march article

March 2, 2012

Did you guys read my article in The Star today?

My longest one yet!!


Bridezilla Alert

It’s really fun to see how our phrases change as we get older. At 7, we go “Teacher, teacher, Kenny disturb me.” At 15, we go “Kenny is such a hunk, I love him.” At 21, we go “I just graduated from university! Hello, real world.” And in our 20s, some of us go “You’re getting married! Why you go do that?”

I am already in that phase of life where one by one, my friends are tying the knot. Last year, my calendar was filled with weddings to attend around June and December; the most popular months to get hitched. They were terrible months for me as I had to empty my purse for the many traditional outfits I wore to these back-to-back events.

Truth is, I’m a sucker for weddings. I find them so beautiful and I’m actually one of those people who believe in the celebration of two hearts, two swan ice sculptures and all the nauseating things people associate weddings with.  When my friends don’t have dates for weddings, they know they should invite me because I will come readily. They’ll of course regret it after because I’m that stranger who makes a scene and cries at your wedding even if I don’t know your last name.

I see a trend now that brides like DIY weddings. The Do-It-Yourself type weddings are very personal and as a guest, you will really feel like you’ve known the bride and groom forever. There are snippets of their love stories everywhere, photos of them hanging of trees, and personalized handmade touches on the decoration.

One of my best friends planned her own wedding last year and her whole concept was DIY! There was a wall panel that she stuck large handmade tissue flowers on, top to bottom, left to right. She did her own backdrop for a photo booth section, she did her own dessert bar, she did her own wedding card, wedding favors, and even made a big arch at the entrance of her house with life-size initials of herself and her husband.

Everything looked amazing and it was definitely something to talk about. However, people did not know the amount of work she spent on doing all these. She took two months leave and was so busy almost everyday that I almost disowned her as my friend. I’m joking. I could never disown her, she knows too many of my secrets.

Anyway, now it is my turn to get hitched and I am currently busy with wedding preparations. At first, this bridezilla wanted a DIY theme as well. I sat down, researched some wedding blogs and got all sorts of ideas for a DIY wedding. Well…they’re all still in the wedding inspiration folder on my desktop, sitting pretty. I have been so occupied with work and travel that a DIY wedding is impossible unless I took leave from work.

You see, DIY weddings can only be done by brides who are (a) creative, (b) passionate and most of all, (c) patient. Seeing that I have very little of those qualities, I scrapped the idea of a DIY wedding. The last time I ever did anything DIY was help my friend make flower icings for a cake. Let’s just say it looked more like a blob, and I almost broke the mould.

A piece of advice, though. Never ever DIY your own wedding dress. Unless you’re a tailor or a bridal gown designer, leave the wedding dress to the experts.

Out of all the fiasco that happens during the wedding, the only thing you get to take home with you after the wedding is of course your new husband, but more importantly, your gorgeous wedding dress. It will be collecting dust in your closet, but at least it is there to remind you of your special day and how slim you were before you had those 4 screaming children.

I think all brides want to look amazing on their day and they feel the pressure of finding the most perfect wedding gown, but the truth is, there isn’t one. A wedding dress should suit the bride’s personality, so it can be whatever you want but it has got to be well-tailored to suit your body and the more difficult part; it has got to suit your budget.

Easier said than done, really.

I was so confused when choosing my wedding dresses. As a Malay bride, there are 3 wedding outfits to decide on; the nikah dress, and two reception dresses for the bride and groom’s sides respectively. People say we should look through magazines to get inspiration, but I found this to be futile. I ended up with so many choices that I got frustrated and even asked myself would it be so bad if I had 5 outfit changes. The answer is of course a big fat yes. Sometimes, looking through magazines for inspiration is not a good idea because unlike the model, a lot of us are not 10 feet tall and we all love McDonald burgers. So not all dresses can suit our body type.

What I would recommend to other bridezillas out there is to choose three designers that you like. Go to their boutiques, try on some of their dresses but do not commit to any appointments yet. Familiarize yourself with their signature style, see if their cutting is to your liking, and most importantly, know their price range. Do this well before your wedding to give you plenty of time to scout and select the designer you like best.

Do not bring your mother because she will start crying and telling you stories about your first day in school and how her baby is all grown up. Do not bring your friends because they will tell you everything looks good on you when they are actually thinking about their own wedding dresses. Choosing your wedding dress is a beautiful process and it should be very personal and private, so brave the process independently. If you must, bring someone who is the closest to you. Make sure she is someone who will tell you if the dress is unflattering, and is strong enough not to have a meltdown about how your friendship will not be the same again after you tie the knot.

Like my married friends have advised me, the wedding process is a very fun yet stressful time. Suddenly table settings pop up in your head when you are having lunch meetings with clients, or you will argue with your mother because you want a backless dress but her friends would make that a world summit after the wedding.

All sorts of little things and little details will concern you in the pursuit of having a smooth wedding. Looking back, you will kick yourself remembering the conversation about how your flowers should be ivory and not offwhite. They are essentially the same colour, but a bridezilla will give you ten reasons why they aren’t. We turn a bit crazy towards the wedding, but don’t worry. After the wedding, we will return to your normal sane self again and we will realise ivory and offwhite are in fact, the same colour.