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The ultimate wedding faux pas

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Yesterday I committed the ultimate sin. Of wedding planning, not of Catholicism. Just to be clear – I didn’t murder anyone. But the wedding commandment I broke is almost as grave. It’s right up there with “Thou shalt have an open bar” and “Thou shalt not make thy bridesmaids wear puffy sleeves.

I showed my fiancé pictures of me trying on wedding gowns. And I asked for his opinion.

I know I’m not supposed to do this. In fact, when I watch Say Yes to the Dress, I always scoff at the fiancees who accompany the brides, tossing out their vague suggestions and upsetting the female-and-homosexual-male-only order at Kleinfeld. I banned Tim from the dress shopping trips I’ve taken with my mom, sister and bridesmaids. But I couldn’t help myself, and I showed him the pictures.

There are several reasons I did this, and several reasons why it matters one way or another. First of all, I talk to Tim about everything, and it’s excruciating for me to keep anything from him, no matter how insignificant. If I tasted boysenberry jam for the first time, I would need to tell him about it. Secondly, he and I are paying for the dress, along with a lot of the rest of the wedding, so I want his input on what we should spend. And thirdly, thanks to many years as a child tagging along on shopping trips to Nordstrom’s with his mom, Tim has pretty good taste in women’s clothing.

The reasons it supposedly matters are more ambiguous. Like many wedding traditions, the whole “the groom can’t see the bride before the ceremony” thing stems from the days when people barely knew each other before they were married and women were traded for goats and stuff. Similar ideas behind the veil, the bride being given away by her father, etc. These things that we consider symbolic have real, if outdated, origins. So why do we still follow them?

People I barely know (my mom’s work friends, for example) have made sure to demand that I don’t let Tim see my dress before the wedding, so until now I’ve adhered to the mandate. But as I decide whether to spend $495 on a beautiful chiffon dress from J. Crew or $1350 plus the cost of alterations on a very different and more princess-y and fitted dress by Enzoani from a boutique in Brooklyn, or another as-yet-discovered dress, getting opinions from practically every woman I know, I realized that I wanted Tim’s opinion.

He’s the person I’m marrying, and the person I most want to impress on our wedding day, so why can’t I ask him what he thinks? In the end, he’ll like whatever I pick and won’t interfere unless I ask him to, but it’s silly to think that he doesn’t have an opinion or that for some reason his opinion doesn’t matter in this case.

I guess I’m a bit hypocritical, sticking with some traditions (walking down the aisle, wearing white, having bridesmaids) and rejecting this one, but that’s the modern wedding for you – a mish-mash of old and new, religious and secular, traditional and unique. I won’t let Tim see me in the dress in person before the wedding. Unless, of course, I really want his opinion.

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