One thing I’ve learned over the course of wedding planning is that no matter how affable or cheerful our personality, we all have an inner bridezilla that lurks just beneath the surface waiting for the right time to be unleashed. Planning weddings can create a strange Jekyll-Hyde like alter ego that can rear its ugly head at any time leaving friends and family scratching their heads wondering: “What ever happened to the gal we once knew?”
Oh but between the enormous amount of cash we watch escape through our hands and feeling generally overwhelmed with everything, how oh how do you fight the urge to put on the boxing gloves and come out swinging? Well here we’ve put together our 10 best tips on how to conquer the inner beast sure to ruin your day if left unchecked, all while keeping your sanity along the way!
10. Take a Deep Breath
This is the very first step to gaining control of your emotions. Often we overreact to things that really aren’t a very big deal in the grand scheme. I mean, does it really matter that the sample your florist showed you doesn’t exactly match the inspiration photo you gave her to create your bouquet? That’s why it’s a sample, so that your vision and her execution will eventually match. Do yourself a favor and save the yelling for if it’s not right on your wedding day. Be patient with all of your vendors as they work with you to give you exactly what you want. Only let concerns begin to creep in if you find that things are consistently mismatched to your demands.
The same goes for dealing with family and friends. If your Maid of Honor can’t go with you to ALL your fittings, let it go! If your fiance doesn’t want to wear the tux you picked, let him pick out his own! You can’t (and shouldn’t want to) completely control everything, so just roll with the punches and remember this day is supposed to be about being happy!
9. Don’t Give into Unreasonable Demands
This is kinda like the flip side to #10. Many times family and friends unintentionally create additional stress by pushing their own agendas. Stress on your part is created when you give in to such agendas at the expense of what you really want. Most of the time this is in the form of: wanting to bring extra guests after you’ve made it clear how many they’re allowed to bring, wanting you to make special accommodations that are beyond your scope as a host, like housing them at your place instead of a hotel (unless they’re in your wedding party, do not do this, it complicates getting ready on your wedding day). Once you give in under the guise of “being a good guy”, resentment on your part quickly accelerates your inner bridezilla and unsuspecting victims may suffer your wrath because of it.
8. Don’t Lash Out (Also known as “The Whipping Boy Syndrome”)
So this is the perfect segue from #9. Respect the people who have banded together to help you on this special day. Years ago I was a bridesmaid and the bride was a Type A bona fide bridezilla. In this particular instance she was annoyed at us because her wedding shower didn’t quite turn out to be exactly what she wanted. While trying carefully both to console her through her disappointment, but delicately pointing out where we all may have dropped the ball, the next thing I knew she was chastising me about my lack of effort. In turn, this made me disconnect from her event and spilled into the actual wedding day, where I left quickly so I could get home in time to catch a TV program. You don’t want people feeling or acting this way on your special day, so don’t create the energy that can cause it and be appreciative of people’s best efforts, even though it may not meet your standards.
7. Avoid Over-Spending
Once that money starts flowing and your wedding starts “bleeding out”, tensions around everything start elevating to an all-time high. One of the main causes of stress is all that money you can’t believe you’re spending, so don’t add unnecessary costs. Do you really need that photo booth? Do you really think aside from your parents, anyone else wants (an expensive) wedding album? (cause they don’t) Do you have to order a custom wedding cake if your banquet hall includes one for free in your catering package? Cutting back on costs really alleviates a lot of stress as well as a classic bridezilla attitude.
6. Don’t Hold it All Inside
I do that. And then I explode over the smallest things that have really nothing to do with what I’m angry about. And then I look crazy. It’s unhealthy and a disservice to your mental and emotional health. Once something irritates you (remember, it needs to be something worthwhile and not trivial) you need to address it swiftly with the offender. I know it’s difficult, you don’t want to look like the bad guy or hurt anyone’s feelings, but it’s better to get it out than to let it simmer into a boil. If you really feel like your friend keeps taking jabs at the dress you’ve picked out, don’t let that slide, let her know immediately that it’s hurtful (and quite frankly tacky) for her to keep offering an opinion you didn’t ask for. Nip that type of negativity immediately.
5. Don’t Take it Personally
Oh but how can you not take something personal that’s directed at your wedding! Many times people will unintentionally either do or say things that really mean nothing to them but everything to you. You have to learn how to pinpoint when someone is tying to purposely hurt you versus a harmless random comment. Case in point, when I announced my wedding, my cousin said “Do I have to be in it?” Now I thought this was hilarious because the big joke is she’s not the “girlie girl frilly” type like I am, and I knew better than to ask her even before she let me know she wasn’t interested. But the point is, I didn’t take it personally because I knew her and had no intention of making her feel uncomfortable by asking her to join. So know how to assess the situation and the person, and make your determination from there.
4. Don’t Set Impossibly High Expectations
Many times we set ourselves up for disappointment by setting impossibly high expectations as a way to measure who is really on our side. There couldn’t be a worse way to define a person’s loyalty to you or your big day. If you know your Matron of Honor can’t make it to your wedding shower because she’ll be away on vacation, you cannot and certainly should not ask her to cancel or re-schedule her trip. That’s just being inconsiderate. There is life outside of your wedding and you should let people enjoy it. They’ve proven already they’re on your side by agreeing to be in and pick up their own costs for your wedding.
3. Pick Your Battles Wisely
There’s a lot of juicy stuff one can fight over when planning these weddings that it makes no sense to get irritated by sweating the small stuff. There’s plenty of stress to go around. So when deciding what you’re gonna get hot over, make sure it’s worth it. Fussing with hubby-to-be over whether or not his best man has to wear matching cufflinks is ridiculous. Let him wear what he wants, because a detail that minuscule no one will ever notice (but you).
2. Stop Taking on More than You Can Handle
Oh women, women, women. It’s classic for us gals to think we can do it all by ourselves. As a planner I’ve heard some really crazy things brides think they can do on their own. I’ve even had brides (but only a few) who didn’t involve me as much as they should’ve in the planning process until the end. This is a mistake! Get as much help as you can from your bridesmaids, family, friends and of course your planner since you are paying her for the service! Utilize all the support you can get!
1. Hire a Wedding Planner!
Well you knew that was coming, didn’t you? The sole reason a wedding planner exists is to alleviate all of the wedding-related stress you have by transferring it from you onto ourselves. We don’t have to worry about offending your guests (but we won’t!) by putting our foot down on their unreasonable requests, or feel awkward telling certain friends they can only bring one plus one, or removing unruly guests from your venue. We’ll also go head-to-head with vendors that aren’t performing to your satisfaction, and be the heavy when getting everyone under control. So do not skip on this, it’ll be the best investment you’ll ever make for your wedding!
Now go get a mimosa and a massage and enjoy the planning process in perfect harmony. Woosah!