So, recently I got married, as I believe I may have mentioned once or twice. Those of you who may have read this blog in previous years will know something of my disastrous relationship history, so to get married was a minor miracle in itself.
In order to get married one generally has to have a wedding, and this led to my months of battle with the monster that is the Bridal industry. There's nothing like the mention of a wedding for supplier's eyes to start rolling with dollar signs in the manner of a poker machine. Although I managed to get married without ever setting foot in a bridal shop, I still had to do battle with wedding suppliers, and apparently I did it all wrong.
You have never run into so many rules in your life as when organising a wedding. I've never had much time for the Way Things Should Be Done, though I did actually buy one bridal magazine during the lead up. It really had little of relevance to our wedding, though every newsagent I visited seemed to have sold out of all their copies of Plus Size Goth Bride.
Anyway, Sydney Conformist Wedding was full of rules. Every single section advised the bride-to-be not to risk using friends and relatives for anything - flowers, video, cars - but to hire professionals. This advice I mostly took and it turned out to be a mistake in some cases. There were also timetables on when to book everything. Here I failed completely. Apparently one is meant to book a photographer up to two years in advance; this I found rather tricky as the groom and I hadn't actually met yet two years out. The bulk of our wedding was organised in the final four months, and I was constantly berated for leaving it to the last minute when I rang for quotes. A florist I visited actually told me two weeks wasn't enough time to prepare a bouquet. It wasn't a churchful of flowers I wanted, just a single simple bouquet for myself. Such a request so soon was laughable to the florist, apparently. Maybe they would have grown the flowers specially?
There's something about the mention of the word wedding that sends people a bit crazy. Trying to buy a black veil from ebay, I asked a seller of the exact sort of veils I wanted (marketed as "hen's night veils") if she could send one in time for the wedding. She told me she didn't do wedding veils. Not what I asked, but fine, you don't need my money. The hairdressers berated me for not making a "wedding hair appointment" - I had told them that I wanted my hair styled, but apparently the weddingness of it all required a special kind of appointment. I'd kept quiet because other hairdressers actually refused to see me for a wedding because it was just me, not a bunch of bridesmaids and family. It's as though "wedding" requires a special class of service all it's own. (Don't get me started on the make up artist who assumed I wanted to look tanned, despite me bringing in a photo of Liz Vicious - face only! - to work from).
Most irritating of all was the car. I hired a car to transport my sister and I from home to the venue, only, without mentioning the W word. After all was confirmed I asked could we maybe have a ribbon on the car?
The only way this was possible, I was informed, was to book the car for a two hour wedding package, with carpet, ribbon and champagne. This would cost $350, $200 more than the first quote. I tried in vain to explain I just wanted a ribbon, not the package, but they were adamant - if they weren't fleecing me for the wedding package, the bare minimum was all I was getting (and it was - I should have gone for another car company).
Look, it's hardly one of the great injustices of our society, and I'm aware many brides bring it on themselves through their demanding behaviour. It's hard to see it changing anytime soon - I was a member of a wedding forum in the lead up, and most brides cling to the prevailing wedding fashions like pitbulls. The idea of what a wedding "should" be isn't going to change easily. EDIT: summed up brilliantly here on Things Bogans Like - and it's not just bogans! ALL white, "traditional weddings" are like this!
Okay, you've read the rant, now here's what you came for:
'Cause for all that, it really was pretty awesome.