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.
Recognise the symptoms
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 preventions 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.
Write a list and start ticking!
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,” she says. “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 wedding planning stress? 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 wedding planning 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 scrapbook of wedding images and ideas – it’ll help evolve and fine-tune your style and guide suppliers (like florists) to an instant idea of ‘you’.”
Honesty is the best policy
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.
Talk to the supplier – they have years of experience so may have alternatives ideas which could achieve a similar result via a cheaper route.”
See small problems for what they are
Being prepared to let go is also something brides should consider. “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,” says Jeffery.
So what is the answer to coping with wedding planning stress?
“I’d say humour, patience and intuition are the qualities I rely on most,” adds Jeffery. “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 fun.
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 knowing when to take the bride off for a quiet mug of tea so she can have a rant or a cry or both are all great qualities to have.”