Feeling a little overwhelmed? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. What with all the decisions to make, the budget to manage, and the family politics to negotiate – not to mention the pressure to create the perfect day – planning a wedding can get seriously stressful at times. But if you find yourself falling out with family or friends, or feeling more miserable than happy as the big day approaches, then something really isn’t right. And, dare we say it, you might be your own worst enemy. Worried that you might be turning into a bit of a bridezilla? Here are the warning signs to look out for.
1. You can’t stop talking about your wedding
Planning a wedding is a massive task and the seemingly never-ending wedmin can feel like having a second job at times. When combined with trying to live frugally to save for the big day, this can lead to a cutback in socialising and a bit of a one track mind developing. Try to make an effort not to talk about your wedding as default whenever you see your friends. And at the very least ask how things are going with them, before diving into the latest chaircover chat.
2. The budget has been blown
Your vision for a rustic wedding at home has morphed into an expensive refurbishment of your parents’ garden, complete with water fountain, handcrafted ceremony arch and lily-strewn ornamental pond. And you’re finding it hard to understand why your parents aren’t being more grateful – yes, they may have financed it, but you’ve invested a great deal of time overseeing all the decisions. If you can relate to this then you need to put the brakes on the spending now, before you get in any deeper.
3. You’re annoyed at your bridesmaids
It’s natural to feel that your wedding is the most important thing happening in your world, but it is unfair to expect your friends and family to put their lives on hold until your nuptials have taken place. Your bridesmaids are perfectly entitled to get pregnant, dye their hair bold colours and get inked, or to book their own wedding day before yours. If you find yourself feeling more resentful than happy for your best girls when they have news to share, then it’s time to take a step back and try to see the bigger picture.
4. You’ve thrown a strop
It doesn’t matter how much you stick your bottom lip out and bat your eyelashes, a tantrum is never a good look and should be avoided at all times. If you can’t stop throwing your toys out of the pram whenever things don’t go exactly your way, then you’re definitely in need of a time out and a long, cold seat on the naughty step.
5. All the rules
As a wedding guest, it’s great to get a little guidance on dress codes, gifts, etc. But dictating what your guests can and can’t wear, or buy you as a gift is a sure fire way to suck all the fun out of the occasion. Similarly, imposing a list of rules on your bridal party is a huge turn off. Let your bridesmaids choose dresses and shoes they feel good in, and the hairstyles & accessories that reflect their individual personalities. We promise that we have never seen a bridesmaid steal the show – so trust your friends’ judgement.
6. So sorry
Wedding planning can be stressful and emotions do run high at times. In these circumstances we don’t always operate at our best and can say things we later regret. But if you find yourself continually having to apologise for your bad behaviour, then something isn’t right. Make a list of (non-wedding related!) things that make you happy and do at least one a day until you feel more like your usual self.
7. The perfect bride
Spending a small fortune on trying to perfect your smile or skin, or obsessing over calories? It’s natural to want to look your best on your big day and if you are feeling low in confidence in certain areas then by all means check out those braces you’ve been thinking about getting or sign up for some classes at the gym. But please believe us when we say that the glow of happiness that surrounds a bride is far more beautiful than any teeny tiny waist or perfectly white teeth. Nobody else will notice your imperfections, they are all far too busy worrying about their own.
8. People are avoiding you
If your fiance has started pleading for wedding-task free weekends or your friends suddenly seem too busy to meet for the usual post-work drinks, then you may have unwittingly turned into a wedding bore. Take regular breaks from wedding planning and enjoy other activities – get back to the things that make you happiest, and your sense of perspective will soon return.
9. Nobody understands
If your bridesmaids aren’t pulling their weight when it comes to helping out with the handcrafted details, or refuse to take extra time off work to help set up the venue, then remember that it was you, not them, who chose to have a DIY wedding. And it’s not unreasonable for your cousin to want to bring her boyfriend, even if they haven’t moved in together yet. Yes, the four course wedding breakfast doesn’t come cheap, but the five star venue was your call. As was the hen weekend in York. And the second one in Paris.
10. You made someone cry
Wedding co-ordinator quaking in fear whenever you drop by with a new list of demands? Chief bridesmaid no longer taking your calls? If your wedding is causing more unhappiness than joy, then maybe you should give serious thought to eloping. And of course it’s okay to have a child-free wedding, but reducing a new mum to tears by banning young babies because you’re worried they might squawk during the speeches is seriously over the top. After all, you do want people to want to come to your wedding – don’t you?
And finally, try to remember…
… That as big and exciting as it is, the wedding really is just one day. And it’s the marriage that’s for life. Done right, your wedding will set you up with wonderful memories for a lifetime – a bubble of happiness that you can draw strength from when times are tough. It’s a day full of friends and family, love and laughter, and sheer joy at the new beginning that you and your partner are embarking on, surrounded by the people who mean the most to you.
And all the other things really are just things. No-one will notice if the ribbon on the cake is not the exact colour of the centrepieces or care if the kilts don’t all match. But they will remember how you made them feel – treasured and welcomed, or turned off by all the drama.
I’m trying to tell myself I didn’t commit any of these bridal sins when planning my wedding. Maybe number one now and then. And two a little bit. And okay, number seven if I’m being really honest. Please tell me it’s not just me! Christina x