This post is for every bride, no matter what stage of the wedding planning you’re in. Maybe you just got engaged, or you could be at the pinnacle of stress and feel that inner Bridezilla rearing her head, or maybe you’ve become a full-fledged Bridezilla. The good news is it’s never too late to extinguish your inner Bridezilla.
It’s easy to get blindsided by our zilla tendencies!
I’m sure your heart is thumping with anticipation to realize your wedding dreams as you float down the aisle in a magnificently pristine white, ivory, champagne, blush, silver, or any-other-color-of-the-rainbow wedding gown you’ve chosen to adorn you as you exchange vows with your true love.
So how does one go from ‘getting a ring on it’ to floating down the aisle without becoming a Bridezilla? The first step is trying to understand why a bride-to-be has the potential to turn into a raging lunatic.
I have a theory and it starts with Cinderella.
As it is for many women, watching Cinderella for the first time as a young girl may have sprouted your very first dreams of becoming a bride. It’s a dream that strengthens in us as we get older and intensifies when we finally find our true love.
And, let’s face it, the most magical part of Cinderella’s transformation from an ordinary girl into the princess of all princesses is not the mystique of the glass slipper or the carriage drawn by white horses, or even Prince Charming; it’s the sparkling blue gown her fairy godmother spins up for her to wear to the ball, the gown that compels our eyes to widen as we gaze at Cinderella catching the attention of every guest and the prince himself. And then there’s her wedding gown . . .
It’s Cinderella’s beauty in her snowy-white classic ball gown that’s engraved on the brains and hearts of young girls, forever, and the one thing we’ll never forget from the movie. An emotional connection to this symbolism of “true-love” garment has been established and is the standard we will follow when it is time for our wedding day.
And, as though Cinderella wasn’t enough to keep us wedding crazed and gown obsessed, as we grow into womanhood, we continue to be bombarded with fairytale wedding images. From magazines to movies, books, the internet, and songs, we’re surrounded by wedding consumerism.
I’d bet many of you bought your first wedding magazine before you were even of marrying age. I’d also speculate that there are women across this country with secret Pinterest boards filled with hundreds of inspiring wedding images yet with no prospect of getting engaged anytime soon. Before you got a ring on it, you may have been one of these women, or you may know a friend or two who fits this bill.
Over the years, weddings have become more elaborate and expensive and more of a production.
We can thank the multitude of wedding shows such as Say Yes to the Dress, Bridezillas, Platinum Weddings, and the over-the-top reality star weddings from the Bachelor and Real Housewives franchises for contributing to the fantasies of modern-day couples who are ready to embark on wedding planning, just as you’re about to do.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve killed a significant number of brain cells watching these shows and fantasizing about every detail you want for your own wedding day.
There are so many more niceties involved in planning a wedding today than there were twenty-five years ago—even ten years ago. With more particulars to attend to, there is a greater level of attention required in order to bring your vision to reality. This increases the stress for everyone involved in your big day, which amplifies the chance that the wedding professionals you choose to work with will fall short of your expectations. I don’t want that for you (or them) so I’m here to help.
For most women, the focal point of her obsession is her wedding gown, and you may be the same. Crafting the perfect frock of your daydreams, tearing dozens of gown photos from magazines, and spending countless hours searching online for your perfect dress engulfs you.
You may be reading this and thinking there’s no way I’ll get so obsessed with planning to risk becoming a bridezilla, but I can assure you, every bride before you thought the very same thing, yet lo and behold, for one reason or another, many of them morphed from everyday woman to bona fide B-R-I-D-E!
I know this because prior to starting EWedded I was the owner and operator of multiple bridal boutiques for over 13 years. As a stylist and gown retailer, I was under constant pressure to deliver a bride the gown of her dreams, in pristine condition and with a supreme fit. It was a wonderful, stressful, beautiful, daunting, emotional, and sometimes painful adventure. I loved it!
From the moment I started my company until the day I closed my doors, I kept a file of customer issues that I often referred to so I could continue to hone my team and my business practices. There were three problem areas that resonated with brides over and over again:
- Her shopping experience
- Delivery of her merchandise
- Problems with the fit of her gown and/or the alterations process
The purchase of your wedding gown and the assurance of its perfection is more than a one-day shopping jaunt. It’s a process that begins the instant you establish communication with a retailer and ends when you’ve completed your final alterations fitting and are gleefully trotting out the door with your gown in hand. The length of time from the day you buy your gown until your wedding day will determine the length of your relationship with your retailer; it can be three months or twenty-four months or somewhere in between.
Taking all of this into consideration here’s my advice to ensure that by the time you’ve said “I do,” your road to wedded bliss has been a Cinderella story.
Carve out plenty of time for shopping, planning and for gown alterations.
Set your budget before you start shopping and planning.
Set and communicate your expectations of your bridal party and your wedding vendors at the very start of your planning process.
Invest in a wedding planner (even if it’s just for day-of-planning) or delegate tasks to the members of your bridal party.
Remove the word perfect from your vocabulary. Things will go wrong. Be ready to roll with the punches.
Take planning pauses and get back to enjoying your future spouse sans the pressure of wedding planning.
Drown out the noise. Everyone is going to have opinions about nearly every aspect of your wedding planning process. Only filter the opinions that matter (the first being you and your fiancé’s).
Don’t get so entrenched in the details (that likely only you will notice) that you stop having fun.
HAVE FUN! SAY “I DO!”