How to tame your bride and be gentle and loving about it.

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By Julie Ndagire

The bride is one of the most reverend persons in human socio-cultural settings. It is the objective, or so it would seem, for every girl to one day be a bride.

This peculiar idea seems to pervade all cultures across the globe, with a consistency that is rather impressive; “One day, little girl, all lights will be on you; the world, for a little while, will be your oyster. In fact, for at least 24 hours, as for you are concerned, anything goes and at the end of the night, you will be married to your prince and leave for a beautiful gold-tinted future…”

So we go and create a little pocket of expectations in these sweet, often innocent young little thing, and they grow up into reasonable adults with one worrying schizophrenic flaw typified by a thought running thought out their minds; “I will rule with an iron-hand on my wedding day.”

Between the time she says, “Yes” to your marriage proposal and the time you sweep her away into the honeymoon suite with the Do Not Disturb sign attached to the door knob, you need to understand that you are holding a ticking bomb in your hands.

So how do you, the slightly bewildered groom, deal with this one rational young lady that seemed like the ultimate soul mate before the count-down to wedding date actually started, now seems to be about as insane as a nuclear explosion in Siberia? (It might sound extreme but there is a reason why wedding planners often refer to brides a ‘bridezella’)

After chatting with a few grooms that have walked down the aisle over the last 10 years or so, and me being involved in a number of weddings, I have decided this tentative blue-print, seeing as the subject matter (the bride) is an often volatile and highly unpredictable phenomenon.

Five ways to Tame your bride
It is advisable to say yes to atleast 90% of the suggestions that wife to be comes up with. This is an unfortunate but basic truism of the bridal process. She has already said yes to you went down on bended knee (or in case you did it by text message). Because she said yes, she figures you owe her an alarming number of yeses in return, and these will include but not be limited to:
a) The guestlist, which will triple in number, atleast;
b) Cake, which will be large enough to feed a small police force (if you are lucky)
c) The colour theme, which will include colours that you will probably be hearing about for the first time: azure, hot pink and lavender (and yes, lavender is apparently a colour!);
d) A bill from the salon that rivals the bill from the caterers (be particularly careful about this bill, and say yes with a firm casual nod of your head ; it’s a minefold)

Keep away from her
Women don’t just get cold feet; they take it to extremes, and sometimes get feet so cold, you would think they were Eskimos on leave. Stay as far from your bride as possible, and try to keep yourself busy with something. Different time zones would be ideal but if you cannot manage that, at least let her stay at her mom’s or something; she is so volatile, trying to figure out whether she has made the right decision or not that one single fight, one tiny disagreement over whether the centre-piece should have carnations or roses and the wedding is off.

Do not let her handle the budget
Women are wonderful with money; they save it well, use it well, and are generally favoured by banks…except when it’s their wedding question. If she helps you put together the budget, it will end up looking like the expense spreadsheet for a small (but rather wealthy) country. Leave other important details to her (she can take months agonizing over the d├ęcor and the dress, not much damage possible there), but letting her decide where the engagement ring is coming from or choosing the honeymoon destination is sheer madness.

Befriend her friends
Remember all those friends of hers you couldn’t stand? Now’s the time to find as many allies as you can; take them shopping, have tea with them or something equally appalling but make them your friends, fast! They will hold her hand, wipe her mascara when it runs and help keep her from running off into the night like Julia Roberts Wannabe (remember Run away bride) in case the whim overtakes the poor stressed-out dear thing.

Surprise Her
Keep somethings about the wedding away from her. Maybe it’s a guest artist singing a ballad she loves; maybe its an old childhood friend whose ticket you paid for so she could fly in to attend the darned thing; Keep something pleasant away from her, so when she is getting cranky and a little fidgety at the reception (those bridal gowns are not as comfortable as they look), you can get her smiling again.

It pays to have a smiling bride, my friend…and then maybe, just maybe, you will head for that gold-tinted happily ever-after without further incident.



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