“I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.” ― Neil Gaiman
* * * *
Okay, the wedding is four days away and it’s time to ask yourself this crucial question: Are you turning, slowly but surely, into “Bridezilla?”
Look around. Do you see fear in the eyes of everyone in your Bridal party? Your wedding vendors? How about total strangers? Do small children hide under the table when they see you coming? Weddings with all their emotional involvement, anxiety and that sometimes-desperate longing to get it all absolutely perfect, can turn even the most reasonable and placid individual into a hair-tearing, appliance-throwing psychopath. It can happen to anyone…but it doesn’t have to happen to you. As with most everything else in your life, you can decide what type of bride you want to be.
To help you over that hurdle, here are some “pearls of wisdom,” gleaned from our 400+ weddings, to help you avoid becoming everyone’s worst nightmare (including your own)!
- Make Time to Relax. This should be Job One! We can all agree that marriage is kind of a big deal, right? You have made a life changing choice here…but it doesn’t have to stress you out. Every wedding brings with it a certain amount of hassle; organizing it all is enough to get on your last nerve. When that happens, you need to remind yourself that you chose to do this, you wanted to do this. Make whatever time you need to relax in whatever way you please; maybe a warm bath or a long drive out of town. The preparations can get by without you for a few hours, and these moments of relative sanity will bring you back to yourself, ready and able to tackle the next task…but calmly.
- Be a good listener. Everyone and their brother will offer their opinions and “sage” advice; everyone will have wisdom they wish to impart to you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the “help,” especially when you’re dealing with friends or (more likely) relatives who can be a bit too pushy with their “wisdom.” Hear them out, take a deep breath and thank them for their help. Be gracious and appreciative, and then dump all of it if you want to – it’s your wedding! But don’t be surprised if, occasionally, you actually hear something that makes sense, and helps you with your planning.
- Be nice. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s really what everything comes down to. Your friends and relatives are usually thrilled and proud to be part of your wedding party. Don’t make them regret it. Find a way to keep everyone busy enough that they feel helpful, without being demanding or overbearing. Before the big day, figure out everything that needs to be done, figure out who could help you and in what way, and then…use everyone to their best advantages. Utilize their native skills to help you get your jobs done, but also give them a chance to do something they’re good at. Weddings are a celebration! Make yours fun, and don’t let it become a chore for those who have stepped up to help you.
- Take a break. Make sure you allow time just for you and your fiancé, now and then, a little or a lot, just to kick back (see #1, above). This helps you to handle the stressful moments calmly, gives you something to look forward to during the chaos of planning, and keeps you and your fiancé connected as you get closer to the big day.
- Stay loose. Expect the unexpected, celebrate the day, embrace the possibilities…and resist the impulse to imagine how it will all turn out. When you have throngs of well-wishers in a confined space and free-flowing booze, things tend to take on a life of their own. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and if something does go sideways – and by the way, as a non-denominational wedding minister since 2007, I’m here to tell you something almost always does – try to just roll with it. Tell yourself that it could always be worse (it could, believe me). The bottom line is that none of this matters. You have just married the one person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life. What could be better than that?
A few more bits of wisdom to keep in mind as you get closer to the big moment:
- Don’t lose sight of what’s important. Be sure the wedding doesn’t mean more to you than the marriage! A wedding is just a formality, as much for your audience as for yourselves. In the cosmic scheme of things, only the marriage matters.
- Deep breaths actually do work. So does going outside for awhile to get some fresh air. Use these simple, but effective techniques whenever you feel the “Bridezilla” in you getting anxious to wreak havoc.
- On your wedding day, accept that there is nothing more that you can do. You’ve planned, you’ve prepared, you’ve organised. Now it’s time to have faith that the people you’ve hired (like your wedding Officiant!), and selected, will get you the rest of the way.
And finally, if you’re ever in doubt as to whether or not you have crossed the line into Bridezilla territory, ask someone whose insights you trust. If they really care about you, they will let you know honestly (and hopefully, gently) if you’ve gone over the edge.