Frock Off - Being a Bride In a Post-Kate World

How can a regular bride compete in a post-Kate wedding world?

By , Contributor
As the impossibly perfect Catherine Middleton commenced her walk into the aisles of history in her breathtaking Alexander McQueen confection, hair glossed and coiffed to perfection, smile dazzling and a figure to die for, the world's dreamers let out a collective wistful sigh.  Over nearly a decade we watched her crystalline transformation from pretty student to polished, poised princess and never has she looked better than on her wedding day.
I on the other hand watched the day unfold, face frozen in horror. 

You see, I am a twenty-something British bride getting married in this weekend, only twelve weeks after Kate and Wills, and after watching the royal wedding I feel like chucking in the towel.  Because in the battle of the brides, Kate wins hands down.

As I watched Kate say her I do's, I was overwhelmed by the sinking feeling you get when you head out to a party in your best frock feeling fabulous only to watch a supermodel walk in wearing couture. How can I possibly compete? My one chance to feel like a princess for the day has been overshadowed by the girl who actually became a princess.

Yes, Duchess Catherine has certainly raised the bar for the British bride. I made a mental compare and contrast column between Kate's wedding and my own upcoming nuptials.  In Ali vs. Kate it seemed pretty obvious who came out on top.

The dress? Yes mine is beautiful, but Kate's was personally designed by the hottest designer of the moment, Sarah Burton, and had fashion editors across the globe aflutter with excitement.

The ceremony? Kate said her vows beneath the vaulted ceiling of Westminster Abbey, forever becoming a part of British history.

The guestlist?  Kate's read like a who's who of the world's leading political figures and assembled gliterati, never mind the two billion watching at home, while mine is a smallish do of 120.

The afterparty? I think boogying in Buckingham Palace ballroom under glitterballs with the creme de la creme of Britain's upper crust certainly wins hands down.

The inlaws? Kate's grandmother-in-law is the Queen of England. Enough said.  So it's official - Kate is the ultimate bride and hers was the ultimate wedding. How on earth were we ever going to top it?

Having being pretty relaxed about the whole thing since our engagement, my husband-to-be and I are starting to feel the pressure to put on not just a wedding, but a spectacular event.   Yes, I know getting married isn't a competitive sport… but I want to win!  We've spent the last few weeks researching exotic circus acts, getting quotes from pop star performers, and wracking our brains for celebrities we could approach to be our wedding guests.

In the vain hope of looking just a fraction as perfect as Kate, I've begun the juice diet that apparently helped her achieve her svelte proportions, and if anyone knows how I can jump to the front of the waiting list for Kate's Harley Street dentist I'd be very grateful for the tip!   It seems I'm going to spend the rest of the run-up to my big day in a frenzy of competitive wedding-ing.  But instead of becoming a total bridezilla, I hope that I don't lose sight of what's really important: marrying the man of my dreams.  I may not become a real princess like Kate, but the day I become Mrs. Scott I'll certainly feel like one.

So I concede that I won't win the battle of the brides, there is one thing i still have on Kate.  In the afterglow of my wedding day, when I've walked off into the sunset with my own Prince Charming, I will go back to just being me. For Kate, the moment she made her vows she said 'I do' to a lifetime of servitude to the British monarchy and a marriage played out under the scrutiny of the world's media.

My own moment in the spotlight will be short-lived, whilst Kate's will last a lifetime. And whilst I might not count David and Elton amongst the well-wishers at my wedding, I do wonder whether there will be times after a relentless schedule of state visits, curtsys, and muscle-cramping smiles, will Kate wish she could switch her happily ever after for mine.

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Ali is a writer, stylist and fast-becoming professional bride-to-be. She lives in North West London with her fiance. They have two sons, both called Max - but that's another story.

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