High-femme-queen or a little bit rustic? Sometimes I feel like a kid "playing Bride"

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by femmestar
Photos by Dennis Dayrit
Photos by Dennis Dayrit

I think sometimes I obsess over my wedding day details like my hair, and my nails to keep my mind occupied… but perhaps mostly because I really actually can't quite picture myself as a BRIDE.

I keep trying to imagine the day — waking up with my fianceé, having coffee, going out to brunch, getting ready, taking pictures, going to the chapel, to dinner afterwards. But it's foggy in my imagination, and that's likely because… it's huge. I can't picture it, and I've DONE it before. This is my second trip down the aisle, and I still am finding it so hard to wrap my brain around what it will feel like that day.

My fiancée and I were talking the other day about our wedding, and it kind of feels like we are playing pretend. Ok, y'all, we actually are grown-ass people. We are both 34 years old. I will be 35 in not-that-long. We have both been married before. We know what we're getting ourselves into. But I still feel like a kid playing "Bride."

For example, I've had conflicting visions of my wedding-day attire. Both are extensions of me — do I want to go full-on, used-to-be-a-burlesque-performer-for-years, high-femme-queen, pin-up glam, in daring red and bold cat eyeliner? Or do I want to go softer, sweeter, a little precious, a little bit rustic, and Southern through and through (which I am), in well-worn boots and a sweet white dress and hand-tied wildflowers?

Deciding to elope meant I made a choice rather quickly to go with the red dress I love, that I feel fabulous in, that my fiancée loves, as well. Great! But today, I stumbled upon the adorable white dress of my dreams, and I yearned to also be THAT girl.

Although I certainly am both of those — and many other things, too — I can't really perform both versions of Bride at the same time. And that's okay. My wedding doesn't have to be the ultimate reflection of Who I "Really" Am As a Person.

I know, this isn't earth-shattering news — the concept that no, Virginia, we actually can't have it all. Every time I make a choice, every time I say "yes" to one thing, I am also saying, "No, thank you," to perhaps thousands of other things. This is true in my life, every single day, right?

Why does it feel so much more heightened when planning my wedding?

Ah, I guess because of that (very recent) idea that our weddings are not just rituals that make us a legal family unit, followed by a party to celebrate that union. Now weddings are expressions of our very unique and super special snowflakeness. Right?

I'm curious whether it's because we're queer, because we're two women. Same-sex marriage is still so new; we spent much of our adulthood never thinking we'd be able to do this (legally), and even if we could commit to each other in a ceremony, that other people wouldn't take it seriously. But people are. My family is. My co-workers are.

There's just some stuff there that we're unpacking, and maybe everyone feels it, like how nobody ever really feels like an adult, or a "Bride," no matter how many markers you hit. I still feel like a kid, and I keep waiting for someone, like the chapel staff, to laugh and tell me we can't really do this, but that's not happening.

Instead, THIS is really happening.

    • Ceremony dress! Reception dress! Announcing your elopement dress! Vow renewal dress!

      Since you are both these people, see if you can find a way (and the budget) to incorporate both looks – perhaps the sweet white dress for the ceremony and full-on glam for dinner?

  1. Oh man do I relate to this! I can't picture myself as a Bride either, it's very new and very weird to me. I never wanted to get married before, even still I wonder what's the point? We are no less in love, no less a couple and no less committed. But regardless of that, we are getting married. I totally agree with the above commenter, buy that dream dress and save it for a special day! Vow renewal, anniversary, special date together, couples photo shoot or whatever you can think of to wear it! Best of wishes to you and yours! Love, Love, Love the photo!

  2. I can relate to the whole 'is this really happening?' feeling. My oldest child just got Married 2 weeks ago & the whole day was so surreal! Still looking at pics all the time & thinking wow! That really DID happen! Maybe you could incorporate a little bit of both looks together. Like wear the red stunner gown but sneek in wildflowers with red ribbon or something? Just a thought 🙂 Congrats on your wedding! And thank you for sharing this. I needed a little lift up today 🙂

  3. I can totally relate. Okay, not so much to the gender-identity stuff, but the stuff about having competing visions for expressing your personality in your wedding, boy do I get that. As a slightly older couple (each of us just on either side of 30), we wanted a more sophisticated vibe. Our venue is a high rise in a downtown area. I keep saying, we're not kids, we're adults with established careers who've traveled the world. We should look worldly, and grown up and everything–from the mismatched bridesmaid dresses, to the famous-works-of-art table names, is supposed to show it. And I love it!

    On the other hand…I grew up in the south in a VERY rural area and my heart longs for hay bale pews under an old oak, with tree round cake stands, and string lights in the trees, and mason jars, and rustic everything.

    When you have such a diverse background and/or interests, sometimes it just ISN'T possible to include EVERYTHING without creating a rather chaotic aesthetic. But that's okay! I think you know what you are doing. The rest of your identity doesn't disappear if you can't find a way to include it in your wedding. You'll still be a southern belle. Stick to a coherent look and you will be happy with the result.

  4. I relate, and sympathize, so very much!

    "Now weddings are expressions of our very unique and super special snowflakeness."
    THIS.
    I'm a people-pleaser by nature and am working hard to try to create a fun party that's also "us" and memorable and as fun to plan as it will be to attend and also within our budget and also recognizably a wedding. I feel like I need to hire a marketing coordinator and event coordinator just to conceptualize it.
    And I, too, feel like I'm 'playing bride' (although I'm straight so I can't speak to that trend, I'm also 34 so…maybe it's a post-25 thing??)

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