Avoiding Cliches - And Ikea

24/05/2011 11:39 | Updated 22 May 2015

One of the tragic realities that you realise when organising a wedding is that even the best intentions to be vaguely unconventional require a will power of steel, a willingness to make life very difficult for yourself and (often) the necessity to throw a lot of money at the situation.

There is a reason why certain things have become a wedding cliché – they make life a lot bloody easier. A John Lewis gift list, for example. And those gold dining chairs with red cushions. And cupcakes. And bridesmaid dresses from Coast . So far (and not without a huge amount of effort I might add) we have avoided the above. But it has not been easy, and frankly, I'm not sure it's been worth it.
But there are other places where I find myself swept up into a bridal cliché hook, line and sinker. Most notably this week, I've started complaining to anyone who'll listen about the fact that I'm the one doing EVERYTHING, Jon has done NOTHING, he doesn't even CARE about the wedding, he probably doesn't even love me, men are useless, if he's not serious about the tea light holders he's probably not serious about me, maybe I should call off the wedding, etc, etc, etc.
It might seem a little extreme but personal experience has shown that most brides-to-be – irrespective of their normal level headed state of being - have vocalised these thoughts at their darkest moments. I never wanted to be one of those brides; bitching about their groom, behaving like a martyr to the cause of colour co-ordination, but somehow that's exactly the speech I found myself giving last week. In an Ikea car park on a Wednesday night, to be absolutely precise.
As self-appointed creative director of our relationship, Jon has been asked to take a backseat with anything relating to decorating the venue, while offering his opinions and support when necessary. On Wednesday my endlessly patient sister agreed to drive me there to buy vases, candle holders, candles and all manner of "essentials" that no one but us will notice at the wedding, but simultaneously are absolutely crucial to all guests' enjoyment (in my head, anyway).

After marvelling at the number of people keen to peruse scented candles at 9.30pm on a weekday evening , we left, somehow resisting the temptation of Swedish meatballs and 50p hotdogs. I was exhausted. My sister had hit her head on our defective trolley while elbowing another shopper out of the way for a votive candle. We were in one of the most depressing part of London, miles away from either of flats and only a box of Mr Kipling French Fancies for salvation.

I phoned Jon and he told me he was on his way back from pub, a little worse for wear. He might as well as told me that he'd eloped with Pippa Middleton.
I managed to hold it together for approximately 25 seconds, then lost it. How selfish of him. How utterly irresponsible. How unfair. Typical, I'm expected to do EVERYTHING.
His response was predictable and (irritatingly) not unjustified. "I don't understand, I offered to come along but you didn't want me there. And when we spoke earlier you said there was nothing I could get on with for the wedding without you".
This is the root of the problem. The wedding process is revealing an unnerving paradox within myself. I am a disorganised control freak. Jon is more than happy for me to delegate tasks - it's just I don't want to delegate them. He couldn't write the invitations (and the same is true of the place cards, the table plan and so on) because his writing isn't neat enough. He couldn't chose candle holder because he'd get the wrong ones. He can't organise the florist because the florist might persuade him to get alternatives to the flowers in my head.
This is the sorry truth about our current situation. In my obsession to avoid cliché, to do something different, to make everything perfect, I've inadvertently become the biggest wedding cliché of them all: I have become Bridezilla.


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