Women Who Plan Their Weddings Before They Have a Boyfriend Need Therapy, Not a Husband

Say What!? 12

We've all seen those bridezillas who get so wrapped up in their wedding plans that they turn into their friends', family's, and fiance's worst nightmare. But these women make bridezillas look almost sane in comparison. They're the wedding planners. And I don't mean the people you hire to arrange your wedding. I mean women who plan their wedding years in advance of the actual day -- long before they have a proposal of marriage. Or even a boyfriend!

The New York Times had an article on these types of women and it's kind of ... creepy. I don't want to get all down on women who think that marriage is the be-all-end-all and dream about it from the time they can crawl. To each his own. They'll either have their dream fulfilled -- or they'll have it dashed and have to deal with that new reality. But there's just something so bizarre about planning a wedding, and every detail of it, right down to what soup to serve, before you even have a prospective groom, that is ... I dunno. Crazy?!

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One woman, Kate Owens, describes how as a 20-something woman who wasn't even dating anyone special, she began planning her big day. For 10 years, she pored over bridal collections and bride websites, printing out pictures of hairstyles, flower arrangements, and engagement rings. She researched locations. She found the band she wanted. And she -- get this -- even consulted with a wedding planner! GAH!

All of this came to fruition eventually. At first her fiancé was a little irritated with her bossiness and his inability to contribute his own ideas and preferences -- but Kate won out eventually. Did you really think she wouldn't?

Those in the wedding biz defend this kind of thing by saying that planning your ghost wedding gives you hope that Mr. Perfect will eventually arrive. But detractors say what I say -- this is nutso. Says a clinical psychologist: "I think for some people this becomes a way of taking away their anxiety or refocusing their anxiety away from their real concern, which is meeting somebody."

Okay, so she didn't call it nutso. She's too polite for that. But I don't think planning anything down to the last microscopic detail years in advance is a good idea. You've always got to remain flexible because life changes. Not to mention that having such fixed ideals means you're bound to be disappointed.

And let's try to remember that a marriage isn't a wedding. A little less time picking out the wedding details and a little more time picking out the groom might benefit everyone.

Did you plan your wedding in advance? How far in advance?


Image via katielips/Flickr



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nonmember avatar Cass

There's nothing wrong with teasing bridal magazines, looking at pictures on Pinterest, or even trying on dresses for fun. The problem is making plans that you consider "set in stone" or stressing over it. Planning your wedding should be done with your future partner. If I were a guy who found out that the girl I just met already planned on serving tomato basil soup at our wedding, I would run from her so fast you would only see a me-shaped dust cloud where I stood before.

nonmember avatar Anonymous

Look, being as I am a regular reader of Cafe Mom (Although I question reading any further in the future) AND being one of those women interviewed... I take offense to this article. I am not crazy. I am an educated person. My opinions were taken out of context. I do not dream of a wedding every day. Having a wedding is not the extent of my being. I have other priorities that I am working on right now that do take precedent over marriage. First of all, I do not even believe in marriage. I think that the divorce rate is entirely too high nowadays and marriage is a joke. That is something that the writer forgot to mention in the article. I have a pinterest board, SO WHAT. A lot of people do. You don't even know these women or their circumstance, so to sit there and type about them as if they are a sub species is terrible.

Blues... Blueshark77

The only plan is justice of the peace. No huge, lavish wedding that costs a fortune. And that's if I decide to get married. I have some friends that planned out weddings before they even had a partner in sight. They just wanted the wedding and to say they were married, regardless of whom they married. Unfortunately those women are the ones who were divorced in 2 years or less. I think they focused on the wrong aspect of marriage.

wamom223 wamom223

Anonymous you should have never done the interview.  Agreeing to the interview and now saying you are a victim makes me think you are nutso!  You made a choice to put your business out in the world with as little control as possible and now you will have to face the consequences of being judged (which does suck but you agreed to do it).  If you were going to do this you should have blogged it at least so you would have some control.  Sorry it went down this way but you should put this in the lesson learned category and move on.


wamom223 wamom223

I have know three woman that owned wedding dresses that had never been married and didn't have a boyfriend.  I can't speak about all woman that do this but three I knew with dresses haunting their closet were pretty close to crazy.  One woman kept showing the dress to dates and couldn't figure out why the guy would never call back.  However, I am told all the time my man and I are crazy for being together so long and not being married.  We will get around to it but for now the commitment to each other for life is more important than one day of pretty party.  I would also like to share that I have had five facebook friends get married in the last year and all posted countless picks.  My favorite was the one of the smallest wedding with the least expensive extravagant dress.  I will admit to going back multiple times to look over her photo's and thinking I just want to look that happy the day we finally get to do it.  Its not the details of the wedding these women should concentrate on but the details of the relationship they are looking for that they should focus on.  After all the wedding of your dreams isn't worth much when you file for divorce not long after.

handy... handy0318

Thinking about one's wedding day is probably inevitable.  I was single for a long time and sure, I thought about what sort of wedding I would like, made mental notes about what I liked and decided wasn't for me in the 100,000 weddings I attended when single (OK, so that's an exaggeration...felt like it at times though.) My daughter is only 15 and we're already discussing what her thoughts and ideas are about her (hopefully far off) wedding day. Having a fairly clear idea about what one wants makes planning the actual wedding less stressful.

The key is to stay flexible and to make sure that the groom is free to include his owns ideas and desires as well, since it's his wedding, too.  Pre-planning isn't bad, as long as one doesn't buy into the idea that the wedding is THE BRIDE'S SPECIAL DAY AND EVERYONE HAS TO DO WHAT SHE SAYS OR THEY CAN GO TO HELL. In the article, Ms. Prindle is quoted as saying that she doesn't think the any future groom's input matters. She said, "“I figure, this is what it’s going to be.” That's just wrong... not anything my dh would have put up with, nor would he be the kind of guy I respect if he did.

Cel7777 Cel7777

I can honestly say I never fantasized about my wedding...not as a child or an adult. In fact, the idea of a big, fancy, expensive wedding made me uncomfortable. I'd rather put 20K towards a downpayment on a home than 1 day of festivities, no matter how special.

Hubby and I got married at the courthouse, and that was perfect for us.

nonmember avatar Michelle

Sorry but these types of women DO need therapy. I never, EVER dreamt of my wedding day, and frankly would have eloped but my husband and I did the whole wedding circus for our families (albeit it was a very SMALL circus). There are so many more important things in life than focusing on a wedding and finding a husband. If it happens, great! But I pray my daughter doesn't focus her entire life on such a superficial endeavor.

LadyM... LadyMinni

I pre-planned! I have even gone to bridal salons and tried on dresses, prior to even dating. But that is different than hiring a wedding planner. If I want the dress now, or wanted it then, I could have gotten it. I also know that I want chicken parmesan so be served, because it's my favorite meal. When I told James that -if we ever married- I wanted chicken parm, he got really excited and said I was the perfect bride.

It's one thing to know what you want ahead of time, it's another to set all of your plans in stone to the very last detail and ignore your groom's opinion.

Judith K Littles

I must be among a small minority of women. I never cared very much at all about the wedding stuff. It was never very important to me. What bothers me is when women become so wrapped up in the wedding details and don't include the groom. It seems a little selfish and makes me wonder about the potential long term success of the marriage. 

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