Runaway Bride? Advice On What to Do When That Little Voice Says Run!
Dear April Masini,
I'm supposed to get married this month, and everything's ready -- I bought the dress, booked the venue, hired the band, sent the invitations -- but I'm afraid that I'm getting cold feet. I don't want to run away, but walking down the aisle feels like walking a gangplank. What do I do?"
Runaway Bride Candidate
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Runaway Bride,
Those silky white Manolo Blahniks are NOT made for running - those shoes are made for walking -- making an entrance, making a dignified exit, making a sexy scene, and walking the aisle. So don't wreck your soles running away. On the other hand, don't wreck your soul, saving your soles. Before you buy a pair of white shoes for the aisle, consider this, and then walk, don't run.
Why Brides Run
The 4 Big Stressors In Life
According to most psychologists there are four major life stressors:
Birth and death happen with or without your consent. Moving, you can always leave to the guys with big muscles and the trucks. Even if you faint and take the afternoon off, the movers will get your stuff from point A to point B. However, marriage is one of the four that you can actually control to some extent -- you either take that walk down the aisle -- which can look just like a gangplank if you think you’ve made a mistake -- or you can turn and run.
A Crisis of Instinct
So many of us have lost touch with our basic instincts over time, and running -- one of the most primal instincts of all -- is a sure sign that something is wrong -- not necessarily with us but with the marriage. It may be something we already know, and can’t get our families to accept. It may be something we know, but can’t articulate. It may be something we know only on the subconscious level, but our subconscious is telling us to run.
How Does It Happen?
Okay, you've got the Vera Wang on, and Cosabella or La Perla undergarments. The bridal shower was great, and the ice sculpture is sweating in the reception area, all over your cold shrimp display. And you realize you made a mistake.
All of a sudden, it's clear that you wanted to get married for sure - but you don't want to marry the guy with the tuxedo, who is practicing his - I do's to the person (you) who said yes and accepted the engagement ring. You have doubts that you didn't realize at first. You felt pressured. The bridal train took off with you clinging to the caboose, pretending to be in the engineer's car. It became a big production, and you got distracted with all the planning. But the bottom line is, you don't want to do it.
What To Do If Running Is An Option
That Little Voice That Says - run!
What most of us do when we hear that little voice that says "run," is overcome the jitters and take the last single walk of our lives -- and maybe we shouldn’t! Pre-wedding jitters may be that little voice inside saying to you, ”He’s not the one -- don’t do it!”
Then, the - imaginary devil - on your other shoulder says, - but the wedding has been planned, the deposits paid, the dress and tux have been fitted and the ice sculpture is starting to sweat in the reception area. Just do it. Under the stress of the planning come to fruition, many of us walk -- when we should run -- in the opposite direction.
Garden Variety Jitters vs. Bridal Jitters
I know that some people get nervous during any transition. And if this is a pattern you have, then your jittery bridal nerves may be just another case of transition anxiety, and you should, in fact, go through with the wedding in this case. If you get nervous on the first day of school, the first day of camp, the first day of anything new, and this feels just like that, then don't mistake garden variety jitters for acute bridal anxiety!
If You're Trading Your Manolos For a Pair of Nikes
If you can't do it, the best thing to do is to tell your fiance, privately, that you can't go through with the wedding today, and let him make whatever announcements he needs to make, to save face, and feel like he has some control in a very embarrassing situation.
Apologize to your fiance and stick to your guns about canceling or postponing the wedding for now.
Be prepared to be responsible for all of the money paid and owed for the wedding and reception. As bad as it may seem, it's cheaper than a divorce.
Go home for a while, and keep your support network, whether it's friends, family, doctors, or whomever, around you. Reflect and consider where you went wrong - and take responsibility without taking blame.
Accept that life is messy - and that's why we have great romantic comedies. Better to back out at the last minute - than do something you may regret later.
Value your instincts. There is nothing wrong with slowing things down. Postponing a wedding - an hour or a year - is not a tragedy.
If you do back out at the last minute, you owe your guests an explanation. It doesn't have to be picture-perfect, but it does have to be humane and respectful.
If you think you may be with the right person, it's just not the right time for marriage, let them know and try some of my romantic date ideas to continue your relationship.