Planning a wedding can be difficult. There are many vendors to work with, decisions to be made, budgets to stay within, family members and friends to deal with, and of course you want everything to go well on your special day. However, there is no reason why anyone has to let something that is supposed to be a beautiful day filled with love turn them into a Bridezilla, which can take away from enjoying their own wedding and lead to everyone around them being miserable. I can speak to this firsthand because I happen to be going through this exciting time at the moment. I won’t say that things don’t get stressful at times, but if you remember the ultimate reason why you are getting married in the first place and find ways to handle the stress, wedding planning can actually be a positive experience.
First things first, drop the crazy idea that your wedding has to be perfect. Keep on wanting things to be the best they can be and working to this end, but believing that it absolutely has to be a certain way is just setting yourself up for an anxiety-filled few months (or more if you are having a longer engagement). Truth of the matter is, something is inevitably going to go awry, whether the florist is running a little late, rain is in the forecast for your wedding day, or a bridesmaid gets a bad haircut the week before your wedding, so it’s in your best interest to accept that your big day is going to be perfectly imperfect. Plan and prepare for all kinds of scenarios and you’ll be able to prevent some from happening and you won’t be devastated if others do happen. You may a bit disappointed or annoyed, but then again you may even be able to laugh it off. It won’t be the end of the world if something doesn’t go exactly as planned (even though you’ll sure be hoping it does and will do as much as possible to avoid mishaps) so no need to panic about it ahead of time.
Once you’ve accepted the reality that your wedding is probably not going to go 100% according to plan, you can bring down your pre-wedding anxiety by reminding yourself that you will be able to get through anything that comes your way and still manage to enjoy your wedding day. Chances are if you put a lot of effort into your planning, most things will go smoothly and the things that don’t won’t ruin your day. Unless a natural disaster strikes or World War III breaks out in the middle of your ceremony or reception, things that could go wrong are far from what truly is terrible, awful, and horrible. You don’t have to let one problem (or even a few) take away from all of the wonderful moments that day. You can take the good with the bad because what you focus on that day is up to you: you can choose to dwell on the things you don’t like or you can deal with them and get right back to dancing, eating, and mingling with your new spouse, friends, and family.
Lastly, no one likes being around a Bridezilla, not fiancées, not parents, not bridesmaids or groomsmen, so why allow yourself to become one? You might want to consider what is more important, your future marriage and long-term relationships with loved ones or how much money they spend, their punctuality, or their choice in colors/dates/seating arrangements? If your relationship is more important to you, then you would be better off making requests than demands of them. This is a big day so it is alright to respectfully assert your preferences to others, but along with the request should be the acceptance that what they do is ultimately up to them. Attempting to control everyone and everything is stressful and also pushes people, including your fiancé, away, which is not something that will lead to a long happy marriage and life together. It doesn’t make vendors want to go out of their way to help you either, so you may actually get more of what you want working with people rather than barking orders at them.
It is entirely possible to plan an incredible wedding without becoming a Bridezilla. Staying organized, being proactive, preparing alternatives, and working collaboratively with others will lead to the best day your wedding can be. Managing your stress levels and allowing yourself to enjoy this special time will leave you with intact relationships and positive memories that can last a lifetime.
Next Up: Chris Smith, Ph.D. on July 4th and Shaking the Sense of Self