Sunday, February 26, 2012

So. Oof. This whole "getting married" thing is harder than it looks. I am beginning to understand why many women just wear the cake and do what they're told by the caterer--partly because caterers are incredibly pushy and don't like brides who stray too far from the established format, and partly because this whole...organizing things thing is really hard. You have to organize things that it never even occurred to you that you needed to have.

Like selecting "my colours". Most couples are granted 2. I have made no arrangements and have no particular views regarding colours, and as things have gone with the flow in my head about fifteen have made their way into the mix. Red, blue, black, yellow, green, purple, orange--I haven't really gone for any pastels, metallics, or sheers so I suppose that's something, but the very idea of picking a colour never crossed my mind. And I am so flatly opposed to the idea of a woman being alternately crammed and fluffed into the least flattering colour on earth for what is supposed to be one of the most joyful days of her life that any sort of white and silver "classic formal" look never even came close enough to the window to be thrown out of it. I am wearing a black dress with white polka dots, with enough crinolines under it to make it stand up by itself. It is pretty and I like it so I'm wearing it.

'Cos you see, I see the options between "traditional" wedding dresses (note: the word "traditional" will now always go in quotation marks. I find the very idea of mindless, unsubstantiated adherence to the behaviours of one's forebears so repulsive as to be nauseating. "Tradition" and all of its associated prejudices have no place in my home.) as "big white dress" and "tight white dress", neither of which look good on anyone except very fit women with very dark skin and hair. White is awful--it makes even the thin and attractive look like a bloated pink beach ball, unless you get spray-tanned, in which case you look like a bloated orange beach ball. And the choice between strapless and strapless? Ooh, let me think. How about no, my arms and side-fat are flopping at just the idea. Usually those bodices look fine if they're altered perfectly to fit you and you stand perfectly straight all night, but the second you slouch or gain (or lose, ha ha) a pound, you're either swimming in it or spilling over it like Punxutawney Phil wriggling out of his hole in search of his shadow. And the unhealthily skinny? They just look like naked women standing behind a cardboard cut-out of a dress. It's unsettling.

And EGAD the planning. Not only do I dislike the idea of placing my guests in some sort of optimised seating configuration, but it is also completely impossible. I have four families and a variety of friends to arrange, most of whom are the mother-in-law's nearest and dearest. I don't fault her for this--she has at least 40 immediate relations who live in town, whereas I'm grateful for my 7 kinfolk who have saved a lot of money to make the trip--but ensuring that they don't huddle off in a corner en masse, thereby straining the floorboards so far that they snap, is going to be a challenge. They're a close-knit family, which I fully believe is something to be admired, but they tend to be so to the exclusion of others. This was made abundantly clear at a small engagement party the parents of my affianced held for us last autumn, where mum's family separated itself by several metres from dad's small knot of siblings for the duration of the afternoon. Aside from Boy's siblings there were no real intermediaries, so while we tried to mingle with everyone casually and evenly, crossing the back-garden divide was so awkwardly obvious it felt like we should have sought gate clearance.

Hopefully the introduction of my exotic, foreign family and oddball (and differently foreign) friends will give the in-laws an interesting diversion from their local gossip, and maybe they'll even find something in common. But the question this poses is, do I put a few of the local family at every table to spread them out, allowing them to dominate the room, or do I allow them to form their impenetrable bloc and make everyone else feel excluded?

I have no idea how to manage people, or to manage when people manage themselves. I don't like this.