I think we can all agree that brides are nuts—they are, by and large, an irrational, over emotional, volatile segment of the population.
But what you may not have considered is that they rarely get that way by themselves. Often times, it's the people closest to the bride who contribute to her hysteria—usually without even realizing it, and almost always in the service of saying something they think will be incredibly helpful.
Here then, are four things to avoid saying to someone on the verge of being on the edge.
1. "IT'S GOING TO BE THE HAPPIEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE!"
Well, aren't you helpful? The bride is already overwhelmed with ridiculous expectations, so by all means throw another log on the fire. Then she can spend her whole wedding day thinking that the best is already behind her, and she has nothing to look forward to. Hopefully she's registered for gas appliances, so she has a place to stick her head when she gets home.
A wedding should be only the first of many happy days, and should pale in comparison to all the days and years ahead. Personally, I think a much happier day is the day someone tells you they love you enough to put up with your crap for the rest of their life. And if you're as big a pain in the ass as I am, the wonder of that moment will never be surpassed.
Anyone who tells a bride that her wedding will be the apex of her happiness should be pelted with Jordan Almonds.
2. " GET WHATEVER YOU WANT BECAUSE YOU ONLY GET MARRIED ONCE."
Don't encourage the bride to be demanding and unreasonable. It's not cute, and refusing to compromise is not a great way to start a life together. Besides, women who insist on getting everything they want usually get married more than once anyway.
__3. "YOU SHOULD SPEND LESS ON _______ AND MORE ON _____."
People really like telling brides what to spend money on.
The food is more important than the music!
The dress is more important than the honeymoon!
The invitations are more important than the venue!
I realize this sort of advice is given with love, but it's extremely subjective and not all that helpful. In fact, it's pretty rude. Your judgments can plant seeds of doubt and guilt, and really suck the joy out of even the smallest things.
It's not your party. Just because you'd spend more on the linens and less on the flowers doesn't mean the bride should feel bad about wanting roses.
Remember, the road to shut the hell up is paved with good intentions.
4. "THE WEDDING NIGHT IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!"
There are two main areas of wildly unrealistic expectations for the bride: the wedding and the wedding night.
There's so much lore about wedding nights, and such an assumption that it will be magic. We carefully choose special "wedding" lingerie, imagining some kind of mind-blowing interlude with champagne and strawberries and garter belts. But the truth is, after 10 hours on your feet in pointy shoes, you just want a pair of sweatpants and a sandwich.
Almost every married person I know says they didn't have sex on their wedding night. They were either drunk or sick or just too emotionally and physically exhausted to have an acrobatic night of passion. And frankly, that sounds pretty human to me.
Don't put so much emphasis on Saturday night. The great thing about being married is that you'll still be together Sunday morning.
- April Winchell has been a talk radio host, a sitcom writer, an advertising executive and the voice of hundreds of animated Disney characters. In October of 2009, she created the hit website Regretsy.com, which led to the publication of "Regretsy: Where DIY meets WTF" in April of 2010. Even though she has been writing professionally since 1989, she still finds talking about herself in the third person really uncomfortable.*