In terms of wedding celebrations, are you feeling a little: engagement parties, showers, bachelorettes, oi vey? From the moment you said (or screamed) “YES!” discussion of all the celebratory occasions on the horizon may have already begun. While even the most traditional brides may be a bit weary of all the attention, these soirées can be even more overwhelming for a bride-to-be who wants nothing to do with them. Are you stuck somewhere between “No celebrations, please!” and “Fine, I’ll grin and bear it”? There ARE ways to enjoy yourself, even at celebrations you don’t really want. Here’s how.
Communicate and Have a Say
As with most situations, communication is key here. While it’s important to be aware of the fine line between being ungrateful and being forced to do something you don’t want to do, it’s important to be clear about your feelings. If you’re truly adamant that you do not want any celebrations, you can’t be forced (unless you walk into a surprise party thrown by super persistent hosts, in which case you might have to grin and bear it until it can be discussed later.) Just be clear that you don’t want one for the sake of not wanting one, not because you’re trying to “be polite,” or “spare anyone an inconvenience”—you really, truly don’t want to have the parties.
If you’ve decided to go along with it, it’s still OK to be clear about what you would and wouldn't like. Set some boundaries that you are comfortable with, and it will make the whole experience a lot less stressful and awkward. A small shower means a SMALL shower, mom!
Instead of just being along for the ride, if you’re begrudgingly going to have a wedding celebration or two that you’re heart isn’t set on, you may as well have a role in it. Speak up about anything of particular importance to you, like themes, colors, food items, beverages, guest lists, etc. Any traditional party elements that you’re particularly against (like opening gifts in front of everyone)? Now’s the time to speak up.
Play the Part
Whether you like it or not, you’re going to be the center of attention. So try to have fun with it! Nail down a bride-to-be look by shopping for the perfect ensemble from head to toe. Schedule some pampering time for your hair and makeup, or even maybe just a mani/pedi, but whatever you do—TREAT YO SELF. It will take the edge off and help you to enjoy the process just a little bit more. Plus, you’ll look killer in those photos you KNOW will be taken.
Think Outside the Box
If it’s the monotony of tradition that has you reluctant to celebrate, try to think outside the box. Instead of a typical female-only bridal shower, consider a gender-inclusive “I Do BBQ” instead. Traditional bachelorettes seem too cookie-cutter? Jack-and-Jill destination bachelorettes are a doubly fun way to celebrate a “fling before the ring” with your fiancée in tow.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, people will be persistent in wanting to throw you a shower, engagement party, or bachelorette because they love you and want to celebrate you, not because they want to torture you, even though it can sometimes feel that way. If you decide to accept, do so graciously and genuinely. Wear a smile and play the part, because nothing would be worse than a grumpy bride at her own party. Remember not to look a gift horse in the mouth, and do your best to enjoy the moment.