My cousin Rachel was a beautiful bride. No one was surprised: she’s beautiful while reef fishing in old shorts and a tank top. Rachel and her husband Bryan are solid, kind, hardworking people. In both speeches and passing comments I heard the buzz phrase “beautiful bride” many times throughout the day. Once Rachel and Bryan return from their honeymoon in Antigua, how will her beauty and his handsome features (I have your back Bry) help them build a life together? This is not an antiquated business transaction in which her beauty enhances the contract.

Why am I droning on about the commonly used phrase “beautiful bride?” Sometimes the “normal” things couples discuss when planning a wedding (buying a dress, picking a reception venue, tasting cakes) are not useful past the wedding date. No matter how delicious the cake, it’s not an accurate representation of the relationship.

A friend of a friend has an 18-month-old infant. This brand new mother initiated a divorce from her husband because in the past eighteen months, he was only willing to change his child’s diaper twice. For those of you who enjoy math, that’s 0.001% of total diapers changed.

I imagine that the new mother was a beautiful bride on her wedding day. Did she ever ask her fiancĂ© if he had it in him to be a hands-on parent? I’m not sure. Did her soon-to-be ex-husband assume she would handle all diapers, potty training, homework help, etc. as he said his vows to her in his handsome suit? Conversations worth having pre-wedding.

Bryan is the kind of man who will change diapers. Rachel is a smart woman. In my opinion, she has chosen well (that’s what guests do at a wedding-they give their opinion on everything). It is likely that while raising children they will both have careers. Will they split “second-shift” responsibilities close to fifty/fifty? That’s their decision to make.

Just keep in mind when planning a wedding or even dating someone for longer than a month:

1. This is the first day of the rest of your life. For most of you there are more days ahead of you than behind you.
2. “Now we know that women can do what men can do, but we don’t know that men can do what women can do.” Gloria Steinem

Eff the diaper funk!