We are pleased to request the pleasure of your company The McLean Wedding Party, a new biweekly column. Leading up to our September nuptials, we'll be talking about weddings, and all the people involved in the big day. No R.S.V.P necessary; just read and enjoy!
I am going to begin with a controversial hypothesis: the bride is not the most important person on the wedding day.
In two months, I will be a bride. We are currently in month 14 of our engagement, and have been planning the entire time. That means 14 months of researching chiffon bridesmaids dresses, quicksand roses, and little boys’ bowties.
I can tell you the one post office in McLean that will let you handcancel your own invitation envelopes. I can tell you how many pieces of cake you’ll need for a wedding of 150. I can tell you the difference between French beaded and Chantilly lace.
I’ve watched reality television shows about brides who wear tiaras and demand that family and friends fawn over her as though she is a princess. I’ve read magazines and websites like The Knot and Martha Stewart Weddings about How To Look Perfect on Your Day!
It is very easy to start referring to it as my wedding, my big day, or the most important day of my life. On occasion, I have slipped. Luckily, my fiancée is usually there to catch me.
Now you, my readers, will be there to catch me, too. This column is about all the people who are just as important to a wedding as the bride. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be writing about why it’s great to be a groom, parents of the couple, the wedding party, the wedding guests, and many more. I’ll also be talking about why it is great to be planning a wedding in McLean.
Since we’re on the topic of brides, one more observation: while she is not the most important part of the wedding, she is the centerpiece and the focal point from which the wedding’s feel, theme, and design emanate. This has to do with her dress, as well as how she carries herself and behaves.
We know you can’t buy manners, but Nordstrom Wedding Suite can help with the outfit [Nordstrom/8075 Tysons Corner Center/703-761-1121]. The fresh, unfussy dresses from designers including Reem Acra and Nicole Miller are geared toward brides interested in high style at a reachable price point. (Most gowns are under $1,500).
The stylists inside this modern, unfussy boutique can help brides pull together their look from head to hem, including all finishing touches like bags, jewelry, and undergarments.
As for etiquette? The Barnes and Noble around the corner can help brides there [Barnes and Noble/7851 L. Tysons Corner Center/703-506-2937]. Look for Miss Manners' Guide to a Surprisingly Dignified Wedding. It will help brides see their wedding day as what it really is—a chance for family and friends to celebrate more than just her.
As Miss Manners observes, “Many an otherwise lovely bride has turned ugly attempting to create a "dream" occasion and to make everyone else conform with her conception of their roles in it…One's wedding should be a heightened version of one's best social life, not an occasion for people to attempt to play grand and unfamiliar roles in a fantasy play.”
Here's to hoping!
Lauren Edmondson is a McLean native.