In fact I have learnt that fighting with my sister over a bouquet has proved rather ineffective. I probably should be channelling my efforts into sustaining all those clothes I've stolen from her wardrobe over the years.
Unfortunately I am not alone. Weddings these days seem to bring out the worst qualities in a lot of people. In addition to the bridezillas and maidzillas of the world, there seems to be a lot of overbearing MOBs (that's Mothers of the bride), passive aggressive MOGs (Mothers of the Groom), distant FOBs and FOGs (you can figure this one out, a quick clue it relates to the men of the household) and a lot of unreliable groomsmen. Basically weddings tend to bring out the crazy in the best of us.
While I have always enjoyed weddings, over the last few decades these celebratory occasions seem to have taken on a life of their own. Modern weddings have become more elaborate and expensive, as brides and grooms strain their bank accounts (or daddy dollars) in order to create the perfect day.
But the same could also be said for many other milestones and special occasions. How many times have you seen a mum stressed out whilst planning her child's birthday party? Or what about families that argue over how they will celebrate Christmas day.
The problem is that many people, myself included, tend to lose focus over what is actually being celebrated.
An event or special occasion should not be about achieving perfection at every cost (and I'm not just talking about the financial costs but also the relational ones). Whilst everything may look perfect on the surface, the pursuit for perfection may leave a trail of destruction and simmering resentments, particularly among those you care for most.
So what else have I learnt during my sister's wedding preparations so far? A lot that's for sure! So I thought I would share a bit with you, especially for all you potential maidzillas out there or future party planners.
Point One – The bride is always right. It is HER wedding, HER marriage, HER ideas. While I couldn't agree more, I can't help but wonder, where's the groom in all this? I'm just saying!
Point Two - The Bride is always right! Now this point is different to point one, because I probably didn't quite get point one, and this point apparently needs to be reaffirmed every so often. So there it is.
Point Three - The weddingâ€"while an amazing, special, hopefully once in a lifetime dayâ€"is just that, one day. Now I'm not trying to play down weddings, but marriage is what it's all about people. It's about the commitment to each other in front of God. It isn't about perfect weather or a decent best man speech (which I'm being honest I have yet to hear).
Point Four – God wants us to celebrate and cherish and love one another. So, I'm pretty sure that threatening to pull out of the bridal party just because we don't get our way isn't really okay with God. We may feel justified, but God got us there too! You know 'turn the other cheek' and so on. Christian behaviour means behaving like Jesus would in all circumstances, including weddings, parties and other social events.
So just enjoy the event, keep your cool and remember the Bride is always, always right!
Alison Barkley lives in Newcastle and is a post graduate student at Macleay College in Sydney in book editing and publishing.