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Ever Worry That You Don’t Feel Like A Bride?


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Here is why: you’re not one.

The bride gig lasts for eight to twelve hours. It may not feel the way you expected, but trust me, you’ll notice the feeling. And if you really pay attention, that one day of being a bride will be enough for a lifetime.

PS I of course, was never a bride. Just person A.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://galfromawayweds.wordpress.com/ GalFromAway

    I went through that thought process – seeing so many brides who were doing lots of things for their weddings, yet me a little slower on the uptake.

    http://galfromawayweds.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/am-i-an-un-bride-bride-to-be/

    And I wonder… is there any way to know exactly what a bride should feel like?

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com/ accordionsandlace

    Amen! I could never bring myself to self-identify as a bride; not something that I needed for more than 8 hours or so.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02567097973987043341 Lauren

    No fair- I was Person B. Jeff claimed Person A while I was having a nervous breakdown about what name to put down as "surname after marriage."

  • http://whitewedding.tumblr.com Jennifer

    Thank god.. I was wondering if I had some sort of emotional defect that I wasn't crying at the sight of myself in white dresses. And whenever everyone says, "Whatever the bride wants…" makes my skin crawl.

  • http://www.themaidenmetallurgist.com The Maiden Metallurgist

    One night was enough thanks.

    I was actually one of those "I'm not a bride, don't call me a bride" women, until my husband said, we're getting married tonight, today you're my bride. Own it.

    I did. And it was awesome. Don't want to be so concerned with fighting the stigma that you ruin your husband's dream of wedding his bride.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15082554090481175349 A Los Angeles Love

    Yeah. If we're all brides then our male partners should all have to walk around saying they're grooms for the entire engagement period. Oh, they don't have any interest in that? Exactly.

    (sorry about the deleted comment above. I decided to type properly this time.)

  • http://onelittledove.com melanie

    amen. i went through a does-it-make-me-feel-like-a-bride bout of uncertainty when i picked out my very blue wedding gown, but i wised-up said eff it–if anything, getting MARRIED should make me feel like a bride, not what i'm wearing.

  • http://gracesunhae.wordpress.com/ gracesunhae

    WORD. This Thanksgiving, after whole-heartedly expressing what I was grateful for, I was met with a unanimous, "…AAAAND???" in reference to my engagement ring. I understand and appreciate that people are happy for me, but I certainly DON'T appreciate feeling like I am the spawn of Satan for not peeing my pants every time I think about getting married. Isn't marriage supposed to be a NATURAL progression of a relationship, anyway?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13673551397937126311 Rachel

    Thanks for the encouragement. I needed it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06985820953743653787 Ms. Bunny

    That's the same reason I've never understood why women use a picture of themselves in their wedding dress as their Facebook picture for more than 6 months. Seriously, the image you want everyone to think of you as is a bride?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07002438626643133563 Emily

    Thank You! Amen.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02189637917666578405 Allison

    First I'm a girlfriend, then a fiancee then a wife, I have to be a BRIDE now too? Why can't I just be Allison who is ALSO getting married sometime next year?

    I was having this total identity crisis last weekend when I contacted you on twitter and I've been meaning to write to you about this very topic.

    Trying on my dress I didn't have that AHA, I'm a BRIDE moment with my mother and grandmother but for some reason, putting on that dress with my new shoes and having the quiet moment alone I said to myself "this is the dress I am getting MARRIED in"! (I mean, I'm not sure if it was the lack of breakfast and two cups of coffee, but I got all shaky and flustered and excited.)

    I did kind of give the finger to the WIC because I didn't shave my pits that morning. HA!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06985820953743653787 Ms. Bunny

    @Allison I like that thought — "this is the dress I am getting MARRIED in!" (vs. thinking "I'm such a pretty bride") Quiet, revelation moments by yourself are so good.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00650933140736435170 Giggles

    When I tried on my dress(es) it was a "I'm getting married in this" moment. Not a princess moment. Not a bride moment. There was also the "he's really going to like seeing me in this" moment too that was a lot of fun.

    I've seen people use wedding photos as their profile picture on things YEARS after their wedding. Have they not done anything else with their life since?

    Our relationship was such a steady smooth progression from one step to the next through the whole thing that I don't know that I ever really felt like a "bride" at any moment. It might have been that instance between "not married" and "married," but the feeling of being married kind of overshadowed everything else.

    Whatever it was, that day felt awesome!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13492554838110827379 Wifey Wiferson

    I never really felt like a bride (person B!) until my wedding day, and the few hours I was, I must admit I ate it up with a spoon. I loved being a bride that one day, but it was definitly a time limited feeling. I love being married every day even more.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    @Allison
    You will be a bride, and it's great. GREAT! It just doesn't last very long… and dosen't need to. It packs a lifetime worth of punch.

    Some relations are still trying to call me a bride, oddly. And I'm like, "Look people. I did that. It was fantastic. But it's done. I've graduated. You may call me a newlywed if you'd like, a role which might even be greater."

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03106328326147511259 Amy

    I loved being called the bride, and never thought of it as a negative thing. Every time somebody called me a bride, I was reminded that I got to spend the rest of my life with the person I liked best in the world. (And yes, he was the Groom for the duration of the wedding plans.)

    @Giggles My wedding picture is still up as my facebook picture, six months after the fact. I spent many dollars on beautiful pictures and I will display them until I get my money's worth. Also, it reduces a lot of the confusion at my different name.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05750659066802561501 Erika

    My mother answered the phone with "hello, bride!" for my entire engagement, and it made me cringe and roll my eyes every time. I think she even kept it up for a few months after the wedding. Phew, glad that's passed. Totally agree with this post!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00650933140736435170 Giggles

    @Amy – don't worry. Six months and YEARS are completely different. I'm talking about people who have already celebrated their third anniversary and still have their wedding picture up.

  • Sport

    As always, a nice post. I really appreciate your voice in the wedding world. I don't always agree with everyone, but it at least gets me thinking. I feel like so often the word "bride" is synonymous with "princess" in la la wedding world and oh golly gee, all ladies want to be princesses. Gag. I want to be sarcastic, sharp-tongued and wearing my black frame glasses. No interest in being a bride or a princess. I am, however, interested in being married to my man. 'Cause he's made of awesome.

  • April

    Bless you for posting this.

    Must admit I never really felt like a "Bride" during my planning and for a brief time (ok – like 10 minutes), fretted over the fact that I wasn't being swept up in parties, tulle and ribbon and floating on the feeling of being engaged.

    Perhaps it's because there wasn't anyone fussing or inquiring about the plans (like a mom or sister, for example); or, maybe it's because I took a somewhat practical approach to it. Jumped into the planning but didn't let it rule my life or every waking thought. Felt a few twinges of bride-dom at certain moments: when our friend took our engagement photos, and when we went to get our license. Oh, and when I had my final dress fitting.

    On the wedding day, however, I DID feel like a Bride! AND HOW! Might have been my darling mister, smooching, laughing, and wearing that fancy frock that made it sink in. That and the loads of well-wishes from friends and passerby shouting, "Happy Wedding!" Made me feel warm, fuzzy, and well – downright Bridal! It was a phenomenal 8 hours.

  • April

    Have to add, I just called the husband and asked him if he felt like a "groom" before the wedding or during it.

    What followed was a brief pause, and then he answered in a slightly befuddled tone: "Um…well, not really. What does that mean exactly? Was I supposed to? I just felt like me. And I felt like your husband all along. Are you taking a magazine quiz or something?"

    LOL. And that is why I love him.

  • Elissa

    My husband (my heart skips a beat every time I write that. hehe) called me his bride yesterday. To which I responded, 'No, darling. I was your bride two weeks ago, but I'll be your wife for the tomorrows we've got.'

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