Every Bride Needs a Therapist

April 30, 2014

I wrote this a while ago, but I just found it again (I pictured it being the introduction to the kind of little gifty book they sell at Anthropologie, maybe one day) and got a little laugh remembering how crazy that time was.

Our relationship started out so easily. It was fun, romantic, pretty normal. We met through mutual friends, wrote witty emails, drunkenly hooked up, then got bagels the next morning. We had six months of exciting weekends, adrenaline on the train from New York to Boston, watching football and doing crosswords, going out in New York, feeling like we were the only ones in the world. When he moved to New York I moved perhaps too much stuff into his apartment lived out of a bag until we moved in together. Then we moved to Brazil, a whole chapter in itself and on July 2nd, 2010, we were exchanging text messages as I moved through customs on a flight back from London (I know this is illegal, sorry.) You’re going out with your friends? Sure, no problem, I’ll drop my stuff and come meet you. Welcome back to America, and then he was there. In a suit. With my name on a sign, blending in with the drivers. But as I walked over, the sign flipped and it said will you marry me on it. I was shocked, there was a ring, laughing, tears, a BMW Zipcar to take us back to our Brooklyn apartment. Our families were there. We were very, very happy.

Then we started planning the wedding.

I was never the kind of girl who knew all along what my wedding was going to look like. Mostly, I thought it would be a low key thing, and I certainly never thought I would be the first of my close girlfriends to get engaged and have to encounter all of the questions that wedding planning entailed. There are. so. Many. questions. I am not a perfectionist, I never have been. Apparently, though, I was somewhere in the most difficult zone of bride, where I didn’t care enough to really take ownership of the process and I was reluctant about choosing aspects that I didn’t consider important, yet I cared far too much to give someone else the ball (my mother, for example. To say she was ready to run with it is an understatement.)

And so, the next sixteen months unfolded in a way that made me crazy. The thing is, it seems like lots of brides need therapists during the wedding planning experience. I talked to not just a few who found themselves in one moment or another acting so outrageously out of character that they needed to call in someone else to help restore their sanity. Someone who didn’t know their mother, or husband, or mother-in-law, or petulant sister or maid of honor and could objectively remind them to take some good, long deep breaths.

My own moment occurred sometime during the summer of 2010, on the southwest corner of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue in New York. My now husband and I had just looked at our first wedding venue together, the Foundry in Long Island City. For whatever reason it included something like me jumping up and down, screaming at the top of my lungs, “I hate the spring!” repeatedly. Apparently, I couldn’t possibly get married in the spring.

I’m normally a pretty rational person, low-key, even. Possibly easy-going and accommodating. This was not my usual behavior.



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