‘Zilla proof your wedding
Congratulations on your engagement! This is the start of an exhilarating time; one filled with emotion, excitement and discovery. You’ll come out of it with a lifetime of precious memories and shared moments. And, believe me; those shared moments will end up being among the most potent and meaningful aspects of your wedding process. So what’s a gal or guy to do to make the most of it? The answer is always to invest in what’s important to you and your future spouse. If sharing this most joyous occasion with your favourite people is important to you, you will want to invest in those relationships and make sure that they’re at least intact by the time you get married. Are you wondering what I’m going on about?
It’s a delicate subject to approach, but a worthwhile one. Fortunes have been made in the entertainment industry from it. The most frequent question I get when I say that I’m a wedding planner, after “Oh, like Jennifer Lopez? “ (Um. No.) is “Do you often get Bridezillas?”
Nobody wants to go there, I know. But weddings can be a tad stressful for everyone involved and stress brings out the best in nobody. The ‘Zilla can sneak up on the most gentle and unsuspecting people, turning them into unpleasant, terrifying creatures.
What I’ve observed in my clients, over time, is that the lack of ‘Zilla Drama doesn’t come from luck, but from the behaviour that they chose to espouse. They created their happiness by thinking and acting in a way that made their family and bridal party want to be around them without feeling guilty or resentful. This is what they do:
They have realistic expectations
Dreaming big is great! This is a very special day, after all. But please keep in mind the chance that not everything will resemble your original vision and that you would do well to give yourself a reality check every now and then. Factors like your budget, location, people’s situation and the timing of your wedding will all contribute to the shaping of it. Keeping your expectations realistically aligned with those factors will avoid your being disappointed.
They hire a wedding planner
OK, so this is biased, coming from a wedding planner. But consider this: while I’m on the phone making sure that your flowers/cupcakes/chairs are being delivered at the right time/address/room, and setting up your ceremony/cocktail/dinner spaces, among a million other things, you, your family and your bridal party are relaxed and getting ready, languishing in each other’s company, indulging in a great snack and a glass of bubbly. No matter how well organized you are, there is still work to be done on the day of. Hiring outside help takes that pressure off your friends and family, and allows you to spend quality time together.
They put themselves in their attendant’s shoes
This is key. Yes, it’s YOUR big day. Hopefully, the bridal party you’ve chosen to stand with you will honour that. But if they fall a little short of your expectations (remember the chat we had about those?), the choices you have are a) to be annoyed and impose your every whim on them, or b) accept what they are willing to offer freely, within their limits and without coercion.
It’s very simple. Option A will most likely breed resentment and animosity. Not because they don’t love you, but for a plethora of reasons (personal/financial/family issues…) that may make it difficult for them to meet your expectations. Option B will find you surrounded by relaxed and comfortable attendants who don’t feel imposed on and who will be delighted to be there with you because you haven’t been unreasonable with them. In case you’re wondering what’s unreasonable, consider reading this, this and this. Yikes!
Quick tip: If you’re not sure where your friend stands on a wedding-related issue, just ask! At least you’ll know what you have to work with.
They make considerate decisions
These couples involve their bridal party as little or as much as each individual is willing and wanting to be involved.
- They choose dresses and accessories that compliment their attendants’ bodies and make them feel comfortable.
- They make sure that their bridal party doesn’t have to fend for itself to get around or to get fed and hydrated on the day of the wedding.
- They think of details that affect the attendants: the weight of the bouquets they have to carry, the length of time they have to stand, whether they should chose light-coloured suits for hot days ect…
- They account for them when planning the day’s schedule (5 AM hair appointments = cranky bridesmaids).
- If their attendants are on a budget or living far away, they don’t make attendance to pre-wedding events mandatory. And as much as they would like to follow old traditions, they never loose sight of their friends behind those traditions, and are understanding of each one’s situation.
They take care of themselves
They eat properly, they exercise normally, and they keep non-wedding activities as an integral part of their lives. This makes them feel secure, healthy and confident, and keeps them from getting over-stressed and losing their cool with their bridal party (And their fiancé. And their parents. And their… you get the picture.).
I’m not advocating that a couple should bend over backward to please their wedding party. In fact, if they are being unreasonable, they will make your life and wedding process miserable and that has to be dealt with as well. However, making sure that the people you chose to be around you on your special day are happy and comfortable is one of those investments that keeps on paying off.
Happy Engagement, and enjoy the ride!