What a Healthy Pair

The Plight of the Bipolar Bride.
July 30, 2011, 2:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I love my husband more than anything. I loved my wedding, too. But planning every detail, like a crazed lunatic who recently discovered performance-enhancing drugs, nearly put me into a mental institution.

Let me preface this by saying, if you are a bride-to-be, take pause before you read this. ‘Cause it’s about to get real honest real quick up in this piece, ladies.

Jimi and I created this blog to share all of the things that make us healthy and happy. The little things that we have learned that improve our physical and mental health. Guess what doesn’t do either of those things for anyone? That’s right. Planning a wedding.

If you’re anything like me, here’s exactly what you can expect:

Maybe you give yourself 14 months to plan a wedding, assuming that you’ll savor every second of it. You’ll avoid the stress by giving yourself so much time. You’re convinced that you’ve figured out the secret to avoiding all that dramatic pre-wedding crap that everyone bitches about. “Martha, it’s Alee again. Call your brides. I figured it out.”

Only you’ll be completely and utterly wrong. You have bipolar disorder. Know what agitates bipolar disorder? Stress. Know what you just signed up for? 14 months of your disorder’s worst enemy. Fan. Tastic.

You settle into the first stages of planning. An idea starts to take shape. You read countless blogs, click on all those links that everyone and their mom sends you. You read those magazines that cost $15 an issue. You dog-ear pages. You read about these (probably fictional) people who had this gorgeous vintage-inspired wedding for $200 at a little public park in goddamn Burbank, California, and you think to yourself “A wedding like that is just so ME!” Before you know it you’ve bookmarked every website you can find where these clearly demented brides have created flawless garland out of coffee filters. Or websites where brides have saved every jar they have ever used for their entire lives because they’ve known all along that they wanted to give away little seedlings  in re-purposed jars as favors. And all of these little pod-people brides smile up at you, nestled safely in photo-shopped images shining on the screen of your mac-book, seemingly saying, “If you just believe…” You then resign yourself to creating everything for your entire wedding completely by hand, all by yourself. After all, you’ve got 14 months.

These People Are Idiots.

You then spend the next 15 consecutive Saturdays at your favorite craft-store, and scouring the shelves at 6 different Goodwill locations within 30 miles of your home. You stoop to fighting an elderly lady for the last gold picture frame in the Franklin store, because you just need to make one more table number.  You’re suddenly up to 16 tables, because you can’t stop inviting people to this wedding that is swiftly becoming something that you cannot afford. You also can’t seat so and so near so and so… so you need an extra table as a catch-all. You’re too nice, so you try to become a mean bride. That lasts about four minutes. And you’ve only been mean to your diary where you now only write about stationary and napkins.

Now you’ve got just weeks to go, and you’re home at your mom’s for your bridal shower. It’s going to be gorgeous, but also DIY. You and your best friend are up until 2AM watching Clueless covered in birdseed and bloated from the pizza you ate after you swore you wouldn’t. Then the next day goes by without a hitch, and the night brings the bacheorette party. You haven’t been drinking because you’re prepping for your big day, so you’re out of practice. You haven’t been eating because you want to lose another three pounds. Then someone gives you a shot and you’re a little drunk and you’re at a gay bar fighting with your gay best friend. Then the stress of the planning comes to a head and you’re relaxed enough in front of your best friends to admit that you’re completely crazed and can’t exist like this. You spend the entire night on the floor of a friend’s (very spacious) shower crying about nothing.

Days later you go on a business trip and you take bathroom breaks to cry to your fiance over the phone about centerpieces. You have to take an Ativan before your third consecutive seminar about paper. And you want to kill yourself.

But as you get closer and closer to the wedding, you realize. “Hey, this is just STUFF! I love this man! Plus, all of this drama has come from within me. At least there hasn’t been drama within our relationship. Plus, zero family drama! We’re in the clear!!”

Enter family drama. Lots and lots of family drama. Family drama that causes you not to eat. Nausea inducing, gut wrenching, hysterical sob-worthy drama. Drama that forces you to wonder whether this big, huge 120 person wedding will happen at all. You’re at a stand-still. Four weeks to go. Three weeks to go. Two weeks to go and you do nothing. You’re so stressed you’ve lost enough weight that your goddamn dress doesn’t fit you anymore, and you have zero time or money for alterations. So you go to the store and buy a box of 24 ice cream sandwiches and you eat four. Then you run for an hour because you can’t sit still. Your skin sucks. Your eyes are red. And you need prescription strength drugs and vodka.

Then the drama dissipates. But you’ve only got 10 days. 50 books to make look old and leathery. 120 favors to finish. 15 throw pillows to buy. Cake toppers to make. The woman who promised to bake your wedding cake “free of charge!” backs out. You need to find a new bakery. In New York. And fast. Your fiance is working 4 jobs on any given day, and you only see each other for moments at a time. Whenever he sees you, you’re covered in craft supplies. You’ve lost this sex-appeal thing that you once (think you) had. You have a piece of twine in your hair that has been there for the better part of three days. You’re no longer a cute bride. You’ve come undone. Officially.

And it’s time! Finally. It’s time to leave for your wedding, and you and your fiance have to cram all of your one-man-sweat-shop arts and crafts into your 2002 Camry which has a High School Musical vanity plate on it that you’re too busy to be self-conscious about.

You arrive at your wedding venue two days and 5 sugar-free Red Bulls later. It’s instant pandemonium.

Your homosexual “bridesman” is dressed like Ke$ha. His mom who has graciously offered to arrange your flowers has been chastised for clipping wild flowers with her daughter on private property. Your mom’s worked up. Your sister is hyped up, and you’re low on meds. And you still can’t eat. The resort where your wedding is being held has doors that are extremely hard to open. You lock yourself in your room by accident for the better part of an hour, and no one realizes that you are gone. You’re locked in a cabin that is literally FILLED with incredible, vintage finds collected by all of your wonderful bridesmaids, and you wonder what would happen if the building caught fire. You drink boxed wine while you ponder the possible outcomes of such a tragedy.

You make an appointment for all of your bridesmaids to get manicures & pedicures before the wedding. You accidentally schedule that appointment at the nail salon in Wal-Mart. You spend the morning of your wedding in Wal-Mart. I repeat. You spend the morning of your wedding in Wal-Mart.

But it’s all okay. All hands are on-deck. You can relax into the soothing rythm of the massage feature of the PVC covered chair in the nail salon located just to the left of the beef jerky and tobacco.

You don’t have to worry about the fact that someone has to assemble the 75 white lanterns you ordered. Nor do you even realize that 75 lanterns aren’t enough for the space. You miss the drama that occurs when it is pointed out that someone has to iron the vintage napkins. Someone has to help with centerpieces. Someone has to hang the escort cards. Someone has to fluff pillows.  Ke$ha pulls tables, chairs, and couches from every corner of the resort to fill out the little “moments” he envisions. Clarissa remains the task-master. Your friend David teeters on a ladder hand-building a light instillation with the 75 white lanterns, while Grace irons napkins like an under-paid employee at the Holiday Inn Express at La Guardia International Airport.

Once you get back to the resort, everything looks amazing. Your best friend has been by your side every second. Your incredible support system has come through and pulled your vision together without missing a beat. While you were at Wal-Mart getting your nails did.

After hours and hours of hair, and makeup, you see the love of your life at the end of the aisle, and none of it matters anymore. You walk down the aisle to the man of your dreams. He reads vows to you that make grown men sob. He smiles and the stress is gone. Because it is at that moment that you realize, for the one millionth time, that you are so in love, that none of this crap even matters.

The thing is, you’ve got a wonderful man in your life who makes it all better. He’s a man who loves the stress right out of you. He’s the guy who worked double overtime every week to pay for your arts-and crafts addiction. He then came home exhausted, but still mustered the energy to “Ooh” and “Ahh” over every superfluous piece of lace you hot-glued onto… everything in sight. He loves you when you are too exhausted to love yourself. The result of all of this insanity, is a life of calm with him. That makes every minute of it worth while.

My advice to you adventurous brides-to-be who actually managed to read this entire post is this: resign yourself to being a perfectly imperfect bride, and take pride in the fact that your wedding will come with all the quirks that makes anything worth… well, anything. Who the hell wants to hear about a perfect wedding that went smoothly where all of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family members fell perfectly in line and nothing noteworthy occurred… aside from the whole marriage thing? I want to hear about a wedding where a flower girl has a mini-meltdown, and the mother of the bride breaks her foot after the reception, and guests try to break into the hotel bar at 2AM to steal booze, only to be caught by the on-site wedding coordinator who yells at them, then offers them marijuana. Now, that’s a story I’ll pull up a footstool and pop open a can of Pringle’s for.

Interacting with friends and family in the days after your wedding is very strange.  The dust settles, everyone sobers up, and you look at one another like you haven’t seen each other since before the proposal. Because you haven’t. You’ve all been acting like weird robots possessed by the demon soul of whoever invented taffeta. But it’s over now. Thank God. And being married is pretty freakin’ boss.

8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Wait. You have a diary?

Also, I love this and you.

Comment by Elemar

Sounds like a wonderful occasion! Wishing that I was there for an “Alle Wedding”.

Comment by Richard Hein

I laughed and I cried! Loved it.

Comment by Eileen

perfection. you are. i love this.

Comment by Jessie P.

Honey? We should talk. Because I have not one but TWO very Interesting Wedding Stories. You grab the Pringles, I’ll get the Jerky. 😉

Comment by jennifer

Alright, lady! let’s talk!

Comment by jimiandalee

Thank you for this, I am 12 months out and I have to put down the magazines…

Comment by Becca

Reblogged this on journey to the altar|voyage à l'autre .

Comment by darbyfilms

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