The Countdown: Nerves of Tulle

In part two of an exclusive online series, bride-to-be Ashley Primis shares the tips that have banished her wedding-day anxiety


Ever since I’ve hit the one-month-to-go mark I’ve been bombarded


Ever since I’ve hit the one-month-to-go mark I’ve been bombarded with compassionate “How are you doing?” and “How are you feeling?” inquiries about a hundred times a day, before I’m forced to hear stories about all the weird things other brides did and felt because they were so nervous. And while I flash a nervous/excited grin, the truth is, I’m really, really, really excited, but not a bit nervous. (And, trust me, I am the type of person who still has nightmares over biology exams and can’t sleep on Christmas Eve, and I’m Jewish.)

The way I see it, you can only get nervous about the things you can’t control, like the weather (tents are non-refundable). So I made sure I did have control over everything I could. I approached the whole wedding like I approach cooking (in which I’m formally trained): Spend most of your time and energy on prepping, and everything will come together during dinnertime.

I strongly recommend a long engagement: I’ve had 15 months to pick, re-pick then tweak my colors, obsess over five rounds of invitation proofs, ponder over welcome bag sizes and bargain-hunt for favors. Things like the band, photographer and honeymoon have been set since early ’06. The other things I found unsettling — not having a quiet moment with Quinn before the nuttiness begins and missing any of the party that I painstakingly planned — were fixed when we decided to take all of our photos before the ceremony. (Added bonus: I no longer have to look picture-perfect after the ceremony, so I will trade stilettos for flip-flops, pony up the bouffant and be my usual sloppy drunken self.)

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have figured these things out, I kept thinking, so what makes other brides so damn nervous? And then I saw it: it must not be getting married but actually being married and cohabitating for the first time. After three years of living with Quinn, this was thankfully the farthest from my mind — bringing me to strong suggestion number two: LIVE TOGETHER.

It’s not because life is all hearts and flowers over on Spruce Street, but it’s because our “rough patch” was in the first year of living together, not our first year of marriage. Most of the what-ifs have been answered. Things we’ve learned: dinner is my responsibility every night (that trained cook thing has a downside), but he always gladly does the dishes. We both do laundry. A shared bank account works best for us. We do not have the same taste in furniture. His ideal Saturday is spent on a tennis court, not at Nordstrom (I couldn’t believe it either). We’ve found our sides of the bed, and he doesn’t snore. And I won’t go into detail on the awkwardness of sharing a bathroom with a boy for the first time.

Even if you spend almost every night together, living together is a whole new game, and would be something I’d be really nervous about if I didn’t know — like I did three years ago when I moved here from San Francisco for Quinn — that I couldn’t get out of it if it didn’t work out. It’s got to be one of the hardest parts of this whole marriage thing. So although I don’t know exactly what the future holds for us, I do know that tampons don’t gross him out.

E-mail Ashley to share your stories, and look for part three next week!

Read part one of The Countdown.