I've been obsessed with all things wedding for WAY LONGER than I'd like to admit. IF I was being honest and I told you that I remember watching "Bridezilla" Season 1 Episode 1 on WE TV then you might be able to do the math. But let's forget about numbers and talk about the facts!
Bridezilla grew it popularity by following around brides at the very end of their planning process and watched every melt down, fights, and argument. It almost felt like a "don't get pregnant" tactic. Watch the worst of the worst and maybe you won't fall into their footsteps.
At least that's what I remember thinking. Like take notes AND do not become those brides (at all costs)
But here's the thing I didn't understand then. These brides (most likely) didn't start off this way. My bet is that when they said "yes" they weren't thinking about the million of decisions that they would need to make in order to have the "wedding of their dreams". This show preyed on brides that were feeling the pressures of making the right decisions, of keeping family tension under control and pleasing every generation before her with their wishes. No wonder there were crazy melt downs and fights; It's just too much to handle. And if we're being honest, enough motivation to make any sane person feel like running away and eloping on a tropical island.
But I'm here to tell you IT DOESN'T NEED TO BE THAT WAY. You CAN have it all and love your planning process.
And let me note that what I am about to list as suggestions are things I ACTUALLY did. I was married young (to who I thought was the right person) and let me tell you, WE TV would have loved following me around.
(I wish I could insert a photo here of how I remember THAT night, but photos don't exist and for good reason)
I felt the pressure to make my new in-law's happy who invited WAY TOO MANY people and tons of people I never even met. So many so, that I had to call members of my own family and UN-invite them. Talk about the worst ever, right? I was worried about picking the right dress, asking my bridal party to wear the right colors, wondering what type of cake I should choose BASED on what everyone else wanted. I became the "I don't care" bride and let everyone else make decision that made them happy, and not me.
Fast forward a few years and I had met the real love of my life. We got engaged and had a real opportunity to have the wedding of our dreams. And lucky for us, I was doing it from a place of learning from my past mistakes. And so now, I pass the torch onto you. Here are the 3 things you NEED to do to stand your ground when planning your wedding!
1.Have a heart to heart with your fiancé. Talk about the things you really want and don't want and make sure you're on the same page. There is nothing stronger than a united front. If the two of you are on the same page about everything, or at least know to consult each other on big decisions, then you won't have to worry about family having an influence over each of you. I'd honestly like to believe that no parent intentionally tries to manipulate their children, but sadly that isn't the world we live in. If you know that to be the case, and are honest about it, you should make a plan with you fiancé about how you'll handle things when the event happens. Felling cornered and off guard is not the time that big decisions should not be made. Having a game plan is the best plan. You can list the things that need a joint decision and the things you truly don't care about. You don't need to make EVERY decision, but your should have a say in the decisions that matter to you.
2. Money doesn't equal power. I know you're grateful for when family and friends help in pitching in on making your day, BUT make sure that payment of parts (or event the whole event) doesn't stipulate that they have ultimate decision making power. Let me ask you, IF a parent decides to pay for your wedding, does accepting the help mean they get to invite 10 people that you don't know because it makes them happy? Does that bother you? If it does, then maybe consider alternatives. And before you think I'm suggesting that you should shun all help, maybe consider getting less help if you can settle on a smaller event. Or maybe make a plan that says, "You get x amount of people and that's it." Standing your ground early is helpful in making sure family and friends understand the day is about you two and not them. If you're not sure how to have a frugal wedding I would suggest heading to Jenna Kutcher's website. She talks about how her and her husband had a wedding for $7000 and they had 100 people. There are tips everywhere.
3. Find a scapegoat! I know this sounds harsh, so let me explain. Having a scapegoat helps push the blame on someone that isn't you. This is great if you hate confirmation. Let me say it out loud, YOUR SCAPEGOAT IS NOT YOUR FIANCE! Remember, "a united front".
If you have a wedding planning, that is a GREAT scapegoat. Are RSVP's coming in slow, reach out and tell them the wedding planner needs their answer asap. Is seating not exactly what one family wants, sorry the wedding planner can assure them that it's JUST for dinner. And you don't have a planner you can Balme it on your vendors. Say your venue holds 125 people max, but you don't want max. you want more like 80, tell family that's trying to add guests that you're allowed 100. There's not much they can do when it comes to vendors rules. If you have a sister, best friend, or a mom that is totally on your side, ask them to take the heat. Sometimes it's easy to ask someone to say the tough bits when they don't mind standing up for you.
Whatever the issue that may arise in your panning process the most important it to be vocal and stand up for yourself early. I know from experience that it can feel like a snowball turn advance when you give in to what "they" want. It starts out small, one favor here or there, but in the end you'll be standing in the middle of your reception in a big cupcake dress looking around asking yourself, "What is all of this?"
Don't let the fear of being Bridezilla keep you from having the day of your dreams. because I promise you," if you settle for less than what you deserve, you'll end up with less than what you settled for." (Read that again)
Always my best,