What Went Wrong On My Wedding Day & How I Dealt With It

I may not have been a Bridezilla, but in the weeks before my wedding, worries about our big day looped through my brain on repeat.

The spotlight-hogging anxiety was my hair. Because our nuptials were out of town, my fabulous Toronto stylist couldn’t do my wedding ‘do. Major bummer. So, I booked appointments for me and my bridal party with a reputable salon in town, and was happy with what the stylist created during the trial appointment: a low side-swept bun. Classic. Pretty. Something you can’t screw up.

On the morning of my wedding, I met my bridesmaids at the salon and we were all giddy with excitement for the day ahead.

The stylist fired up the curling iron as I showed her pics of the style she created during the trial appointment.

Once my hair was curled, she started sweeping my tresses to the side to form a chignon. When she was done, I didn’t like what I saw. There were curls on the top of my head and the side-swept bun was at ear level, making it look like I had a short bob on one side of my head.

“I don’t–It’s not like what you did in the trial,” I stammered, a lump of dread forming in my throat.

By this time, my bridesmaids’ appointments were done, and they were ready to head back to the hotel to get their makeup done. I asked my cousin/best friend/matron of honor, Julie, to stay.

The stylist said that my hair was too thin, and that I would need extensions to create a full bun or chignon, something she failed to mention during the trial.

She kept trying to work my apparently-too-thin hair into a side bun, repeatedly running her fingers through my curls and subsequently ruining them. On top of that, she was being impatient and rude, as if I was inconveniencing her.

We reached an impasse: The stylist was frustrated and unapologetic; I was full-on panicking and one straggly curl away from tears.

Julie came to the rescue: “Why don’t you re-curl it and leave the bottom part down, like a curly side pony tail instead of a bun?”

“Let’s do it,” I said and the stylist reluctantly agreed.

I shook with anger and anxiety as she worked, silently and without apology, to fix my hair. In the end I didn’t love the style, but I knew it was the best I was going to get. Plus, we had to get ready for the pre-ceremony photos.

Outside, Julie and I waited for a cab and I started to cry. “I hate it,” I said. “And she was so [excuse my French] rude.”

“She was horrible,” Julie agreed. “But you look beautiful.”

“For real? I don’t look like a cheesy country singer? Because that’s how I feel.”

“Not at all. I obsessed about my makeup on my wedding day, and I regret that I spent so much time worrying about it.”

Some part of my distressed psyche absorbed Juile’s message: I couldn’t control what had happened, but I could control how I handled it. Option #1: Continue obsessing about my hair and spend the morning in hot, angry tears. Option #2: Resolve to let it go and choose to enjoy this joyous day, imperfect hair and all.

I let myself cry in the taxi on the way back to the hotel, but once we stepped out of the car, that was it–no more tears or obsessing.

My stomach still fills with knots and my jaw tightens when I think about that experience–it felt so unfair. But I’m happy that I chose to let go of my desire to have perfect wedding hair, and let myself enjoy the day. After knowing what an awesome, love-filled experience your wedding day is, I so would have regretted spending it in a funk, fuming over a grumpy stylist and her crappy hairdo.

Image(s): iStock

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