And then occasionally, grooms, you learn something. You pick up new trends or tips or tricks from former brides and grooms -- from 2E's father and stepmother, or from her step-sister Ginger and his husband Mike -- who are more than pleased to pass the baton to us newbies.
Like chicken breasts, for instance.
And because it's family, nothing is off-limits. As is the rule with my own immediate kin. Every Christmas, sitting around the tree with my parents and siblings -- me being the youngest of the clan -- I think to myself, All of these people have washed my ass at one point or another. Hence, there's no such thing as "off-limits." There's no PC. There's no need to be X, Y or Z. It's all in.
Like chicken breasts.
Yes -- and all this according to Ginger (yes, thank you, Ginger) -- since the beginning of time, brides have been known to wear chicken breasts beneath their wedding dresses. It's apparently customary for those ladies who require a little extra something there.
And by chicken breasts, of course, Ginger is referring to bra pads (or, in 2E's terms, "whatchamacallits"), sometimes sewn directly into the bra, at other times sold separately. See, men, there is a darker side to wedding gown shopping. These pads come in a thousand different shapes and sizes and textures, and they may be called push-ups, and they may be called breast enhancers, and yes, they may even have artificial nipples. And as little interest as you may have invested in this topic -- as much as you'd rather be doing anything than reading about this very subject -- it's important to know what's going on beneath your bride's dress. And no, there's really no better way to phrase it.
Because while our tuxes may be infinitely more complex than our t-shirt/shorts/sandals combo, it's nowhere near as complicated as the intricate maze of lace and lingerie happening under the coveted wedding dress. At any given moment there are strapless bras, underwire bustiers, body shapers, thigh shapers, waist clinchers, lace bikinis, suspender belts, thigh-highs, knee-highs, gel pads, cotton pads, silicone pads, slimmers, corsets and garters. She could dress a small country with that one, single outfit.
(And you thought your bride was going commando under that Vera Wang. You stupid groom, you.)
The other white meat
So show some sympathy groom, because while we're slipping into our tried and true tighty whiteys or boxers or boxer-briefs, she's got three hours of make-up and hair and "where does this thing go?" And just be thankful that there's no hosiery in our immediate future.