My friend/bridesmaid/fellow Housewife of San Francisco has been pushing me for weeks to give her some reading material and my lazy ass apparently had zero motivation to write, but I have to do this post now.
This topic had actually been on my “to-blog” list for over a year now but I was hesitant mainly due to the possible negativity this might spark among the people involved so I scrapped it, but I have to do this post now.
It is currently 12:01AM, I barely started writing, I literally have to get up for work in seven hours, the whole world knows by now that I have insomnia and lack enough sleep as it is, but I have to do this post now.
I’ve heard so many horror stories of demanding and/or inconsiderate bridesmaids/groomsmen/family from previous brides that I’ve actually coined the rebutting phrase, “it’s not your wedding.” Every time someone wanted to give me their two cents on my upcoming wedding, I mentally yell “it’s not your wedding!” Every time I heard a bride telling me about their shitty bridesmaids wanting this and that or just outright undermining what the bride needs, I tell them to say “it’s not your wedding.” When I step back and look at all the bullshit I have to deal with, the reality is, it’s not my wedding. I love how companies, media, and just society in general sells the idea of it being “your day.” It’s really not. It’s everyone else’s day but mine and here’s why:
- I’m not sure about other cultures but at the least if you’re Chinese, it’s definitely not your day because you’re expected to throw a grand banquet for people that your parents want to invite and show off their new son/daughter-in-law and how they’re able to afford “such a grand party” for a bunch of people they don’t give two fucks about. As Chinese traditions go, you have to “pour tea” for your elders – I’m actually not opposed to this one and am happy to do it so long as you’re deemed “worthy,” i.e. watched me grow up, helped raise me, etc. That’s just two out of a very extended list of things you’re expected to do as far as traditions go. You think you’re allowed to do whatever you want or use whatever colors you want for anything but the moment somebody in your family says something, we all return to square one because we don’t want to “offend” anyone or at the least, we just don’t want to hear it. Anything you do for the wedding will “heavily reflect” how your parents raised you or even just reflect them as a human in general. It’s all about your parents’ face – it’s not that I don’t care about their reputation, because trust me, I do – but that’s what it boils down to, it’s about how your parents will look in front of their family and friends and definitely not about you.
- I personally wanted a “t-shirt and jeans” theme for the wedding. I want my bridal party to be comfortable, I want my guests to be comfortable, I want to be comfortable. Vetoed time and again because it’s “not tradition.” I am required to wear a wedding dress because it’s “only once in a lifetime and it’s just for one day.” Says who?! You don’t know that I’m only marrying once, not that I plan on marrying more than once but who are you to tell me this is only happening “once“?
- Mother-in-law actually told me I’m not allowed to wear shoes with a heel more than an inch high because the Mr. is all of one inch taller than me. I’m also not allowed to wear sneakers in exchange because it’s “tacky.” I really don’t know why she cares because the Mr. sure as hell doesn’t mind the height situation and neither do I. Needless to say, the Mr. told me to ignore her and I happily obliged.
- I hate flowers. I did not want a single flower in sight before, during, or after the wedding, I didn’t even plan on having a bouquet. The in-laws demanded boutonnieres. We now have fuckin flowers.
- The Mr.’s aunt would not allow me to add duck to the menu because of some other bullshit Chinese taboo. Excuse me, who are you?
- My goal was to find comfortable yet cute dresses for my bridesmaids because I want them to have something that they can literally wear again outside of my shitshow wedding but for various reasons across multiple bridesmaids, I now have actual bridesmaid-dress looking dresses that I find absolutely appalling.
- While I am happy to share this special occasion with people that I actually had on my personal guest list (friends, colleagues, etc.), I am not happy with having to put on a circus for a bunch of extended family (the Mr.’s) that I can’t even be real around. My own family know me. My parents know me. My four aunts that helped raise me, know me. My friends know me. My colleagues know more than they need to about me. If you know me, you know me. I cuss, I drink, I get hyphy, I call it a night. But because there will be about a hundred judgmental, wrinkled, pruny, pricks with sticks up their asses at the banquet, I must stay poised. I must act like a “good girl.” I must “bring honor to us all.” (Sorry, I had to include that last one.)
I have so many other reasons why I don’t want a wedding or why it’s not my wedding but this one just takes the cake. For an appetizer, here’s my background story: as a child, I’ve always sort of had somewhat of an idea of what I wanted my future wedding to be like. Chinese wedding traditions are without a doubt on the list of things that I want involved. Needless to say, I’ve studied, observed, and made note of as many traditions as I could through family weddings, TV shows, and researching the internet. Of course, I’ve banked all those ideas but was never crazy enough to do a scrapbook or whatever like those bridezillas we see today. Through the years, marriage had slowly become something that’s just on the back of my mind and no longer something that mattered. My mentality is that even if you marry, there’s always divorce if shit don’t work out, so why put yourself through all the work and stress to plan a fuckin party for a bunch of extended family/friends of family/colleagues of parents that you’ll only see once in your lifetime?
It’s definitely a little different for your own friends. Friends actually watch you grow as a couple, they understand what it took for the two of you to get to where you are today, I don’t mind throwing a party for friends because they’re the family you actually got to choose. “Real” family though? You don’t get to choose. I have no problems with my own as of yet and had no problems with his either until now. A few of the Mr.’s aunts (yes, multiple) actually rejected the invitation that his dad hand-delivered because it was in a “white” envelope. Bitch, it’s ivory and we paid extra for it because we didn’t want to give you the cheaper, ACTUAL, white ones. Yes, I will fight you on this technicality. And by “reject,” I mean they literally said “don’t give this to me in a white envelope” and/or “I’ll take it only if you remove the envelope.”
To preface, when the shipment came in, I actually did question the Mr. why there aren’t red envelopes for the Chinese invitations and bless the guy’s heart, I really should lower my expectations of him in terms of all these “extra” traditions that nobody in 2019 in the United States should even care about. It was literally the last thing on his mind (if it was even on it at all) whether or not the envelopes need to be a specific color. He was nearly foaming at the mouth after he heard how rude his aunts had been to his parents about the whole ordeal that he’s actually wanting to knock on their doors to personally un-invite them. You’ve got my support, babe. I definitely feel for my in-laws on this one though because that is downright disrespectful and especially because it’s coming from their actual blood siblings.
We had half the mind to cancel this whole thing because it has come to the point where it’s no longer about us or what we want for our own celebration. These are the exact situations that I thought we’d avoid because we already did everything according to what our parents want but at the end of the day, there’s no pleasing everyone. Someone’s always gonna say something and all we can do is bite our tongue out of respect for our parents and cross our fingers that they just don’t show up. Calm the fuck down, the circus is still happening. All invited friends, colleagues (old and new), and family are welcome – with the exception of the three aunts that the Mr. disowned six hours ago and they word-for-word can kiss our ass. Drama aside, luckily our friend had spare red envelopes that they didn’t end up using for their own wedding so we don’t have to order a whole new batch just to cater to those 15th century prudes the Mr. calls his “aunts.” Other than that, thanks to said prudes, I now have a bunch of labeled “white” envelopes on the coffee table, a pair of bummed out in-laws, and a pissed off husband.