My big, fat fear of weddings

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Natalie Tesoriero, a PR professional from London, discusses the development of a suprising phobia.

When I was in my early twenties, I watched an Oprah Winfrey wedding special on television. Out swanned model after model in intricate lace and tulle creations, smiling serenely while Oprah oohed and ahhed and clapped in feverish appreciation. I specifically remember loving a huge meringue-style creation with blood-red satin roses sewn onto the bodice (imagine!). I told my boyfriend of five years that I’d like to wear something similar on our wedding day.

Only, we weren’t engaged. I actually ended the romance a few months later. It’s just that, like most girls my age, I was all too happy to dream big dreams about my perfect wedding day. I liked to think up scenarios like, ‘if I got married TOMORROW, who’d be my maid of honour?’ or ‘what would my father say in his speech? Would he tell that funny story about the time I crashed his car?’ I suspect these are actually pretty common thoughts for women all through their 20s, although most of my friends would be far too embarrassed to discuss these things with each other until they were sporting a couple of carats.

So fast-forward five years and the thought of weddings, mine in particular, makes me physically shudder. What on earth happened? I’m in a loving and stable relationship with the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with. Marriage itself seems like a lovely idea. But the notion of walking down an aisle, throwing a bouquet over my shoulder and cutting into a giant white cake while posing for the thirteen hundredth photo of the day is something I just can’t get my head around.

Now, let me explain that I mean no disrespect to my less cynical sisters. Weddings are highly personal affairs and I’ve had a lovely time celebrating the marriages of some of my dearest friends and relatives. Oh, and I’m thrilled for Miss Middleton. And I can’t wait to see what Kate Moss wears (will it still be Galliano?!). It’s just that I have absolutely no desire to do the same myself.

The notion of walking down the aisle is something I just can’t get my head around.

I realise that this is a pretty rare point of view. There doesn’t seem to be many other ‘weddophobes’ out there. I have just one friend, a hippy chick who lives on a beach in Spain, whose feelings resonate with mine. I take great delight in discussing this topic with her. It usually happens over our third glass of Pinot Grigio, when we get onto the topic of impending friends’ nuptials. It’ll start, “Apparently she’s got the bridesmaids coming over for a ‘placeholder party’”. “What the hell is that?”, “I’m not sure... I think they’re going to stay up all night sticking little silver stars onto pieces of moon rock, to go with the ‘Cosmic’ theme.” At which point the familiar ‘cringe' look crosses both our faces and we agree that weddings just aren’t for us.

Ok, so cosmic moon rock is an extreme example. But why girls go so gaga over weddings is beyond me. Even my sensible friends do strange things, like growing their always-short hair long so it looks ‘weddingy’ in the shockingly expensive photos. And creating gift registries for their engagement parties. The whole thing is a giant, frothy white puzzle that I just can’t crack.

Maybe it’s a money thing. Maybe it’s media saturation (did you realise that there are whole TV channels devoted to weddings now?). Or maybe it’s celebrities. I mean, what on earth were Katy and Russell doing with those elephants and tigers and turbans?

Whatever it is, I’m pretty certain that I’m never going to frock up and have my ‘big day’. Call me selfish, but the idea of eloping for a two person ceremony followed by a fabulous five star holiday sounds like a far better option to me. I’ll buy my own toaster, thanks.

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Picture credit: Rex Features