Certainly many of you have come in contact with brides. Maybe you were a bride, or maybe you know one. And from what I've sussed, the bridal experience is, well, sometimes worlds away from what a wedding is actually for. I figure there's a fine line between “bridal” and “wedding”: Weddings involve two people, and, well, bridal revolves around one. It's not always a bad thing, but it can get out of control.
Me, for instance, twenty years ago--As soon as that ring hit my finger I hopped aboard the bridal train with abandon, my mom shoveling the coal into the fire. Choo choo--dress! Choo choo--veil! Choo choo--bouquet! Choo choo--banquet hall! Choo chooka choo--Bridezilla! It frightened my now-husband so much he cancelled the wedding. We got married just a few months later, but I think it was wise that he put the brakes on so we could concentrate on the celebration of our marriage, not all the frippery surrounding it. Having that reality check gave me space to look at the big picture and allowed me to have a lot more fun at the wedding—we were actually one of the last to toddle out the door at the end of the party.
Bridezilla Train Conductor and Engineer
It's a nice notion—to breathe easy and avoid that sneaky Bridezilla effect—but the reality is, if you're planning a wedding that involves more than a midnight climb out the window and a visit to the J.O.P., you're going to need to dip your toe in the bridal waters a little bit. As a creative person, you might as well as make the experience meaningful and memorable rather than dizzyingly commercial and impersonal.
I've thrown lots of bridal bead parties in the last few years and learned quite a bit about how a modern bride can enjoy the experience rather than be whomped by it. And certainly, adding your beading talents into the mix is a great way to personalize a wedding.
- Recruit moms, aunts, grandmas, sisters, friends, workmates, or anyone you know to assist in making your trousseau. Think about throwing your own bead party with your bridesmaids and have them make their own wedding jewelry in a colorway that matches their dresses. Maybe turn it into a bachelorette party? Warning: Don't bring out the vino until they've finished their projects!
- If you're going to bead an heirloom-quality bridal piece like a veil, dress, or piece of jewelry, make up a portable tray with enough beads and supplies for just that one project. Put the tray by the couch so when you have some downtime you can bead. Never put more than one project in the tray, or you might feel overwhelmed. Always have bonbons nearby.
- Count on help from your wedding planner, dressmaker, hairstylist, and florist for putting the finishing touches on your beaded projects. You can get the ball rolling, and they can finish it up for you.
- Realize that you probably won't get everything crossed off your list--and that's okay! Just prioritize your list of beaded wedding projects and work on them from the top down.
Most importantly, remember that those attending your wedding are more eager to support and celebrate your new marriage than they are to judge the perfection of your accoutrement. Enjoy yourself—it's your (and your spouse's) day!
Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website. Thanks!