From Wedding To Divorce?

A few years ago, when I read an AP Special Features article titled “Brides advised to start early for flawless hair and makeup,” an overview of an article in Town & Country, I couldn’t help but get annoyed. The magazine article was focused on making the wedding day the day in a woman’s life.

Don’t get me wrong, I think all women should try to look their best on the day they wed. But the preparation that goes into those few hours of public display overshadows the reality of what the event is all about.

A woman spends ten or so months making herself physically perfect for her wedding day. Almost nothing is ever said about his wedding day, as though the groom is a mere supporting player in this drama.

Then the wedding takes place, and suddenly, she’s off her pampered fairy princess pedestal and just another married woman in the middle of a gigantic “is this what all the fuss was about?” letdown.

Marriage isn’t about fairy princesses who ride off into the sunset. Marriage is about living, loving, sharing and caring between two people. Without this, the wedding day is preparation for divorce court.

According to the AP article, the average engagement is 10 months long. It is at this time that the bride should start her game plan for hair and makeup, letting her hair grow, having once-a-month facials, and taking care of the hands.

I would like to suggest that 10 months prior to the wedding is a good time for the engaged couple to learn how to communicate with each other.

Too many marriages fail because husbands and wives are unable to discuss their feelings with each other. Ten months should provide enough lead time to practice, practice, practice until the couple gets comfortable talking to each other.

Five months before the wedding the dress and headpiece should be chosen. Now the hairdresser can begin planning the hair style and length for the wedding.

While I’ll concede that having good hair is essential for the wedding day, five months before the wedding is a good time to attend family functions together, meeting all the relatives and observing the interaction between family members.

If his family doesn’t care for his choice of mate, or her family doesn’t care for hers, the couple has five months to overcome familial objections to their pending inclusion in the family.

Three months before the wedding, according to the article, the bride should “interview and book a makeup artist and have your first practice session.” I’d say three months is a good time to take a short course in cooking and nutrition at the local community college. There’s no reason the bride should take this course by herself, either.

The prospective groom no doubt could learn a thing or two about cooking for those times when his wife will be working late, or taking care of the kids, or too sick with the flu to get out of bed and do her wifely chores.

At two months, the bride should think skin and hair. Actually, at two months, the bride should take a serious look at her husband-to-be, and decide if she likes what she sees. If she figures after the wedding she can change his bad habits, now is the time to dump that notion.

If anything, marriage will only intensify his bad habits. She should remember that courtship brings out the very best, the familiarity that comes from marriage does not. It’s not too late to call the whole thing off, despite what friends and family may say.

I love this one: “If you tend to break out under stress or look sallow when you are tired, eliminate coffee and drink eight glasses of water a day for the next two months.” Stress?!?

If a woman gets stressed over her wedding, how stressed will she get when she finds out her husband has been running around with the next door neighbor?

How stressed will she get when the test results indicate twins, and she isn’t ready to give up her freedom for kids just yet? How stressed will she get when the household bills add up to more than her and her husband’s combined incomes? It’ll take more than eight glasses of water a day to make it all better.

One month before the wedding the bride should schedule another run-through with the hairstylist and the makeup artist and then have the wedding portrait made.

I’d say this would be a good time to get down to the — ummm — basics: are the bride and groom sexually compatible? Of course they enjoy sex with each other! (Don’t they?) If either of them has sexual hang-ups that keep them from fully enjoying each other’s company, it’s time to discuss and resolve the situation, or get counseling.

Two weeks before the wedding the bride should color her hair, have her last trim, and her last facial – “a deep-cleaning one.” Two weeks to W-Day and everyone’s nerves should be shot with anticipation.

How can there be anything else of any importance for the next two weeks? At this point the groom is probably wondering what will happen if he just quietly leaves town for about ten years.

Men can take only so much fuss over clothing, hair and nails, before they start wondering where the dynamic woman they fell in love with has gone.

Assuming the wedding is on Saturday, the week of the wedding should be somewhat like this for the bride, according to the Town & Country article:

  • Monday: Confirm Saturday’s appointments with hairstylist and makeup artist.
  • Tuesday: Have waxing done.
  • Wednesday: Have a deep hair conditioner treatment.
  • Thursday: Try a salt body rub to exfoliate skin.
  • Friday: Manicure and pedicure.
  • Saturday – Wedding Day: Hairstylist and makeup artist should arrive five hours before the wedding; photographer should take pictures two hours before the wedding. Wedding ceremony, reception.

Yep. It’s over.

I would suggest the last week go somewhat like this:

  • Monday: Confirm plane tickets for Las Vegas.
  • Tuesday: Take clothes to dry cleaners.
  • Wednesday: Reconfirm Las Vegas hotel room.
  • Thursday: Relax with a good book.
  • Friday: Get clothes from dry cleaners, pack.
  • Saturday: Fly to Las Vegas, check into hotel, find a wedding chapel, get married.

Okay, maybe my way is a little too extreme for some couples. But let’s face it, the wedding is merely the prelude to a (hopefully) long life shared by two people who love each other. When the wedding is elevated to being the most important day in a woman’s life, what is there to look forward to afterward?

Can we get real and put the emphasis where it belongs: on the lifetime commitment that is being pledged during the saying of the wedding vows?