The Bridal Wave: A Survival Guide to the Everyone-I-Know-Is-Getting-Married Years by Erin TorneoThe Bridal Wave: A Survival Guide to the Everyone-I-Know-Is-Getting-Married Years by Erin Torneo

The Bridal Wave: A Survival Guide to the Everyone-I-Know-Is-Getting-Married Years

byErin Torneo, Valerie Krause

Paperback | January 2, 2007

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It starts with the IGBN (I’ve Got Big News) phone calls and a mailbox full of Save the Dates. Next comes the meltdown: I always thought I’d be married by now. Why does she have a ring on her finger and I don’t? Soon you’re buying outrageously expensive china, dancing the electric slide with the groom’s dull but available cousin, and envisioning a long and single life for you and a dozen or so cats. But fear not!

Now Erin Torneo and Valerie Cabrera Krause show you how to surf The Bridal Wave on your own terms. This hilarious and practical guide to surviving the wedding blitz reveals the sanity-saving secrets to dealing with all manner of matri-mania, including how to

• manage finances during the costly wedding season
• turn brutal self-examination (“What’s wrong with me?”) into empowering self-reflection (“Nothing!”)
• cope with envy and feelings of competition
• deal with lobridemized friends
• avoid settling for Mr. Wrong just to fit the timeline in your head
• actually enjoy being a bridesmaid, despite the dress

Like the best of friends, Erin and Valerie will help you separate fact from fairy tale–and stay sane, whether you’re coupled-up, single and looking, or single and just fine, thank you very much!

“For any woman who is currently trapped in the middle of a Bridal Wave–this book is your lifesaver!”
–Liz Tuccillo, co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You

“A funny and genuinely helpful book that should be on ever single woman’s shelf.”
–Karen McCullah Lutz, author of Legally Blonde

“Torneo and Krause’s advice will be eagerly gobbled up by legions of women.”
–Celeste Perron, author of Playing House

“Will ease your wedding panic with humor and intelligence.”
–Andrea Lavinthal, co-author of The Hookup Handbook
Erin Torneo is a former editor at Cosmopolitan. Her work has appeared in various magazines, including Lucky, Variety's V Life, The Independent, The Kyoto Journal, SEED, indieWIRE, and Mother Earth News. She is the coauthor of The Bridal Wave.Valerie Krause was an advertising executive in Los Angeles prior to taking the plunge into writ...
Title:The Bridal Wave: A Survival Guide to the Everyone-I-Know-Is-Getting-Married YearsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.8 inPublished:January 2, 2007Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0812976010

ISBN - 13:9780812976014


Read from the Book

INTRODUCTION     What Is the Bridal Wave?   Feeling overwhelmed by marriage mania? You aren’t alone   One minute, everything is peachy. You are living the independent life you dreamed of in college: you’re on your own, nobody tells you what to do or how to do it, and heck, you can blow two weeks’ salary on a base-and-highlight if that’s what you want. Who needs a husband when you’ve got a gal pal who’ll do power yoga, grocery shopping, and a cheap manicure with you all in one afternoon? Then, wham!—you’re deluged with engagement parties, shower invites, and save-the-dates. You’ve got eight weddings to attend, and you can forget that trip to Fiji you’ve been planning, as weekend after weekend—not to mention paycheck after paycheck—get eaten up. Those friends you counted on for weekend Bloody Mary brunches are busy registering for designer housewares and 1,000-thread-count sheets. Suddenly, you realize you’ve been stranded on singles’ island while they paddle off in rafts made for two with their monogrammed towel sets and the Cuisinart food processor (that you bought them, even though you couldn’t afford one for yourself).   The Bridal Wave is the culmination of familial, societal, cultural, and internal pressure to marry that strikes like a tidal wave, sweeping up your friends one by one and showering you with anxieties. The single, carefree life that you once celebrated is suddenly called into question at every turn. Conversations start to relentlessly revolve around who’s getting married next or who might be on the verge of engagement. If you’re not next in line, it’s easy to feel like the odd woman out. You may be in grad school kicking ass, you may be flying up the corporate ladder in your dream job, or you may be having the time of your life just trying to find your way. But if you don’t have a ring around a certain finger or (gasp!) aren’t even in the running by a certain age, people are going to start asking: “Why aren’t you seeing anyone?” or “Have you tried online dating?” followed by the gentle suggestion that you lower your standards: “What about Dan in Payroll? He’s been looking a lot better since that rash cleared up.” Or you attend your younger sister’s wedding without a date and someone else’s relatives try to set you up with “nice boys.” The not-so-subtle subtext is screaming, “You aren’t getting any younger!” And how about those looks of forced enthusiasm when your married friends decide that you “need to get out there” and plan the dreaded Girls’ Night Out, where they sit nursing a Cosmo and encouraging you to chat up the dweeb at the bar, all the while silently thanking their lucky solitaires that they don’t have to?   Being single can suck when you’re made to feel like some kind of social leper for not having a serious boyfriend, but the fact is, even if you’ve got a guy you aren’t free from the wrath of the Bridal Wave. Those of us in relationships also face the firing squad, sometimes in a more overt way—like when your family corners you at Thanksgiving dinner and asks flat out, “When are you two going to make it official?” or your friends attack you after you return from vacation to see if he popped the question. Others will sneak a peak at your hand after a weekend in Vermont, Valentine’s Day, or any other engagement-appropriate occasion, then look up from your suddenly naked-feeling finger with eyes that say, “Not this time either, huh?”   But far and away, the most tormenting voice is the one in our own heads. When this first Bridal Wave strikes, usually in your mid-twenties, panic can set in. Formerly happy, sane, accomplished women turn insecure and desperate. Some among us decide to find a mate with as much tenacity as we pursue our MBAs. We buy bridal magazines and plan the ceremony down to the napkin rings even though there’s no groom in the picture; or we hint continuously to our boyfriends (many of whom aren’t even worthy of us, truth be told). You may not even be sure you want to get married, but the point is, why the hell isn’t he asking?! Racing thoughts at night fill our mind with unanswerable questions (though our parents, friends, and oftentimes complete strangers seem perfectly clear on what we need to do).   Or maybe you wake up one day and realize that thirty is bearing down on you like a Mack truck and according to the life plan you concocted when you were twenty, you should already be married. Your up-till-now-happy relationship is subject to severe scrutiny: Is he the one? Is there even time to meet a new one? We’ve been together for three years already, so I can’t just scrap the whole thing now.   We’ve been there. We get it. And we’re here to say that enough is enough! It’s time for a backlash. Not a backlash against marriage. Marriage is wonderful if that is what you want and if you have found the right person. After all, the pharmaceutical companies make it look so nice in their TV ads—two silver-haired people pushing seventy, holding hands and walking along the beach, sharing a lifetime of memories and, apparently, the benefits of the latest arthritis drug. We mean a backlash against the insanity. Against women feeling pressure to wed because they are sucked into the Bridal Wave—they don’t want to be last, they don’t want to be alone, they want to start a family, they want to “beat” a friend who seems to do everything first and better, they don’t want to be the scary cat lady, or they’re conforming to a timeline they created when they were fifteen years old.   Most of us could sing the chorus to “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Que Será Será,” but for many of us take-charge, control-your-own-destiny types, this sit-back-and-let-life-happen philosophy is a hard pill to swallow. To get into a good college, we took SAT prep. To get those shoes that we can’t live without, we whip out our plastic and charge them. We’re used to going for what we want. “It’s really frustrating not knowing if it’s ever going to happen to you,” says Karen, thirty-two, one of the many brave, gracious, gorgeous gals who shared their stories with us. “The lack of control is horrifying. It makes you feel really girly and disempowered.”   We’re going to help you stay sane when you’re neck deep in other people’s nuptials and your own inner turmoil. Why? Because we know a little something about it—and even though you feel like you’re the only one you know who isn’t getting hitched any time soon, you aren’t alone. We sit on different sides of the great nuptial divide, but we’re both survivors of the Bridal Wave. This book is going to give you strategies and tips to ride the wave on your own terms.     From Erin I was always the girl who knew when to cut and run. If a relationship was obviously not working out, I ended it and never looked back. But something changed in my mid-twenties. Engagement announcements, shower invites, and save-the-dates were all starting to flood my mailbox. They seemed to signal “Entering Adulthood,” and apparently I had some catching up to do. The guys I dated started bringing up the M-word as the inevitable next step, so I figured these were serious relationships that I had to invest time and effort in. Instead of throwing in the towel, I thought it was my job to fix what, looking back, were totally unfixable relationships. Like the trustafarian who claimed he was covering our expensive entrées at a group birthday dinner, only to shortchange all of my friends who ordered the pasta. Or the poet who developed a fake online identity and tried to seduce underage girls with verse he penned for me. Or how about that lying letch who wound up in some stewardess’s hotel room, taking seminude photos of her, which I was supposed to understand because it was all for his “art”?   What I missed while I was so busy trying to salvage these relationships was the fact that they weren’t even marriageworthy to begin with. If I had headed down the aisle when I thought I was supposed to because everyone I knew was making the trip—and hell, when I was younger, twenty-six sounded like the “right” age to be married—I would absolutely be divorced by now.   Thankfully, I came to my senses and reclaimed my singledom. Sure, it was rough in more than a few places for a while, but eventually I was okay with being on my own. I had great friends and family, a job I loved that let me travel the world, and then, sure enough, I met my current boyfriend. Finally, I have a fully functional relationship with a great guy, whom my friends actually like and invite to group functions. (And here I had always thought that they preferred to keep things girls-only. Now I know that they had actually just hated my exes.)   You’d think being in a loving relationship would stop the insanity, right? Wrong. At weddings we get questions like “So would you two have a big wedding or would you elope?” It’s tough to stay confident when you are constantly explaining your relationship to other people: “No, we are not married or engaged, but yes, we are happy and plan on staying together.” When enough people have asked you why you and your boyfriend aren’t married yet, it’s hard not to start asking yourself the same question and skewering your own relationship.   My boyfriend and I have gone to twelve—twelve!—weddings together so far and have five more this year, two of which are my brothers’. While one would think having two family weddings (three if you count my cousin) would ease the pressure, it only seems to have made things worse. That my younger brother is taking the plunge—and I’m cohabitating—fuels the fire. Mom “happens” to find her wedding dress one weekend while I’m home to visit; at a large family dinner, Dad says things like “I have a feeling there’s going to be another wedding next year.” He winks, I cringe.   Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t want to marry my boyfriend. It’s just that these winks and comments pile up in my head and reawaken the Cinderella fantasy I buried long ago. And then the freak-out begins. For example, what if he doesn’t propose this year? Does that mean he’s never going to? Have I ruined it because we moved in together? Why do these things matter when I’m not even sure I want a wedding? And if I don’t care about weddings, why did I get weepy watching the InStyle Weddings special in a Montreal hotel room (dubbed in French, no less, which I don’t speak a word of)?   I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly what I want when so many people have a vested interest in seeing me married off. It’s like I’m the solitary holdout among legions of the wedded who won’t rest until I’ve come over to their side. More and more, I find myself playing defense at weddings, gearing up for the inevitable questions and inaudible murmurings. While most of my peers have ceased with the bouquet toss (it’s more like “Pass me the baton and let’s call it a day already”), now I’m facing round two of weddings, the next generation. Nothing like getting dragged out for the bouquet toss and sharing the floor with giggling teenage girls and someone’s thrice-divorced, heavily Botoxed aunt, right? Sometimes my reasons for wanting to tie the knot are crazy: so I can give the finger (my ring finger, of course!) to all the inappropriate questions forever, plus we can get some Wüsthof knives out of the deal.   This is the book I wish had been available to me when I ended the relationship with the man I thought was “the one” in a back room of the banquet facility where my best friend had just gotten married. This is the book I wish I could have found when another friend got married and her Old World Italian uncle said to me, “Whatta you gonna do now Emily married? Whya you no married, eh?” This is the book I hope will help you every time you pick up a voice mail message that says, “I’ve got big news.”