BravoTV.com: With only a week left before your wedding, what feelings and emotions are feeling strongest during this time?
Candiace Dillard: I can remember being a hopeful bride as a young girl and longing with such anticipation for the time when I would get to plan my own wedding! I had most of it planned by the time I was 12 years old (hahahaha). Then as I got older, I remember hearing so many friends and family admonishing me to skip the whole pomp and circumstance and elope because everything is too stressful! I was always appalled — LOL. ME, ELOPE? Girl, bye. I wanted to feel and experience every single moment of wedding planning...until about the eleventh hour of my day. At around the one week mark from the wedding day, I was over ALL OF IT. I didn't care who showed up, what I wore, (well, I cared, but I had an attitude about it), where the flowers were going, what checks were outstanding, who was going to sit where or how they would all get there. Just get me to the aisle and let me marry this husband of mine so we can all drink brown liquor and go to bed.
BravoTV.com: It's really emotional to watch the tension between you and your mother. She's really unhappy with the fact that you are inviting your brother to the wedding. Were you surprised at all by her strong reaction to the news?
CD: I know my mom. She is and always has been a complicated woman. I had mentioned my half-brother a total of two times prior to this and both experiences were less than peaceful, so I knew there would be some push back. For me, though, much of my fear was wrapped up in knowing she would be upset but not knowing HOW she would react. It should be noted as well that I am not someone who becomes fearful easily. I'm an over-thinker and I will typically exhaust every possible scenario of a situation in my head before I walk into it so as not to have to deal with fear. Fear and nervousness, in my opinion, come from a place of unpreparedness. So, if you're prepared, you don't have to be anxious, right? But what happens when you simply cannot anticipate the outcome? When you're dealing with the wildcard that is sometimes my mom, that can be the case. When it comes down to it, was I surprised by my mom's reaction? No. I think I decided to go into the conversation with NO expectation and lots of hopefulness, but I was still scared. My heart was beating so fast while I was talking and I just had no idea what to expect. Nothing could have prepared me for the way the conversation went.
BravoTV.com: How is your relationship with your brother these days?
CD: Me and my brother are fine. I actually have never shared my mom's sentiments about him WITH him because I just never felt it was necessary. There was never a need for that kind of negativity in our interactions or conversations. We mostly talk about how we are doing as individuals when we catch up: how his job is going, how his business ventures are going and what's new with me. We keep it light. He's really funny and a very intellectual thinker so our conversations always tend to run a little long!
BravoTV.com: Do you think your mom's actions towards you would be different if she didn't contribute so much financially?
CD: This is a question I often ask myself, and I don't have an answer. It's hard for me to see my mom separately from her "contributions" because they have always been at the helm of our interactions. Even growing up, she was never afraid to remind us (myself and my siblings) of what she has done for us and how grateful we should be — and we were and still are. It was normal for there to seemingly always be a verbal memorandum regarding our level of gratefulness and how it was never enough. So, seeing her behavior apart from what she has contributed throughout my life is hard for me to rationalize.
BravoTV.com: You’ve gotten really close with Karen and we see you open up to her about this whole situation, are you grateful for her perspective on things?
CD: Karen is a jewel and I will always be grateful for her support and her friendship. She really did bring me to a realization I hadn't sat with before: I just don't want my mom to hate me. Why that's a fear, I don't know (this is what therapy is for) but being able to at least name some of my fears and anxiety is liberating in itself, and a good friend can send you into the the room of introspection to find the answers you didn't know you needed.