Avoiding Bridezilla – How to do it and not go mad! Part One – Avoiding Stress
From the minute you say ‘yes’ to the proposal, you will be subject to stress… from who to invite to the party, setting the date, ‘does my dad actually like him’, ‘do I really want to do this’, crazy wedding obsessed friends/mothers/random strangers who want to get involved… from so many sources you will feel so many pressures.
Here are some strategies for dealing with people – and let’s face it, it’s usually people who are the biggest source of stress and tension!
Because they need to make money, wedding vendors will often try to get you to take more expensive products or services. Get used to saying “I need to stick to my budget” and “I’ll just stick with the basic option.” Otherwise, try to negotiate cost down – “I really like it, but I need to be firm on my budget. Is there any flexibility on the price?” Even then, don’t agree to it right away. Jumping at the first price is never a good idea. Another line for your haggling script – “I’ll have to go home and check the budget. I’ll see if I can move some things around and I’ll get back to you.”When you get home, away from the temptation, it will be easier to decide if that extra item is absolutely necessary.
If you have vendors who aren’t the fastest at returning calls or doing what you ask, in the nicest way, tell them that you’re a bit concerned about promptness. After that, if there is no improvement, find someone who has time for you.
Family fights and unhappily divorced parents stress you out in two ways:
1. You just can’t predict how they’ll behave at the wedding. If it’s a doubt, sit down with them and tell them how glad you are that they are coming to your wedding. Ask them to do you a great favour – to be civil to each other for just one day. Tell them that you want the focus of the wedding to be about love and that you don’t want the extra worry about this.
2. Divorced parents can make it seem like marriage and family are likely to fail. You need to ensure you focus on yourselves and remember that you every couple is different and go ahead with an open mind.
The Well-meaning Advice Givers
Almost everyone will want to know the details of your wedding and pretty much everyone you speak to will have an opinion. As a polite and serene bride, you will of course listen politely to what they have to say. However, as your own woman, you will only take the advice if it suits you.
It is your wedding and your decision. Your wedding must reflect who you are, not what other people think. Consider what other people think – sometimes it is valuable advice and it usually comes from a nice thought, but don’t let it take you from what’s really important to you. Another part of your stress-free wedding script: “Thanks for the advice! It’s great to have ideas from people who’ve done it before”. “I’ll add that to my “good ideas” list”.
For a variety of reasons, our parents can unwittingly stress us out around our wedding times: complaining about money, being overly involved, having strict ideals for your wedding, or even entirely disapproving of your marriage.
To combat this, get some points clear from the start. Talk money early on – what level (if any!) contribution your parents are making. If the parents are making a very substantial contribution, then you may allow them to have ideas about when, where and what kind of wedding they would like for you, while keeping it clear that it’s your big day. At the same time, set out what your ideal wedding will be. Make sure they know what your wishes are as early as possible.
Don’t promise anything to them without checking with the groom but keep your parents informed and allow them to give advice freely. Perhaps even give tasks that are more functional than creative to allow you to keep control of the specific details.
Your other half
You both need to make the decisions and there will be times that you have a gap of understanding… you’ll be exasperated that he doesn’t see your vision; he’ll be frustrated that it’s all so confusing… (or vice versa!). Because you need to make decisions together, perhaps for the first time, differences in opinions on things like the budget, planning styles, and even taste can suddenly become niggles. Divide up your tasks according to your own individual skills and interests. Have a regular update ‘business’ style meeting where you sit and agree on the important decisions. Negotiate a calendar and keep a close eye on the budget.
Avoiding stress is a key way to avoid Bridezilla syndrome. If you can stay calm, poised and elegant, it is much better than finding yourself wide eyed, wild haired, weeping and wan half way through the wedding day!