I sighed heavily at my aunt's text before copying and pasting pictures, and explaining, for the umpteenth time, what I envision for my eight bridesmaids:
- ANY shade of teal.
- Comes below the knee.
- Classic, “vintage,” “retro” style. (Complete with a dozen pictured examples as well as direct links to reputable sites for purchasing).
And refrained from adding, “Not. That. Hard.” as I face-planted into a pillow and muffled a scream.
Instead, I tactfully said, “We're still six months out. There's plenty of time to find something. Assure her she doesn't need to stress.”
I had an almost “Anti-Bridezilla” moment — “I don't care which shade of teal they are! If I'm not stressing, why is everyone else stressing?!”
And then I had a very real Bridezilla moment: “Their stress is stressing me out!”
I expressed the latter to my wedding planner and she, most beautifully and perfectly, laughed along with my sentiments before gently reminding me, “They are all here on the common goal of supporting you and your happiness.”
And just like that, my perspective changed.
Instead of a source of stress, I looked at their efforts and worries for what they were — their loving me and them trying to show it by wearing whatever it is I envision for the wedding. My heart softened toward them and I started putting in more personalized effort. “I know you usually prefer [this kind of style], so let's look for how that can meet the style I'm looking for.”
These are my sisters. My closest friends. My cousin. I know them just as well as they know me. And six months out from the wedding is plenty of time to put in the one-on-one effort with each of them.
And, perhaps inevitably, it's become about more than the shoes and the dress…
My recently-reconnecting sister replied to my “Will you be my bridesmaid?” by re-sending a journal we stopped circulating six years ago.
My sister-to-be and I find we have similar tastes and this gives us common ground to build our foundation of sistership.
I ask each of them, regularly, “How is the rest of your life?”
As I pay more attention to their likes and needs, I truly acknowledge them for who they are, and have that much more to embrace and love in return.
This new perspective continues overflowing into my other relationships. When my many mothers turn to me with their what-should-I-wears, I embrace them with the same excitement and personalized show of love. When my husband-to-be expresses frustration, I turn to him openly and ask, “What do you need? What is YOUR vision?”
Yes, wedding planning is overwhelming. It swallows you up. It, and people, can straight-up drown you with needs and wants and demands and questions and…
But it can also not. The whole planning process can also be a beautiful way of giving and receiving all the love that I, unintentionally, was saving for celebrating on the one Big Day. So here's a moment for that — a reminder that they each show their love in their own way, and I am most happy, and thankful, to love them in return.