little embarrassed by this made some kind of comment about her being nasty and she replied, without even a hint of shame “Well, it was my wedding!”

Even a year later she didn’t feel bad about it, because as it was her wedding she was allowed to be a complete t**t. And why? Because people let her be. If her sister had been able to stand up for herself, or their mum had been a proper parent and told her to pack it in, behave and grow up, then it could’ve been stalled, but this whole, bride-centred madness means that she felt that was an acceptable way to behave.

Similarly, on a recent episode, a bride was taking ages getting her hair sorted, and the bridesmaid turned to the camera and said “Its every bride’s perogative to be late.” Gods, that made me angry. Is it? Is it okay for her to be late then? Well, its the venue’s perogative to turf your party out when your alloted time ends.

They should’ve told her to get a move on, jumped in the car and got to the wedding on time, or as soon as they could, not wasted time. I hate running late, I feel bad if I’m letting someone else down and I can’t abide the fact that some people will make people sit around for over half an hour just so they can get their hair done.

Its your wedding day, but the rules of basic decency and manners still apply.

The thing that mainly annoys me though is the feeling that these people have misplaced priorities. That they’re more focused on the event, the fluff and the desire to be the centre of attention, than they are on the fact they’re making an oath to stay faithful and support someone for the rest of their life. It doesn’t always work out, but you’re giving your word so you better try as you can to make it work, or else think long and hard before you give it.

If I ever get married, it might help if my bride does get obsessed with arranging the wedding because I honestly don’t see what the fuss is about, I’m not religious so for me, signing a bit of paper down the town hall would have the same meaning and if pushed to pick an ideal wedding I’d probably go for eloping to Las Vegas.

Vegas, baby!

No worrying about guest lists, no hassle and it takes place somewhere that reminds you that people get married everyday and while its your special day, it doesn’t mean the world has to stop and revolve around you.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO


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