I have always imagined myself as a bride. When I was little, I would page through my parents' wedding album, admiring the pretty dresses and flowers. When I was in the 5th grade band, we learned to play Pachelbel's Canon, and I decided that's the song I would walk down the aisle to. When my cousins started to get married during my teenage years, I made mental notes at their weddings about things I would and would not do when it was my turn.
All of this makes it even more surprising that I don't feel like a bride.
My wedding is less than 3 weeks away, and it still hasn't hit me yet. I've tried my dress on several times, but I still feel like I'm playing dress-up. I've seen my wedding ring on my finger and my name on a marriage license, but I feel like I'm playing house. It's the same feeling I get when I look up at my living room wall and see my law school diploma. How did I manage to get this thing? Surely there must be some mistake because I'm not old enough to be a lawyer or a bride or somebody's wife.
A wedding is a coming-of-age event, and just like other coming-of-age event, it doesn't look the same as I thought it would when I was a little girl. I won't be wearing the frothy, white tulle, Cinderella-esque concoction I dreamed of as a little girl and I won't be carrying the cascading, rose-laden, Princess Diana-esque bouquet I dreamed of. In fact, when I went dress shopping, the one word I said I didn't want my dress to reflect was "princess." I'm no longer the 4-year-old girl who wore sponge curlers to bed every night and only wore dresses with printed tights and saddle shoes, so why would I have the same wedding she wanted to have? Instead of reflecting that little girl, it will reflect the women I have grown up to be, even though I have trouble sometimes accepting that I am a woman.
Did anyone else have trouble visualizing themselves as a bride?