Archive for March 26th, 2008

Wedding Stress + Emotion = Tears (Sometimes)

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

I was looking through some of our family photo albums recently (a sure sign that I had important chores to finish elsewhere), when I noticed the remarkable difference between different brides’ emotional reactions to their nuptials.

For instance, one beautiful new addition to our clan is positively glowing, without any apparent cares in the world. But another lovely young relative, in every shot, has the shiny nose and runny mascara of the classic bride (or Mom, or anyone) for whom the unrelenting stress and emotion have boiled over into an unstoppable flood of tears.

Among our family, it’s okay to cry. In fact, I am a notorious blubber-puss (with tear ducts the size of fire hoses). So there is no stigma attached to someone’s eye make-up being from the Alice Cooper/Tammy Faye Bakker school of cosmetology. But, just in case you don’t find photos showing “something borrowed, something blood-shot” appealing, here are a few suggestions for you to consider as your wedding date nears:

1. Delegate, delegate, delegate! Having a wedding coordinator or a close (and dependable) friend or relative to ease your load makes it (theoretically) possible for you to pamper yourself – if you just will.

2. Eat healthy, rest often. (Impossible, right?) Actually, some brides do manage to uh… manage their stress levels. Regular rest, nutritious food, and some good old-fashioned sweat-inducing exercise are a terrific antidote to stress. (They are also cheaper than booze or pills, and don’t leave you with a hangover.)

3. Stay out of the middle of any family dramas. The last thing you need at this incredibly busy time of your life is to get sucked into the role of referee in a family dispute. If a parent or step-parent, in-law, errant sibling, or wayward friend is creating problems for someone else, gently (but firmly) remind all concerned that conflicts which have been years in the making cannot be solved by you with a snap of your fingers. When everything else fails, refer back to number one above and delegate a 3rd party to mediate or deal with the problem. It isn’t and cannot be your job.

When a bride lowers her own stress level, there is a beneficial trickle-down effect on the rest of the wedding party. Weddings tend to follow the personality of the bride, so – if the only emotion you are feeling is joy – most of the time, the majority of the other key players will follow suit.

Of course, all this means is that the person who is most likely to be overcome with tears will be me (“Old Blubber-Puss.”) I can’t help losing it from time to time, but I’ll try to sob quietly, so as not to ruin your otherwise perfect night.

Oh – and how are my wedding pictures in the family album? Well, they are so joyful that they’d be great – if it weren’t for those nasty mutton-chop sideburns of mine (which I thought were so cool, at the time.) But that – as they say – is a topic for another column.