What does being a bride feel like?

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car seat bride
So, what do you do if you don't FEEL like a bride?

I don't know what to do; I want my man (I'm madly, head over heels in love), I want a wedding (I love parties and I love planning), but I just haven't felt like a bride…

Does anyone else go through this?


Hmm: loving your partner, wanting a wedding, and loving parties … sounds like you feel like a bride to me!

I think the issue here is less than you don't “feel like a bride” and more that you have some sort of preconception about what feeling like a bride is supposed to entail.

Obsession with wedding magazines? Sudden teary-eyed-ness over ring pillows? Burgeoning interest in romantic comedies? Sobbing over other people's weddings? Bursting out singing “I feel pretty!” in front of friends?

I didn't feel any of these things.

Who told you brides feel some certain way?

For me, “feeling like a bride” felt just like being myself, but maybe just a tiny bit more excited because there was a big party on the horizon and I got to dress up.

By my standards, “feeling like a bride” could include anything from dorking out over which action figures to put on your cake to scheming the bride & groom's ceremonial First Dirt Bike Scrimmage.

And for some brides like Jen Moon, yes: it DOES mean bursting into “I feel pretty,” as minute 1:20 of this video clearly demonstrates.

I think the better question to ask yourself than “Why don't I feel like I think a bride should?” is “What does being a bride feel like to me?”

Comments on What does being a bride feel like?

  1. Freaking Awesome!!!! It is probably not going to happen at MY wedding, but I wish it could!

  2. I felt how Meghan phrased it for much of our wedding planning. The message (clearly not from OBB, but from family and other sources of WICness) seemed to be consistently about "The Bride", not our wedding. I felt like me – me planning something amazing and fun where there would be vows, rings and cake – but still me. It was hard to ignore the message that I should be somehow transformed into The Bride, and focus on enjoying myself planning our wedding… As ever, Ariel has succinctly phrased something I've struggled for months to articulate.

  3. Oh, thank you so much for this post!! I have had so many people ask me if I feel like a bride yet, or if I am going to be a Bridezilla… there are so many preconceived notions of what it is like to be an engaged woman out there!!

  4. Totally agree with Ariel, but I want to add this:

    You don't feel like a bride because you're NOT a bride yet. Being a bride is a transitional moment, and it lasts for just one day. On that day, *trust me* you are going to feel like a bride… even if what you feel is nothing like what your preconceived notions of bride-dom are. And I suspect you'll be able to dig back in your memory, and remember that feeling and smile for the rest of your life.

    And sometimes being engaged/ wedding planning plain old blows. If we're being honest. And YEAH, it feels like a major life transition, wonderful and hard (even if you've been with your partner forever). Something new is being born, you have to breathe, and let it come.

  5. Last week my friend Anne Sofie and I did some testhairdos. Cocktails were involved… The first do was pretty and what I had planned. Very nice. She wanted to try something else. A big updo which looked a lot like me notion of a bridal do but I just looked kinda goofy, I put on the veil and danced around making silly faces. And thought: "what the hell are we going to do, I look stupid when I look like a bride…"


    We tried one last do. It took ages and I was getting tired and a little drunk. But then something happened. Anne Sofie put the veil on. I looked in the mirror. And I saw a bride. Me. A bride. For the first time I felt like a bride and it became too much, so I cried a little. It is a little ridiculous, but at the time I was just overwhelmed.

    So that's what did it for me: seeing myself looking super pretty and just KNOWING this washow I was supposed to look.

    • this here is what I''m waiting for. The wedding is in a month, I picked up me dress yesterday and I still haven't had that moment. Could just be an amazing lak of self condfidence

  6. I felt that. And I think, for me anyway, that it was because I had no one to really share many of those "bridey" moments with. We chose not to have attendents for many reasons, but if I was to give advice to future brides, I'd suggest roping someone into being a "wedding buddy," if not an actual best wo/man. Mom lives out of town, I was/am in a new town, so my friends (busy with their own husbands and children) all lived out of town. Ordering my dress online from Target was great because it saved me a ton of money on a cute dress, but it's just not the same – pulling it out of the box and trying it on in a rush before your husband-to-be gets home from work.

    Because isn't that what "feeling like a bride" is all about – an experience with others? Your groom, your best friend when you're trying on a dress, your mom when you can't believe you like the same save-the-date/rock poster?

  7. I think one reason for the disconnect is that a “Bride” is a thing, an icon. Capital-B Brides are not role or a job title or even a state of being, they’re a cultural touchstone, a character like Mickey Mouse. After I got engaged I was in Macy’s and saw this huge porcelain sculpture of a Bride, and suddenly it hit me – my god, that was supposed to be me! More accurately, I was supposed to be it! I am going to be that Bride thing everyone’s been talking about!

    But I wasn’t it. I didn’t have a train or a veil or even a white dress. The idea of a Bride had been entrenched in my mind by magazines and movies and friends’ weddings and everything else as something white and expensive and the center of attention – and I wasn’t that! There are standards and expectations to live up to, and I think it takes a while to accept yourself as a bride when you’re not cut out for being a Bride.

  8. I'm so glad i found this post. I'm not alone. I have loved weddings my entire life. I couldn't wait to be engaged and plan my own special day. I've been looking forward to it for years! Now that I am finally here, I can't wait for it to be over. It seems that no matter how low key I try to be, other people force me to play the role of the bride. I don't want to be the center of attention and have everyone fussing over me. I've been more depressed than excited lately and I was feeling like such a deadbeat bride. My mom and my aunt are acting more like brides than I am. It seems like so much hype has been built up around the bride position in society that it might be impossible to fulfill.

    • Hey Just Love – yeah me too!! I've planned some kick-arse parties in the past (one do even had around 2500 people!) all out there, and a bit offbeat, but now it's my turn, and I'm depressed about it. All I want is something low key, and yes, a little unconventional, but somehow, with others involved it keeps coming back to what everybody else thinks a wedding/bride should be. I've started keeping all my 'bride' ideas to myself infact, just to avoid the polite 'looks' and silences. It's a real bummer. OBB has been a real saviour, just to know there are lots of others out there doing things their own way – and the joy of it shows.

  9. Jen's wedding is so freaking awesome! I am – literally – over the Moon xD

    On feeling like a bride:
    My partner and I just decided to get married. I not even feeling like "really" engaged yet, let alone like a bride 😉 Thanks Kate and Ariel for the recommendation, I might try that one out.

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