Operation: Avoid Becoming Bridezilla.

About twenty minutes into being engaged, the following warning popped into my head:

“Whatever happens in the next few months–no matter how stressful or how crucial the situation may seem–don’t ever ever EVER become an over-obsessed bridezilla.”

Of course being the sweet, newly engaged bride-to-be, I never dreamt that thought would henceforward follow me many months after. But I am here to share that avoiding bridezilla symptoms is an harder task than you think.

Exhibit A:
I’ve become quite bipolar when it comes to the wedding budget. One moment I think, “Oh let’s just spend a little more and hire a band! What’s $500 more? It’s our wedding! When are we going to have the chance to have all of our close friends and family members together again??” ¬†And then the very next moment, I find out that the wedding favor we chose will require an additional $15 for ribbons and I freeeeeeeeeeak out and transform into the cheapest penny pincher east of the Mississippi and accuse this wedding as the beginning of a lifetime in debt. (Seriously? I’m crazy.)

Exhibit B:
Ever since I bought my wedding dress, I’ve been consumed with having the perfect body for the big day. In fact, I think I’ve only gained weight since then. The only practical time I can exercise is in the morning. I try to get up at 6:00 to workout, then wake up at 7:30 feeling fat and frustrated when I realize I snoozed for the past two hours. And I try to eat well and go on ridiculous no-anything diets, then get so upset when I partake in a company-provided lunch. I want to look my very best but each day that passes I just feel worse about appearance.

Exhibit C:
I really wanted to have amazing engagement photos. Like the kind of amazing photos where a couple will actually transport an entire vintage wardrobe into a wilderness. (If you frequent this blog, you know what kind of amazing I’m talking about.) We scheduled our photos for last weekend but it was one of those work weeks when I never saw daylight except from the office windows, and even when I did come home, my dreams were in spreadsheets. So when Friday rolled around, I scrambled and made a list of all of the food, supplies, props, and different outfits I needed to create the greatest engagement shoot ever. It had balloons, books, picnics, signs, chalkboards, three outfits, three pairs of shoes, and three locations. I was so frazzled about getting it all together. (Remember, this was also the week that I went to grocery store four times.) I finally snapped at J when he asked why he had to bring two different pair of shoes. Then he told me, in the sweetest way possible, that I was on the brink of being a bridezilla. Just the word silenced me and put everything into perspective.

The truth is, the next day was perfect. We ended up staying at just one place–the park J took me on my postponed proposal day. And I needn’t obsess over my weight. As much as I would like to weigh less, the truth is if I got married today I’d look gorgeous in that dress, because the dress is that pretty. I just need to relax and work on being healthy the healthy way. And whether we spend $5,000 or $25,000, we will be just as married. Sometimes a girl just has to relax, chill out, and enjoy this special, rare moment in life.

Any recent brides have any suggestions on how to avoid and silence your inner-bridezilla? :)

(photo credit)

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  • I read a quote early on in my wedding planning that says this: The point is not to have a perfect wedding experience. The point is to get married.

    I made that show up in my email so I saw it multiple times a day, every day, during wedding planning. It really, really helped keep me sane and grounded. I also didn’t allow myself to visualize the day of the wedding beforehand, so I wouldn’t have some unrealistic vision in my head that reality couldn’t compete with.

    The day of the wedding, my sister-in-law looked at me at one point and said, “You’re freaking me out. Won’t you PLEASE freak out about SOMETHING?!”

    I was really afraid of turning into a bridezilla, and I’m so proud of myself that I didn’t.

  • You should peruse some healthy living blogs! I love healthytippingpoint.com, a food/exercise blog that Caitlin started as “See Bride Run” right before she got married.

    Be nice to you!

  • Well…we had a very VERY small wedding in my parents backyard that was planned in three weeks. No engagement photos, no professional wedding photographer, no, cake, not even a sit-down dinner–just hordoevres (I’m not bothering to learn how to spell that damn word!)

    And let me tell you, I was STILL stressed beyond the max. I think I got massages twice in those three weeks and my back was full of knots!

    And you know what? I think my wedding was perfect and it was beautiful and everyone had a great time and no one cared what color bow was on the table or whether the colors matched, or that my white shoes had a speck of dirt on them…In the end, everyone was there to celebrate OUR marriage. And anyone who gave a hoot about anything else obviously wasn’t a true friend.

  • I am not a recent bride (I am actually an eloper) but my best friend just got married and I think the only time she was crazed was when she was around crazed people. I don’t think other people realize how much stress they can unload on a bride. I think she got better when she reminded herself that it wasn’t personal, some people are just not very intuitive to their own insensitivities.

  • Like Maureen, I had more of a Mumzilla than I was a bridezilla. ;) I did have my moments though, usually when people refused to RSVP yes or no. They wanted to just “see what happened,” and I let that stress me out because I wanted to keep costs low while also providing an accurate head count to the caterer.

    Seriously though, I loved the planning so much that I don’t think it was possible for me to go bridezilla. It helped me to focus on who Mr. Red and I were as a couple. Mom would suggest nice dishes or renting tablecloths or hiring a band, and I would think, “But wait. We are eating-in-front-of-the-TV, no dancing, laid back people. Why should our wedding be any different?” Focus on yourself and J. Don’t let it become about what anyone else will think. Create the day that the both of you want. And don’t be afraid to delegate or call your bridesmaids to vent. My mom and MOH definitely kept me sane when things were bringing me down. (That rarely happened, but I can think of a few times that I called my MOH just to say, “I really want to scream right now!”)

    Someone told me this, and it cannot be stressed enough… TAKE IN THE MOMENTS! Planning and the actual wedding day goes by so ridiculously fast. Everything is going on at once, and it’s so hard to take it all in. Please stop, take a deep breath, and just enjoy being a bride.

    Also, you’ll look gorgeous in the dress because you’re gorgeous, not because the dress is “that pretty.” C’mon now, MPP. You’re not fooling anybody! ;)

  • Don’t let it become all about the stuff. The “stuff” is nothing. The most important thing is you, your fiance and getting married. The rest is for show!

  • You could do what my sister is doing – immediate family only (as in mom, dad, siblings), simple dinner at a beautiful historic restaurant, no fuss, no muss, and she gets to truly enjoy the entire experience because she won’t be running around making sure every one of her 300+ guests got their overpriced wedding favors.

  • You seem to have it under control. I was really obsessed over whether or not people who traveled far and wide would have a good time at my wedding. Finally, the day came, and I just couldn’t worry about it. And they did, or else they lied straight to my face (as they should!).

    The best thing is, you’ll only have to spend the money once. You’ll only have to stress over it once. So enjoy it as much as you can, and when it gets stressful… know that it’s just once!

  • Don’t freak out! It’s going to be great. I’ve been to so many different types of weddings. Nobody cares if the favors are perfect, nobody cares if it’s overcast. Nobody cares if it’s not your best hair day. They are just happy to celebrate with you.

    I am currently planning my wedding and am a comlete anti-bride. I just want to have a fun party. We’re not doing favors, we’re not having colors, I’m not have bows anywhere (no matter how much my mom begs), and I’m just asking my bridesmaids to wear nice black cocktail dresses. It is UNBELIEVABLE the amount of stress and pressure FAMILY can put onto you! It’s like my family has this idea of a perfect wedding, and they don’t care if it’s not my idea as well….it is so frustrating!

  • I’ve been a bride twice- the second time ‘Fat’ Elvis walked my down the aisle singing ‘Fools Rush In’. My second qualification for giving you advice is that I worked in a sewing shop that specialized in making custom bridal and formal wear.
    You can’t change who you are but you can decide how you want to act. If you want a perfect wedding that will become your obsession not anyone else’s. You don’t sound like you want a perfect wedding just an amazing experience. Go have an amazing experience (and that includes the planning!).