BRIDEZILLAS: Turning Wedding Stress into Bridal Bliss
A Guest post
The word ‘Bridezilla’, thanks mostly to the infamous US reality TV show, conjures up images of weepy, stressed out, over-controlling brides-to-be with an overdose of bad attitude and a penchant for being dramatic.
Away from television cameras and clever editing, the ‘Bridezilla’ within can appear to us all before, during and after the big day and the line between being in control and throwing our toys out of the wedding car can be as fine as the gossamer thread in your wedding night lingerie.
Stress is an issue that people deal with on a daily basis. Recognising the warning signs, controlling the symptoms and keeping it at a comfortable distance can be challenging and more and more treatments and prevention’s are coming to the fore. A significant rise in reported cases* of stress related illnesses brought on by debt, work, education and in many instances, weddings, means that some brides are spending the happiest day of their lives, clouded in a fog of anguish and worry.
Director of Guides for Brides wedding directory, Alison Hargreaves has some essential advice for any bride under pressure, “The cause of many brides’ stress is the feeling that they have forgotten something crucial. We always advise brides to set up a task list – there are several really good ones available – and tick things off as they go along.”
“Some of the best advice is available free from other couples who have been through it all themselves, and understand it from your perspective. Read any “real life” wedding stories and the advice from every couple is to relax and enjoy the day, and not worry about the details”
So… how does a bride cope with the strain of planning a wedding, managing (inevitable) family debates whilst organising a raft of suppliers and striving to keep herself (and her groom) sane in the process? Jeffrey Cleaver, Director of Silver Pear Weddings in Oxfordshire is only too aware of the stresses a bride encounters and has developed a hot list of tips based on years of experience. ”Be organised – create spreadsheets to manage costs; have an indexed lever-arch file for quotes and correspondence with plastic wallets for fabric swatches and copies of wedding stationery; consider creating a scrap-book of wedding images/ ideas – it’ll help evolve and fine-tune your style and guide suppliers (like florists) to an instant idea of ‘you’.
“Be as considerate and polite as you can with suppliers – it may sound obvious but courtesies like “please” and “thank you” are still ‘magic words’.
“Be honest and up-front with suppliers: talk to them. If your budget isn’t equal to your ideas don’t immediately head straight off in search of a cut-price look-alike (as cheap is usually just that for a reason), talk to the supplier: they have years of experience so may have alternatives ideas which could achieve a similar result via a cheaper route or they may suggest a slightly different ‘take’ one which you might like as much – or more – than the original idea.
“Be patient: it’s tough when you’re keen to crack on or concerned you’ll miss that venue or this photographer but suppliers still need breaks, they may have family commitments and, in peak season, they’re often working silly hours seven days a week so emailing on a Friday evening expecting a reply on Monday morning may be a tad unrealistic.
“Be prepared to compromise: reducing one cost could save cutting corners where it will really tell. Giving a little on someone else’s priority could mean getting your way on yours. You want an all-pink colour scheme but your groom is utterly pink-resistant? For one couple that ‘all-pink’ scheme was achieved because the groom got to name the tables after his favourite footballers…
“Be prepared to “let go”: it’s totally understandable you won’t want things running awry from what you’ve envisaged but not every guest will know those finer details so if one thing isn’t just exactly how you thought it should be, dare I say this, but it may not matter that much in the bigger picture. So don’t be tempted to micro-manage on the day or you’ll wind everyone up including yourself and that is really not how you want to remember your wedding. Let the professionals take over doing what you’re paying them to do and leave them to handle problems like the weather playing up or speeches and photographers running over-time. If it helps, select a point of contact in charge of liaison. It could be the Best Man or a chief usher or a level-headed friend or family member. The day will flash by so make the very most of enjoying it rather than fretting on the positioning of the cake flowers.”
Finally Jeffrey adds, “A friend said “gin” was her answer to the stresses of planning her own wedding, I’d say humour, patience and intuition are the qualities I rely on most. In the early stages of planning, humour’s the best ally: I find countering an unworkable suggestion or making a serious point always works better when it’s sugared with a twist of humour. In the days just before the wedding, patience and intuition become equally as vital as seeing the funny side – knowing what to say and how to say it and also when to step in and take the bride off for a quiet mug of tea so she can have a rant or a cry or both.”
Much Bespoke Love
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