Dear men of the world, brace yourselves for the impending attack of bridezillas. Note, these are not your average just-so-happy-to-be-getting-married brides. These are ferocious, diamond-picking, bouquet-hunting, bridesmaid-commanding females born and bred in the deep dark bowels of reality television. As a recovering reality TV addict I’m going to use your valuable time to confess my addiction to TV shows dedicated to all things bridal. I know I’m not the only one. There are dozens upon dozens of women out there who have planned their future weddings right down to their husband-to-be’s socks. Are they getting married? Nope. But these shows leave you with a “If it were me I would do this” feeling. Heaven forbid you should have a wedding void of an exotic animal as a ring bearer or a dress imported from Italy. And you just haven’t quite tied the knot if you weren’t carried down the aisle in a chariot of fire.
I am absolutely convinced that TV producers and writers gather together in secret limestone towers in the shadows of the night with the wind howling and rattling the windows. Together they concoct potions and spells that awaken every woman’s desire for beauty and love. “Flowers, kisses and dresses white, soon she’ll find a handsome knight” and BOOM! Spewing from the cauldron are shows about wedding dresses, rings, bridesmaid feuds, make-up, invitations, proposals, honeymoons and the all important, ever-so-sacred “bachelorette” party. One would think that after much time one would see past the budget-breaking antics of naïve couples. And yet, I find myself so curious to see and hear of how they met, what part of New York City they’re living in and whether they’re going with “1920’s New Orleans” or “Arabian Nights” as a theme for their wedding.
The arrival of the latest remake of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast had awoken the wide-eyed, intrigued and giggly little girl within me. I was eager to watch it but much too embarrassed to go with some of my friends who would be inclined to roll their eyes and say “Not this stuff again.” You either hate Disney movies for their representation of love and marriage (especially the happily ever after bit) or you adore them for their ability to show that a woman’s heart is won through honourable and noble deeds. There’s always a dragon to be slayed or a curse to be broken before midnight. In other words there is always some evil to be conquered or a temptation to be selfish that must be overcome before “finding true love”. Is this not the course that every couple follows? Is there love not tested by the ghouls, goblins and henchmen of their lives sent on by some dark jealous power determined to see them fail? And is not their joy the sweetest and their laughter the lightest when said evil has been vanquished to the dungeon?
After such can a couple stand before each other and pronounce their vows. But if the love part is so important, why are we (women particularly) so obsessed with having weddings that will compete with the ultra-luxurious nuptials of Hollywood’s elite? Are we guilty of only wanting things that will make photos of the big day Instagram and Pinterest-worthy? Wanting a twenty-tier cake and hoping that your fairy godparents will wave their magic wands is a real fairytale. Go ahead and wish upon a star.
The longing for love that stands the test of time, love that weathers any storm and love that helps us to be ourselves is no dream, illusion or witch’s curse. It is very real. It has been placed there by the only one who can fulfil it. In a world of not-so-happy endings, there is at the end of this life one ending that makes us laugh, smile and point in wonder. Everyone “settles down” eventually.