On being a “mature bride”

If you’ve ever watched Say Yes to the Dress, you’ve heard the consultants call some women “Mature Brides.” It basically is a “nice” way of saying “Old AF.”

Usually, it’s said in the context of dress type: “Lily is more of a *Mature Bride,* so I’m going to suggest we concentrate on rich fabrics and classic cuts” or “Sarah has expressed interest in Pnina Tornai gowns, but I’m trying to steer her toward looks that are more flattering for a *Mature Bride.”

In SYTTD land, it seems every woman over 30-something is considered a Mature Bride.

Well, I’m a Mature Bride, and I think that’s a good thing. While my mom insists I “waited too long” (she got married at age 20), I’m GLAD I waited — simply because, had I gotten married in my 20s, I would have had plentiful fucks to give about stupid, time-wasting shit. Fresh out of fucks in my 30s, I am planning a saner wedding (and have MUCH better fashion sense, too).

Here are some reasons I’m glad to be a mature bride:

1. I didn’t pick out uggo dresses for my bridesmaids: When I was 22 and dating the psychopath I was CONVINCED I was going to marry, I had my bridesmaids’ dresses all picked out in my dumb, stupid head: Red, A-line 1950s throw-back dresses with little white polka dots. But the bridesmaids would wear black nail polish and LOTS of thick eye-liner, and this would be soooo edgy.

More than 10 years later, I’m just letting my bridesmaids choose their dresses. It’s better that way. I am sure that, whatever they choose, it will be better than what I’d have dressed them in at 22.

2. I won’t look back on MY dress and cringe: My style and taste have evolved over the years (see above), and it has come to rest in a happy place. Sometimes, in my early 20s, while the psychopath I was dating was watching hours of television and glaring at me whenever I made noise, I’d browse online for wedding dresses. Finally, I found the perfect one — a white halter-top column dress that had an A-line layer of gold gauze over the skirt.

Now, in my 30s, a place called BHLDN exists.

3. I don’t waste my time on pointless crap: My life in my 30s is pretty damn awesome. I have a job I like. I can afford to travel. I have some really fun hobbies and volunteer gigs and AMAZING friends. I also have a fiance who doesn’t yell at me and call me “Dumbass” as a pet name. This is in contrast to my early 20s, when I was working two jobs, had no hobbies besides watching my ex pack a bowl and fetching him Taco Bell, and was getting called “Dumbass” daily.

I bet, when I was 22, I’d have thrown myself into crafting the perfect wedding to disguise my sad life. But these days, when it comes to wedding panning, I do the bare minimum … so I can get back to my regularly scheduled fun.

For example, we used an online template for our Save-the-Dates and whipped that shit up in five minutes. We threw together a Wedding Wire website in maybe half an hour. Meanwhile, I have an engaged friend who is 23. Her Save-the-Dates involved doing an elaborate photo shoot, hiring a designer to craft a wedding logo, and writing a tearful Facebook post about how the Save-the-Dates had to be reprinted because the brown script came out as “brick-colored,” rather than “chocolate.”

4.  My expectations are LOW: We hired a day-of coordinator to handle all the day-of bullshit. But I know things will still go wrong.

This would have all bothered me immensely when I was 25. But the decade that separates me from early 20s me has shown me that everything I carefully plan will blow up spectacularly in ways I could never have predicted.

My friends and loved ones have aged, too, meaning I’ve seen many of them have children, battle terrifying diseases — and, in some cases, die. In my 20s, I’d have seen my guests as an audience to my carefully orchestrated Event. I’d have five little bridesmaids, all in a row in their red dresses. No children would be allowed.

But as a “Mature Bride,” I know life is messy, and I’m glad just to have everyone there. Some of bridesmaids will be breastfeeding their kids during the reception. Some guests will need help walking, sitting and standing. Someone’s kid will scream and/or puke during the ceremony. Someone I love will spill wine on my beautiful dress. It will rain at our (outdoor) venue.

But it will still be OK because the wedding will involve a bunch of humans I love coming together, and, at the end, I will be married to the most wonderful human of all.

…And then, we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled fun.


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